Support SB 91 for criminal justice reform.
A disproportionately high number of Alaska Natives are imprisoned or on probation. SB 91 is a comprehensive bill to reform criminal justice in Alaska. It would adjust sentences and other aspects of the justice system to promote justice while reducing prison and probation numbers and helping with reentry into society.
How you can voice your support
Voice your support at the hearing on SB 91, criminal justice reform bill on Saturday, Feb. 13th.
- Hearing starts at 9:00 a.m.
- SB 91 presentation at 10:30 a.m.
- SB 91 public testimony begins at 12:00 p.m.
To testify: Call (844) 586-9085 at or before 12:00 p.m.
- Members of the public will have 2 minutes each to speak
To send in written testimony: Email firstname.lastname@example.org before Saturday
To tune in and watch the hearing on livestream: visit http://www.360north.org/?startPage=1
Why support SB 91?
In 2014, the Alaska Legislature established the bi-partisan, interbranch Alaska Criminal Justice Commission (“Commission”) and it was tasked with “develop[ing] recommendations aimed at safely controlling prison and jail growth and recalibrating our correctional investments to ensure that we are achieving the best possible public safety return on our state dollars.” In addition, you and other legislative leaders requested that, because the state’s difficult budget situation rendered reinvestment in evidence-based programs and treatment possible only with significant reforms, the Commission forward policy options that would not only avert future prison growth, but would also reduce the prison population between 15 and 25 percent below current levels.
The Commission developed a comprehensive package of policy recommendations that would protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and reduce the state’s average daily prison population by 21%, netting an estimated savings of $424 million over the next decade for the state.
The Commission found that a disproportionate number of Alaska Natives are being confined. While Alaska Natives represent 15 percent of the state resident population, they represent 36 percent of the state’s pretrial inmates, 34 percent of the state’s sentenced prisoners, and 42 percent of the probation and parole violators in prison. Measures recommended in the Criminal Justice Commission report aimed at safely reducing pretrial incarceration, diverting low-level offenders from prison, adjusting criminal penalties to get better outcomes, and making penalties for probation and parole violations more proportional will have a disproportionately positive effect on Alaska Natives, who are overrepresented in the state’s incarcerated population.
SB 91 is a comprehensive bill that will go a long way toward reforming criminal justice in Alaska. This bill incorporates the recommendations made by the Commission, and goes further by including reentry provisions that create a path for offenders to earn back their driver’s licenses and their eligibility for food stamps. We believe that the provisions in SB 91 will reduce recidivism rates and help to create opportunities for people to be productive members of society. We strongly urge you to voice your support for SB 91.