ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A proposal by the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission could provide juveniles sentenced to lengthy prison sentences an opportunity for parole after serving 15 years.
The commission recommended state lawmakers pass a “second look” law that would allow juvenile cases to be reexamined by a parole board or judge, the Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday.
The Alaska Criminal Justice Commission was created by the state Legislature in 2014 and makes recommendations to lawmakers to improve the criminal justice system.
“The imposition of lengthy prison terms, including mandatory prison terms of 15 years or more, without a reasonable opportunity for release, violates the human rights of children,” the recommendation said in its 2020 report.
Alaska reported one of the stricter parole systems in the country with 77% of applications for discretionary parole denied in 2020.
Democratic state Sen. Tom Begich is expected to introduce “second look” legislation in Juneau this week, said Angela Hall, an advocate and the founder of Supporting Our Loved Ones Group — a group that advocates for incarcerated residents.
Begich’s office said it does not provide public comments about legislation unless it is formally introduced.