Thursday, June 20, 2013
AK Top Judge: Justice Needs To Be "Cost-Effective"
AK needs programs to reduce recidivism, treat alcohol, drugs, mental illness in inmates
In Juneau Wednesday morning, “cost-effective justice” was the topic of this year’s State of the Judiciary address.
Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter Carpeneti said all three branches of government—executive, legislative and judicial—need to work together as a “three-legged stool” to make the delivery of justice effective and affordable.
Carpeneti said Alaska needs to emulate the example of Texas, where he says one lawmaker spearheaded a successful movement to reduce recidivism and drive down the cost of incarceration.
“When officials in Texas analyzed the factors driving their growing prison population they discovered some of the same patterns we're discovering here: a shortage of prison treatment programs, a high number of alcohol and drug addicts and people with mental health diagnoses in prison, poor service delivery systems for prevention and re-entry and a lack of programs designed to change prisoners' cognitive thinking,” Carpeneti said. “Now, I know as Alaskans we like to brag that we can cut our state in two and Texas would be the third largest state, but I do think we have something to learn from Representative Madden and his colleagues down south. Their approach to the problem was bipartisan, interbranch, research-based and data-driven and is producing exciting results.”