The Department of Corrections (DOC) finally released today its administrative review of the State’s correctional facilities. Senator Lesil McGuire, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responded in a news release from her office.
“I find this report very disturbing and in need of immediate action,” McGuire said. “I appreciate that the administration has taken serious measures to investigate what appeared to be very concerning matters involving suicide and potential abusive situations, in some cases leading to death of inmates in custody. We need to hear more from those who work inside the system on how to employ best practices.”
The Senate Judiciary committee will hold hearings during the upcoming legislative session to address the issues identified in the report, and the committee looks forward to partnering with the administration in taking action, McGuire said.
“There is a confluence of increased numbers of inmates, an eroding level of care and structurally ineffective policies,” McGuire said. “The good news is that we’ve unearthed some of the problems. The Senate Judiciary committee will continue to review the ongoing issues and we are grateful for this additional information to help us reform Alaska’s prison system.”
This morning the House Finance committee heard a report by the PEW Charitable Trust that highlighted Alaska’s prison growth over the past 10 years.
“Ninety-five percent of all Alaskan inmates will ultimately be released back into society,” McGuire said. “It is in our state’s interest to give them the best chance of success and to reduce recidivism.”