"An Act relating to criminal sentencing; relating to operating or driving a motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft while under the influence; relating to court-ordered treatment programs for certain offenders and offenses; amending Rule 35, Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure; and providing for an effective date. "
"This legislation streamlines and makes more workable provisions for a therapeutic court. HB 441 is vital to creating permanent successful therapeutic courts for the people of Alaska."
- Rep. Rokeberg
The Alaska Legislature has repeatedly stated its belief in the effectiveness of therapeutic courts. Therapeutic courts save money and reduce recidivism by changing the long-term addictive behavior of offenders. The Anchorage Wellness Court tracked graduates of its therapeutic court over a three-year period after graduation. Only 25 percent of the graduates had any repeat crime. This is in stark contrast to the 75 percent of DUI defendants who re-offend after serving their time in jail.
Over the last several years, the legislature has made tremendous efforts to provide these courts with the statutory tools, financial assistance and institutional support to make these courts successful. To further the accomplishments of therapeutic courts, the 22nd Legislature created a pilot DUI program in Anchorage and Bethel. This pilot program is set to expire on June 30th, 2006.
As therapeutic courts are being formed around the state, from Ketchikan to Fairbanks, it is important these courts have uniformity in their operation. HB 441 takes all of the tools created over the last several years and establishes one uniform therapeutic court statutory structure to be applied throughout the state.
This legislation streamlines and makes more workable provisions for a therapeutic court. HB 441 is vital to creating permanent successful therapeutic courts for the people of Alaska.