Alaska SB 91: Omnibus Criminal Law & Procedure; Corrections

This law implements a wide range of evidence-based reforms concerning multiple stages of the criminal justice process, from pre-trial practices to reentry programming and more. These reforms include, but are not limited to, increasing the earning credit for community service, reducing sanctions for driving with a suspended license, implementing a “grace period” for failure to appear in court, and requiring reentry planning for people who are exiting incarceration.

You can read the full text of the legislation here.

Key Provisions
  • When community service is assigned in lieu of paying a fine in full or partially, the hourly value for the work is increased from $3 per hour to the state’s minimum wage ($9.75 when the bill was approved).
  • The bill eliminated a mandatory $500 fine for the Class A misdemeanor offense of driving with a suspended license where the cause of suspension is a DUI. For all suspensions that do not result from DUIs, the bill treats the offense of driving on a suspended license as an infraction similar to any other traffic ticket (without jail time).
  • Under previous Alaska law, failure to appear in court would be charged as a crime of equal magnitude (i.e., failing to appear for a Class C felony would lead to a Class C felony failure to appear charge). Now, failure to appear is a violation-level offense punishable by a fine of up to $1000, and there is a 30-day “grace period” following a person’s failure to appear in court where they can contact the court and avoid committing a failure to appear violation.
John Coghill, Johnny Ellis, Lesil McGuire, Mia Costello, Click Bishop, Peter Micciche, Dennis Egan