An Anchorage state representative will be the newest head of a state group which assesses criminal justice across Alaska.

Democratic Rep. Matt Claman will succeed Greg Razo, Alaska Native corporation CIRI’s vice president for government relations, as chair of the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission. The commission, created in 2014 by the state Legislature, has played a key role in seeking ways to reduce Alaska’s prison population as well as weighing the expungement of criminal records if offenders don’t commit new crimes.

In a statement Claman, who joined the 13-person commission as a non-voting member last year, said he will “consider it an honor” to take over the group’s reins.

“We have analyzed the rising costs in our corrections system and made common-sense recommendations to improve criminal justice in Alaska,” Claman said in a statement Monday. “These recommendations will help us make wise use of our public safety resources while reducing crime and recidivism rates. I look forward to continuing the work to improve public safety in Alaska.”

As a practicing attorney, Claman will guide the commission as it makes future recommendations to the state’s governor and lawmakers on criminal-justice matters.

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