Rep. Chris Tuck

Rep. Chris Tuck
Representative
Chris Tuck

I’m Here for You

I want to hear from you,
share your thoughts, voice your opinion. Together we will make a difference.

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Governor Walker,
Anchorage Office:
907-269-7450
EMAIL:
Gov. Bill Walker
WEBSITE: gov.alaska.gov

Senator Lisa Murkowski,
Anchorage Office:
907-271-3735,
EMAIL: Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Senator Dan Sullivan,
Anchorage Office:
907-271-5915
EMAIL: Sen. Dan Sullivan

Congressman Don Young,
Anchorage Office:
907-271-5978
EMAIL: Rep. Don Young

  October 27, 2017

Action Alert: Public Testimony on the Crime Bill

There are TWO more opportunities for you to make your voice heard on Senate Bill 54, the crime bill, which is now before the House Finance Committee:

  • Saturday, October 28, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, October 30, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

You can participate in the following ways:

  • Email comments to lhscfin@akleg.gov;
  • Attend in person at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office at 1500 W Benson Blvd (find LIO locations in other communities here);
  • If you can’t go to an LIO, you can call in:
    • Anchorage: 563-9085
    • Juneau: 586-9085
    • Other locations: 844-586-9085 (this number will not work in Anchorage or Juneau)

 

The Alaska Criminal Justice Commission

Dear Neighbors,

The work on ensuring public safety is never done. Levels and types of crime change because of ever-shifting conditions and we are constantly getting new and updated information on what works and what doesn’t work to combat crime. Starting in the early 2010s, Alaska started seeing a marked increase in crime spurred by increased substance abuse and the opioid epidemic, the downturn in the economy, and dramatic cuts to state and city public safety budgets.

Graphs from the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center’s Fall 2017 report

Graphs from the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center’s Fall 2017 report
Graphs from the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center’s Fall 2017 report on crime rates and Alaska Criminal Justice reform show a low point in vehicle thefts and burglaries in 2011, followed by a steep increase, before SB 91 went into effect.

Clearly, something needed to be done to get smart on crime. What we were doing wasn’t working. Our jail population was exploding and criminals weren’t being deterred from committing more and worse crimes.

  • From the mid-1980s to the mid-2010s, Alaska’s prison population grew by more than 180 percent, from about 1,800 to 5,100, while Alaska’s population only increased by about 30 percent.
  • During that same time, prison costs grew by about 160 percent, from $126 million to $327 million annually.
  • Approximately two out every three people who get out of prison will return within three years.
  • Alaska’s prison population had grown so much that Goose Creek Correctional Center was opened in 2012, costing the state $240 million to build.
  • With the rate of growth and absent any reform, it would be necessary to build another prison within the latter part of the decade or start send prisoners out of state.

In 2014, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 64 (SB 64) unanimously. SB 64 sought to reduce recidivism rates and reverse the trend of soaring corrections costs by balancing alternative sentencing programs and successful prisoner re-entry methods with increased public safety. Briefly, SB 64 did the following things:

  • Raised the minimum dollar amounts for felony theft and property crimes, which hadn’t been adjusted in decades;
  • Defined parameters for jail-time credit for treatment programs;
  • Established drug and alcohol testing programs as a condition of release, probation, and parole for certain crimes;
  • Created a recidivism reduction program within the Department of Health and Social Services; and
  • Most significantly, created the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission.

The Alaska Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) was comprised of 13 stakeholders, including legislators, judges, law enforcement officials, the state’s Attorney General and Public Defender, the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, and members representing crime victims, Alaska Natives, and the Mental Health Trust Authority. The ACJC was charged with developing recommendations aimed at safety controlling prison and jail growth and recalibrating our correctional investments to ensure that we are achieving the best possible public safety return for our dollars.

The ACJC found that:

  • Alaska’s pre-trial population has grown by 81% over the past decade – that’s people who are awaiting trial and have yet to be convicted of a crime;
  • 75% of offenders entering prison after conviction in 2014 were convicted of a nonviolent offense; and
  • The length of stay for felony offenders increased 31% over the past decade.

Stay tuned for my next newsletter identifying the ACJC’s recommendations, which lead to the passage of SB 91.

I’m here for you, so please keep in touch on matters important to you and your family!

Warm regards,

[signed] Chris Tuck
      Chris Tuck
      Alaska State Representative
      District 23 - Anchorage


Tuck’s Tips: National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Yesterday, Governor Walker joined President Trump when he declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency. Tomorrow, you have an opportunity to do something locally to combat the epidemic. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency hosts a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day twice a year to help families safely dispose of unused and expired prescription medications.

When: Saturday, October 28, 2017, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Where: The closest collection site to our neighborhood is at the Abbott Road Fred Meyer. For more locations, visit this website.

What: National Prescription Drug Take Back Day allows you to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs, the service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

 

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