"It is in the best interest of all parties to expand the available prison bed space in the Anchorage area."
- Rep. Meyer
"Relating to support for a federal appropriation for expansion of the Anchorage Jail."
HJR 27 encourages the United States Congress to appropriate $30,000,000 for a 200-bed expansion at the Anchorage Jail to house additional federal prisoners.
The United States Marshals Service contracts with the state to provide 50 federal prisoner beds in Alaska's correctional system - over the past few years, this contract has been met or exceeded at all times. Currently, the department has more than 100 federal prisoners incarcerated in state facilities, the overwhelming majority of whom are held in Anchorage. The US Marshals Service has requested an increase in the contract with the Department of Corrections (DOC) to meet the anticipated increased demand for bed space for federal prisoners; however, the DOC does not have the capacity to meet this increased demand without an expansion at the Anchorage Jail.
Recently, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBP) conducted a study on the feasibility of building a federal prison in Alaska. The study concluded that there were not enough Alaska prisoners within the FBP system to justify a separate federal correctional facility in Alaska. Therefore, the US Marshals Service requested that the DOC work with them to expand the Anchorage Jail to meet the increasing demand for federal prison beds.
The 200-bed expansion at the Anchorage Jail to house federal prisoners should not impact the state budget; all related construction costs and additional operating costs will be paid for with federal receipts.
It is in the best interest of all parties to expand the available prison bed space in the Anchorage area. This expansion will help reduce overcrowding on the current state system and will lower the cost to the federal government for transports between Seattle and Anchorage.