AK DOC Reentry

Department of Corrections Announces New Deputy Commissioner

L. Diane Casto began her new job as Deputy Commissioner for the Alaska Department of Corrections. Her position will include prisoner management (institutions and probation & parole) as well as leading the Alaska Prisoner Reentry Initiative (AK-PRI). DC Casto is excited to be working on the Reentry Initiative, bringing years of community work with her to this challenge. One key element of the AK-PRI is to work with, develop and assist community-based reentry coalitions; preparing communities to bring returning citizens home and addressing the challenges that often complicate a person’s ability to find housing, a job, treatment services, as well as community and family support. There is lots of work to do, and many partners to work together to achieve successfully reentry for many of our returning citizens. One strategy, one plan—everyone moving together to create change!

Board of Parole Public Administrative Meeting (Phase II)

The Alaska Board of Parole will meet from 11:00 AM to noon on Wednesday, October 23rd to host Phase II of a public meeting regarding parole in the State of Alaska. The Board will hold a public meeting to provide an overview of the parole system in Alaska, as well as information on the operation of the board.

The meeting will be held in Anchorage, Alaska at the Atwood Building located at 550 W. 7th Ave., on the 17th floor, in Conference Room # 1760. Those in attendance will have an opportunity to provide comments to the board regarding its activities.
Additionally Audio Teleconference is available to members of the public who are unable to attend but wish to speak to Parole Board members to address their concerns. To participate by audio teleconference, call (toll-free) 800-315-6338 and enter the code 9104 followed by the pound symbol (#) when prompted.

National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction Completes Alaska Portion

The National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction (NICCC) Project has completed its inventory on Alaska's 492 statutes and regulations that create collateral consequences for offender reentry. The results are now available on NICC’s interactive website: www.abacollateralconsequences.org

The results will be reviewed by the Collateral Consequence workgroup, Chaired by Former DOC Deputy Commissioner Carmen Gutierrez, to analyze the results, report on the findings and develop a set of recommendations to make the restrictions more compatible with public safety. This includes developing a set of recommendations to make the information about restrictions more accessible and transparent to job seekers, employers workforce providers and state policymakers.

PACE Plans for Expansion

Because the data from the Anchorage pilot project tracked the Project HOPE data so closely,and because expansion appeared feasible from the standpoint of each agency’s workload, the PACE team agreed to add more participants in the next three months, with a goal of seventy participants. As of November 8, Probation had identified 37 more people, which includes a participant group of fifteen, a control group of fifteen, and seven additional probationers who could fill in if one or more of the participants becomes ineligible before the scheduled warning hearings. The team set warning hearings in November for November 1 (four probationers), November 9 (seven probationers), and November 16 (four probationers). No new probationers will be added in December because of reduced staff in all agencies during that month.

Judges and other criminal justice agency staff people throughout the state have expressed strong interest in the pilot program. At its November 3, 2010 meeting, members of the Criminal Justice Working Group (CJWG) emphasized the pilot nature of Anchorage PACE, and were encouraged by the interest in the program. Members agreed to the following time table, which allows time for a preliminary evaluation of the program before its expansion to other communities.


November 2010: PACE will add 15 new probationers randomly selected from a group of 37 identified by Probation. The remaining probationers will comprise a control group.

December 2010: No new probationers added to PACE

January 2011: 15 more probationers added, again randomly selected from a group of at least 30 identified by probation.

February 2011: Ten to 15 probationers added.

March to May 2011: Data collected on all probationers in the program followed by a preliminary evaluation of PACE.

June 2011: Court at CJWG stakeholders may consider expanding PACE to other communities.

From the Criminal Justice Working Group: PACE Update after Three Months

PACE data after three months:

The Anchorage program held its first set of warning hearings for twenty-nine probationers starting in mid-July. Three months have elapsed, allowing time for a preliminary report to see how closely the pattern of Anchorage matches that found in Project HOPE. The data here are those reported in mid-October at the PACE team meeting.

  • Thirteen of the 29 probationers originally assigned have gone for two months with no violations, and have had the frequency of their random testing reduced.
  • One probationer was at large with an outstanding warrant for arrests (as of November 9).
  • Of the probationers rearrested and sanctioned, most have only been rearrested once. Two probationers are being held on new charges, and Probation is working to get at least one other (who has failed several tests) into residential treatment. Thus, the data available from our first group track Hawaii’s data very closely.

PACE process and resources after three months

At the October 19, 2010 meeting, the PACE team members discussed their ability to handlethe present PACE participants and considered adding more.

  • Court staff reported that processing PACE cases requires some additional work on the part of clerks, but they are able to accommodate it. The need to schedule sanction hearings with relatively short notice requires some attention, as does scheduling the warning hearings, but they have managed these issues satisfactorily.
  • Probation staff reported that they are able to handle the PACE caseload. If more than 70 probationers enter the program, additional resources will be needed for drug testing. Acouple of probationers have challenged their positive drug tests; no information wasavailable on the outcomes of the retesting.
  • Law enforcement reported that they have had no problem serving the warrants, and did not anticipate any problem with handling more PACE participants.
  • Mr. Campion (DA’s office) and Mr. Cashion (PD’s office) said that they appreciated the program, and that they could handle more participants.
  • Judge Morse said that his schedule was flexible enough to allow time for more PACE hearings.
  • The Judicial Council provided funding to ISER for interns to enter the data for the first 29probationers, including their history of probation revocations in the past year. The interns will enter data about new participants, and about a randomly selected control group. The Council will fund ISER’s analysis of data about all of the participants, with a report scheduled for May.


HOPE for the Criminal Justice System by Judge Steven Alm

HOPE for the Criminal Justice System

From August 2010 issue of The Champion magazine.

“The United States needs to fix its broken probation and parole systems and by doing so, help to reduce its prison population. The reduced victimization will be a win for society, and the reduced prison time will be a win for the offenders and their families. Avoiding expensive incarceration costs will be a win for taxpayers. By trying something new, we can reduce recidivism (revocations of probation and arrests for new crimes) by more than 50 percent across the country. Is there any good reason not to try?