We provide secure confinement, reformative programs, and a process of supervised community reintegration to enhance the safety of our communities. AS 44.28.020
- Secure Confinement
- Supervised Release
- Reformative Programs
|A: Result - Enhance community safety by providing secure confinement, reformative programming, and successful re-entry of released prisoners.|
|A1: Core Service - Secure Confinement|
|A2: Core Service - Supervised Release|
Target #1: Increase the percent of probationers and parolees who satisfy their court ordered conditions of release.
Percentage of Probationers and Parolees Who Successfully Satisfy Court Ordered Conditions of Release
Analysis of results and challenges: During FY2014, there were 1,575 offenders released from secure confinement and placed under supervised release. Of those offenders under supervision, 1,046 successfully completed their court or parole ordered conditions and were released from supervision. This is a slight increase over FY2013 where 1,658 offenders were released from secure confinement and 1,078 offenders were successfully discharged from supervision.
Probationers and parolees who are unsuccessful in satisfying their court or parole ordered conditions of release are returned to incarceration, increasing the offender population and the cost of incarceration. A successful discharge improves recidivism rates, allowing for increased public safety while decreasing victimization and costs to the state.
Proactively supervising probationers and parolees will enhance their successful re-entry in their community; increasing the number of successful discharges. Proactive supervision targets proven supervision methods that are known to decrease the likelihood of failure in the community or causing future harm through assessing risk to reoffend, employing motivational interviewing techniques and tailoring supervision strategies to address criminogenic needs (i.e., housing, treatment, criminal attitudes, pro-social activities, etc.). However, identifying available or limited community resources for probationers and parolees create significant challenges in areas such as housing, employment, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, etc.
Target #2: Reduce criminal recidivism.
Offenders Returning to Incarceration Within 3 Years of Release
Analysis of results and challenges: The department is experiencing a declining recidivism rate of the offenders released from FY2006 to FY2011. This rate is based on the number of offenders released back into the communities that were convicted of a felony offense and have been re-incarcerated as a result of a new sentence, or had parole or probation revocation within three years.
The Criminal Justice Working Group formed the Alaska Prisoner Re-Entry Task Force to address reintegration of Alaskan offenders back into their communities and to reduce recidivism. The task force formulated a Five Year Strategic Re-Entry Plan approved by the governor in FY2011.
The department is implementing this plan which places a stronger focus on successful prisoner re-entry. This involves providing expanded institutional and community-based services and achieving collaborative efforts between the state and community partners to increase prisoner community support such as programs, housing, jobs, etc., which assists with offender re-integration. This approach is aimed at turning former offenders into productive and law-abiding community members. The strategy is built on documented evidence shown to improve reintegration-related outcomes. Reintegration begins upon admission to prison and continues through incarceration, release, community supervision and ultimately the unsupervised and successful reintegration into the community.
The State of Alaska recognizes that the successful re-entry of prisoners is a critical component of the state’s public protection and corrections mission. Failure results in a costly waste of public resources and diminished public goodwill which often means homelessness, unemployment, returning to or falling into addiction, often a new crime and a new victim, and ultimately re-incarceration. The burden of this failure has a significant impact on the state’s budget, Alaska communities, and those former offenders and their families struggling to succeed in society.
The department will continue its efforts for successful prisoner reentry to reduce criminal recidivism and report new information accordingly.
|A3: Core Service - Reformative Programs|
Target #1: Increase the number of individuals who complete an institutional or community-based substance abuse treatment program.
Number of Offenders Completing an Institutional or Community-Based Substance Abuse Treatment Program
Analysis of results and challenges: Substance abuse screenings were introduced in FY2014. The screenings are used to gather data regarding offender needs and to prioritize those who should receive further services (including assessment and referral). Screenings are completed at each facility that houses a formal substance abuse program or service.
Assessment and referral services provide an informational orientation to offenders for substance abuse treatment options within the Department of Corrections (DOC) institutions and in the community. The assessments provide comprehensive referrals that best meet the offenders substance abuse treatment needs. These services are currently provided at the Anchorage Correctional Complex, MatSu Pretrial Facility, Goose Creek Correctional Center, and the Anchorage Community program.
In addition to the stand-alone assessment and referral services, each individual who enters a substance abuse program receives an assessment as well.
Aftercare services (also known as continuing care) are a vital piece to the continuum of care necessary to reduce recidivism. These services are based on the outpatient treatment criteria and are designed to complement the treatment that the offender has previously received. The length of the program and the program requirements are based upon individual needs but generally are 90 to 120 days. These services, initially provided only in Anchorage and Fairbanks, were expanded to Juneau, Kenai, and Palmer during FY2013.
The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program is based on the residential/intensive inpatient treatment criteria. The services provided use a cognitive behavioral approach. The programs are comprehensive and intensive; they are designed to intervene and treat substance use disorders using a therapeutic community model. Inmates in these programs are expected to participate for a minimum of six months. These programs were provided at the Hiland Mountain and the Goose Creek Correctional Centers during FY2013 and were expanded to Palmer and Spring Creek Correctional Centers during the first quarter in FY2014.
The Life Success Substance Abuse Treatment (LSSAT) programs are based on the intensive outpatient treatment criteria also using a cognitive behavioral approach. The programs are comprehensive and intensive and enrolled inmates are required to participate for a minimum of three months. LSSAT programs are currently provided to offenders who are incarcerated as well as those released into the community. The institutional programs are available at Fairbanks, Goose Creek, Hiland Mountain, Lemon Creek, and Wildwood Correctional Centers. The community programs are available in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kenai, and Palmer.
The Alaska Native-Based Substance Abuse Treatment (ANSAT) programs are based on intensive outpatient treatment criteria using a cognitive behavioral approach from an Alaska Native cultural perspective. The programs require offenders to participate for a minimum of four weeks up to six weeks. The ANSAT programs are institutional-based pilot programs which began providing services during FY2013 and are located in Bethel and Nome.
The DOC has demonstrated an increase in completions in all but one of the categories. The LSSAT category shows a slight reduction but this is a result of a program at the Spring Creek Correctional Center being transitioned into an RSAT. In addition, the screening category was introduced.
A major focus for FY2014 was to reduce the documentation requirement of the contract. This initiative has allowed the DOC to add screening obligations while providing more direct services to those engaged in one of the programs. The DOC expects this trend to continue into the future.
The greatest challenge in FY2014 (as with previous years) has been in recruiting and retaining qualified staff to provide these services.
Target #2: Increase the number of offenders who receive a General Education Development (GED) diploma while incarcerated.
Number of Offenders Who Receive General Education Development While Incarcerated
Analysis of results and challenges: The Department of Corrections (DOC) increased the number of offenders receiving their General Education Development (GED) diploma while incarcerated by 120 from FY2003 to FY2012. However, there has been an expected decrease between FY2012 and FY2014 as a direct result of changes within the GED program in preparation for the federally mandated test, and test administering. The 2002 standards of paper testing were replaced with a new computer testing process that began January, 2014.
With the reduction in paper testing it was expected the agency would see a drop in the number of offenders receiving their GED. The FY2015 expectation is to see a slight decrease from FY2014 since the nationally recognized “core curriculum” standards are enforced. Since January, 2014 DOC has increased the number of contract GED tutors and education coordinator training. Inmates are learning to increase visual awareness skills while adapting to the unfamiliar computer testing process. No inmate has successfully passed a GED Ready pre-test since January, 2014.
Each institution provides offenders with education coordinators and the necessary materials to study for and complete the GED computer testing process. Offenders have the opportunity to obtain a GED diploma, however, in most cases this program is voluntary and/or the time an offender has to serve may be insufficient to complete all four tests impacting the offender participation while incarcerated.
Target #3: Increase the number of sex offender probationers who complete both a sex offender management program and who receive polygraph testing while on probation.
Number of Polygraphed Sex Offender Probationers
Analysis of results and challenges: During FY2014, the use of polygraph examinations was conducted statewide in all Probation/Parole Offices that supervise sex offenders. A total of 454 convicted sex offenders on community supervision participated in a total of 730 polygraph exams.
Of the 454 sex offenders on community supervision who participated in the sex offender management program, two (2) offenders have pending new felony sexual charges still in court. One (1) offender has a pending new misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse of a minor in the Third Degree. Thirteen (13) other offenders were charged or convicted of new misdemeanor offenses with charges ranging from driving offenses, driving under the influence, drug offenses, and domestic violence.
In addition, there were 77 petitions to revoke probation filed against participants in the program involving underlying sexual breach (near minors, viewing pornography, etc.) and general condition violations of probation/parole.
This data indicates the success of this program in assisting probation officers with intervening prior to the commission of new sexual offenses and ensuring public safety.
As it is for many community-based programs and services, Alaska’s geography and identification of qualified providers will continue to be a major challenge in statewide program operations.
Current as of December 3, 2014