Rep. Ivy Spohnholz
I thought it might be helpful to put together a comparison of what SB 91—criminal justice reform—did and changes to it that were adopted in SB 54—crime and sentencing.
SB 91 was a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill designed to reduce people committing repeat crimes—recidivism. It included a new pre-trial supervision program, expansion of addiction treatment in prisons, reentry services to help people get on their feet when they leave prison and sentencing reform. SB 54 was designed to make some adjustments to some of the sentencing provisions of SB 91.
While I don’t support every element of SB54 (there was a big mistake made by increasing C felonies to the same level of sentence as B felonies which is likely unconstitutional), I voted for the bill in effort to respond to some concerns police officers and the public expressed. I hope that this help you understand what SB 91 and SB 54 do and don’t do. Don’t hesitate to call my office at 269-0123 if you have any questions!

[signed] Ivy

Comparison of SB54 to SB91

Sec. No.
SB 54
Compared to SB 91
Legislative Intent/Training for Law Enforcement
Intent that the Criminal Justice Commission work with Dept. of Public Safety and local law enforcement to offer statewide training sessions on criminal justice reform
Crimes & Sentences
Lowers felony theft threshold to $750 from $1000
SB 91 raised the level for non-burglary theft crimes from $750 to $1000 to respond to inflation.
Creates a new Recidivist Theft 3 (an A misdemeanor). A person who is convicted and sentenced of a fourth Theft 4 (value less than $250, a B misdemeanor) within five years commits Theft 3.
SB 91 repealed a similar provision regarding a third Theft 4
Creates a new Recidivist Concealment of Merchandise 3 (A misdemeanor). A person convicted and sentenced for a fourth Concealment 4 (value less than $250, a B misdemeanor) within five years commits Concealment 3.
SB 91 repealed a similar provision regarding a third Concealment 4
Lowers felony threshold to $750 from $1000 (Removal of Identification Marks, Unlawful Possession, Issuing a Bad Check, Fraudulent Use of an Access Device, Vehicle Theft, Criminal Mischief 3, Criminal Mischief 4, Criminal Simulation, Misapplication of Property, Defrauding Creditors)
SB 91 raised the level from $750 to $1000
Alters the mental state for Criminal Mischief 5 when the conduct is joyriding: offender now must “disregard” with “criminal negligence” the fact that the vehicle is stolen rather than know the vehicle is stolen.
Requires 25 hours of community service for all degrees of Criminal Mischief that involve damage to public or private property.
Eliminates the use of inflation to adjust the level of class C felony threshold.
SB 91 raised the level from $750 to $1000 and created an automatic mechanism to adjust the thresholds every 5 years for inflation
Lowers felony threshold to $750 from $1000 for purposes of calculating the inflation adjustment
SB 91 raised the level from $750 to $1000 and created an automatic mechanism to adjust the thresholds every 5 years for inflation
Returns Violations of Conditions of Release (VCOR) to a crime (a B misdemeanor) (See Section 36 for sentencing info)
Made VCOR an arrestable violation punishable by a fine up to $1000
Classifies VCOR as a B misdemeanor
Before SB 91, VCOR was a Class A misdemeanor if the defendant was out on bail from a felony, and was a Class B misdemeanor if the defendant was
out on bail from a misdemeanor.
Alters elements of Sex Trafficking 3 & 4
SB 91 altered the elements of sex trafficking to clarify that it is not sex trafficking when a person has not caused another person to engage in prostitution but they are working in
the same location
Defines “compensation” for purposes of Sex Trafficking statutes
Amends schedule IA to include U-47700
Amends schedule IVA to include mixtures, compounds, etc. of tramadol and related
Amends Class A felony sentencing with a carve-out for for 1st time felonies if conduct was directed at law enforcement/EMS; new range is 7-11 years
Reduced the carve-out for conduct directed at first responders from 7-11 years to 5-9 years, as part of the realignment of presumptive terms.
Amends Class C felony sentencing:
1st felony: 0-2 years active time
2nd felony: 1-4 years
3rd felony: 2-5 years
Removes sentencing provisions for felony DUI/Refusal

Note: 1st felony range for Class C is now the same as 1 st felony range for Class B.
Changed C felony sentences:
1st felony: 0-18 months suspended with probation supervision (was 0-2 years)
2nd felony: 1-3 years (was 2-4)
3rd felony: 2-5 years (was 3-5)
Adds posting an explicit image of a minor on a public web site (AS 11.61.116(c)(2)) to SB 91’s list of exceptions that allow for up to a 1 year sentence for a Class A
SB 91 made many first-time Class A misdemeanors punishable by 0 – 30 days (down from 0-1 year)
Exceptions (sentence remains at 0-1 year): Assault; Sexual Assault 4; Sexual Abuse of a Minor 4; Indecent Exposure 2 if the victim is under 16; Harassment 1; any crime with a mandatory minimum of 30 days or more; any situation where the offense was the most serious conduct included in the definition of the offense.
Created a provision that allows a sentence of up to 1 year if the defendant had previous convictions
for similar conduct.
5 days maximum sentence for Violations of Conditions of Release (VCOR)
VCOR changed from a misdemeanor (A or B) punishable by up to 1 year or 90 days, to a violation punishable by a fine of $1000. SB 91 gave law enforcement officers the authority to arrest defendants violating the conditions of release so they could be brought before a judge for a bail
review hearing.
Amends sentencing for property crimes under $250:
1st: max 5 days active/6 months probation
2nd: max 10 days active/6 months probation
3rd: max 15 days active/6 months probation
SB 91 reduced the penalties to:
1st: no jail, fine up to $2000, and restitution available
2nd: no jail, fine up to $2,000, and restitution available
3rd: max 5 days suspended/6 months probation, fine up to $2,000, restitution available.
Creates look-back provisions for determining prior convictions for A misdemeanor sentencing (similar to provisions for felonies).
Alters definition of sex offense to align with revision to Sex Trafficking 3 in sec. 21
Makes Driving Without a Valid License (DVOL) an infraction
Alters definition of “illegal activity involving a place of prostitution” to align with revision to Sex Trafficking 3 in sec. 21
Repealed: provisions regarding sex trafficking
SB 91 amended the sex trafficking statutes (see sec. 21)
Pretrial Process
Amends class of persons who may be detained for an additional 48 hours to give the prosecuting attorney time to demonstrate that any conditions of release would not reasonably ensure appearance or public safety. Included are anyone charged with certain Class C felonies (person, FTA, DUI, Refusal, Sex), and anyone charged with any Class C felony who is assessed as moderate or high risk (eff. 1/1/18).
Excluded anyone charged with a Class C felony who was assessed as low risk
Bail schedule must include a condition that DOC must breathalyze anyone about to be released after making bail release; DOC and may detain anyone above a .08 or releas them to a person willing to take them. (Eff. 1/1/18).
Amends pretrial assessment provision so that the new pretrial program does not have to assess those who are not in custody unless the prosecutor requests it
SB 91 created the new pretrial program.
Effective date for pretrial items is 1/1/18
Parole, Probation & Post-Conviction EM
28, 31, 46-52, 54-62, & 67
Removes reference to administrative parole
SB 91 created administrative parole for a limited group of prisoners who met the requirements of their case plan. Available to misdemeanants; and first-time, non-sex, non-person Class B or C felonies serving at least 181 days. These prisoners could be released by the parole board after serving at least ¼ of their term, a mandatory minimum, or any period of ineligibility imposed by a judge, without a hearing unless the victim requested a hearing.
Clarifies that no one can be released on EM post-conviction, pre-sentencing if they are ineligible for release under 12.30.040(b)
A defendant convicted of a non-sex, non-DV Class C felony may be recommended for early discharge from probation after 18 months (previously 1 year)
SB 91 created early discharge provision: PO shall recommend early discharge from probation after 1 year for defendants convicted of non-sex, non-DV Class C felonies if they have completed all probation requirements. [Also those convicted of A and B felonies are eligible after 2 years. No unclassified felonies, sex felonies, or DV felonies are eligible.]
Requires a minimum probation term with suspended time for sex felonies: Unclassified: 15y probation/5y suspended A or B: 10y probation/3y suspended
C: 5y probation/2y suspended
SB 91 changed the maximum probation term for all sex offenses to 15 years (was 25 years)
Amends the earned compliance credit provision so that anyone convicted of a sex offense or DV offense must complete all treatment programs required as a condition of probation before being discharged based on earned credits.
SB 91 created earned compliance credits – felony probationers and parolees are incentivized to fully comply with all terms of supervision by the ability to earn 30 days of credit against their total term of supervision for each 30-day period served in full compliance.
44 & 80
Maximum caseload for probation/parole officers must not exceed an average of 75 except in temporary or extraordinary circumstances (eff. 7/1/19).
Amends discretionary parole hearing procedure to remove references to scheduling the next hearing 2 years after parole is denied.
SB expanded discretionary parole eligibility and amended the procedure to provide that the Parole Board may schedule an inmate’s next review hearing 2 years after denying parole.
Amends the earned compliance credit provision so that anyone convicted of a sex offense or DV offense must complete all treatment programs required as a condition of parole before being discharged.
SB 91 created earned compliance credits (see section 43 above)
Adds a subsection that a prisoner serving time at a private residence when EM is not available does not have a liberty interest in that status, and may be returned to prison if the prisoner violates the conditions of imprisonment.
SB 91 requires DUI/Refusal offenders to serve their sentences on EM (instead of at a CRC), or if EM is not available, at a private residence by other means approved by DOC. Reference SB 91 Sec. 107, 110
Addiction Treatment
No change.
SB 91 provided $5.5M to expand addiction treatment within prisons throughout Alaska. 353 treatment slots will become available between now and June 30, 2018.
No change.
SB 91 funded 2 year study of Vivitrol Intervention Program. This tests efficacy of Vivitrol–medication for preventing relapse–among people leaving prison. Alchemist donated 1,200 doses to the DoC.
Reentry Services
No change.
SB 91 provided $3M in funding for Partners Reentry Center in Anchorage, and reentry coalitions in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Mat-Su, Juneau, Kenai, Nome, Ketchikan and Dillingham.
Alaska Criminal Justice Commission Membership & Duties
Requires study of risk factors for criminal activity among inmates to be conducted by Alaska Judicial Council if the Commission sunsets before 2025 (see Sec. 68 below).
Adds DHSS Commissioner to the ACJC as a nonvoting member to help coordinate efforts.
68-70, 73-74, 76, 81-83
Requires Commission, in consultation with DOC, AJC, and UAA Justice Center, to study inmate risk factors related to criminal activity, and including a summary and analysis in the Commission’s annual report. Note: the study ends Feb. 14, 2025. If the Commission sunsets before that date, the Alaska Judicial Council assumes responsibility.
Alcohol Safety Action Program
71, 77, 79
Expands Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) to include any case involving alcohol or a controlled substance, including Minor Consuming Alcohol, eff. July 1, 2018.
SB 91 restricted ASAP eligibility to DUI/Refusal cases.
Conditional effect: expansion occurs only if ASAP receives increased funding for FY ending June 30, 2019.
Violent Crimes Compensation Board
Alters application of Violent Crimes Compensation Board statute to align with revision to Sex Trafficking 3 in sec. 21
Immediate effective date under AS 01.10.070(c) for most provisions
Question? Corrections? Additions? Please contact Barbara Dunham, Alaska Criminal Justice Commission project attorney