- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - After dozens of hours of testimony and debate, lawmakers in the state House voted overwhelming in favor of a massive overhaul of the criminal justice system.

Sponsor North Pole Sen. John Coghill seeks to re-orient the state’s criminal justice system away from costly jail terms and into community-based treatment programs. It passed 28-11 on Thursday.

The bill was based on reforms suggested by a state criminal justice commission. It recommended reduced sentences and a presumption of citation instead of an arrest for misdemeanors. It is expected to save the state millions by reducing its prison population. It also funds treatment programs with a portion of the state’s marijuana tax revenue.

Opponents say they do not want to close the state’s $4 billion budget gap by emptying prisons.

The bill next heads back to the Senate for a concurring vote.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide