The Alaska Prison Project centers restorative justice, healing, community safety, diversion, and alternatives to incarceration to transform Alaska’s failing criminal legal system. The project is dedicated to ensuring that our state’s jails and prisons comply with U.S. and Alaska Constitutional law, and to ending policies that criminalize poverty, substance misuse, and mental health issues which result in disproportionate rates of incarceration for Black and Brown people.
The Prison Project is built around five values:
Ensure transparency & accountability in our criminal legal system
- Establish an internal affairs unit to investigate conditions of confinement, and serious incidents, such as deaths, overdoses, and excessive use of force
- Create oversight for the Department of Corrections to protect the human and civil rights of incarcerated Alaskans
Honor the constitutional presumption of innocence
- Restore the constitutional rights of Alaskans to speedy trials, to bail, to legal counsel, and to other rights
Guarantee humane conditions of confinement
- Eliminate the use of solitary confinement, for non-punitive purposes.
- Ensure access to critical physical, mental, and behavioral health services to protect life and health while incarcerated
Create meaningful opportunities for release, rehabilitation, and re-integration
- Create a more diverse parole board to enable it to more accurately, and objectively determine a person’s chance of community success post-release
- Pass Second Look legislation to provide opportunities for juveniles sentenced as adults an opportunity for resentencing after serving 15 years of their sentence
Integrate repair, reconciliation, and restoration as cornerstone principles of our criminal legal system.
- Update Prisoner Rights Guide to provide critical legal information to incarcerated Alaskans and their families
- Improve access to civil justice for incarcerated Alaskans and their families
- Support efforts to strengthen tribal courts and restorative justice frameworks
The Alaska Prison Project will build power to achieve this mission and activate these values through centering the experiences of incarcerated people and their loved ones.