"An Act relating to sex offenders and child kidnappers; relating to periodic polygraph examinations for sex offenders released on probation or parole; relating to sexual abuse of a minor; relating to the definitions of 'aggravated sex offense' and 'child kidnapping'; relating to penalties for failure to report child abuse or neglect; relating to sentencing for sex offenders and habitual criminals; and providing for an effective date. "
"Alaska has the highest per capita rate of reported rapes."
- FBI Uniform Crime Report
Senate Bill 218 increases sentencing times for the most egregious Unclassified and Class A sexual felonies to a minimum sentence of 25 years. It also restructures and increases the sentencing for Class B and Class C sexual offences. SB 218 requires periodic polygraph testing for sex offenders on probation and implements needed changes in sex offender registering and reporting. This bill is necessary not only to ensure Alaska is part of the national effort to curb sexual abuse and violence against children, but also to combat our ever-increasing sexual assault rates in this state.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Report (UCR), Alaska has the highest per capita rate of reported rapes ("rapes" in this case refer to child sexual abuse as well as adult assaults). Alaska's per capita rape rate is nearly 71% greater than that of the next highest state.
To date, we have 4300 registered sex offenders in our Alaskan communities. However, sexual abuse reporting rates are low (16% of victims report the assault, Kilpatrick Rape in America Report, 1992) and arrest rates are also low (27% of reported sex crimes result in an arrest, Snyder, 2000). Thus, the number of sex offenders in Alaska is most likely significantly higher than 4300 individuals.
While there is no record of any sex offender treatment or therapy having significant effects on recidivism rates (SOTEP Report, 1995), there are steps we can take in this state to reduce sexual abuse and assault. Longer sentences work. By ensuring that the most dangerous offenders are kept away from our children, sexual assault numbers will eventually go down. Regular polygraph testing for all sexual offenders has also been proven to have an effect on sexual behavior. Supervision of sex offenders with polygraph tests led to a 69% compliance with probation requirements, while supervision without polygraph tests led to a 26% compliance rate (Abrams and Ogard, 1986). Requiring a probation period as part of a sentence, along with mandating regular polygraph tests will make our State safer.
This legislation is imperative to changing our position as the number one state in the nation for sexual assault and sexual abuse and providing a safer place for our residents. I urge your support.