"An Act relating to bail and unlawful evasion; and providing for an effective date. "
"Senate Bill 216 will fix the loopholes in our judicial system that make escapes possible."
- Sen. Huggins
Currently, there are loopholes in our judicial system that has unfortunately been taken advantage of by harmful individuals. A prime example of this exploitation occurred on Oct. 13, 2005, when a Mat-Su Valley judge released a man with five felony charges pending against him, including burglary, kidnapping and assault. The accused individual had already been denied affordable bail, had escaped from a temporary release as a minor and was, without a doubt, a flight risk on October 13, 2005. On October 14, 2005, the accused escaped from his mother's custody while attending his father's funeral. When he was captured several weeks later, he was baby-sitting a child while in possession of two stolen handguns. Senate Bill 216 will fix the loopholes in our judicial system that make escapes possible, such as the one described.
Senate Bill 216 amends AS 11.56.340 by classifying an unlawful evasion as a felony. Currently, unlawful evasion is only classified as a misdemeanor.
Senate Bill 216 also amends AS 12.30.010 to disallow temporary and periodic releases. Temporary and periodic releases are neither necessary, nor are they favored in the Correction system. These releases simply provide the means to potentially put our families and neighbors at risk by these individuals who have already been denied affordable bail because of flight risk assessment.
The previously described case is not the only example of an escape from temporary release. In fact, during the same month of October, three other people also escaped while on temporary release. This is a very costly burden for the State of Alaska, but more importantly, it can lead to serious and potentially harmful risks for the residents of Alaska.
This bill will help ensure the safety of our property, our neighbors, and our children.