criminal justice

Opinion: Can you punish people out of addiction?

People are understandably sick and tired of being victimized by addicts who stop at nothing for their next high. Drug addiction and rampant crime are… Continue reading


In this screenshot taken from a video broadcast by the Alaska Legislature, state lawmakers gather in Anchorage to discuss crime and criminal justice reform on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. (Screenshot)

Lawmakers consider crime in runup to November election

Lawmakers and Alaskans frustrated by rising crime rates gathered in Anchorage Saturday for an extended forum to vent their frustrations with Alaska’s criminal justice system.… Continue reading


City Attorney Amy Mead talks about her career on Thursday, August 16, 2018, as she prepares to start her new job on Monday as a Superior Court Judge. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Mead prepares for jump from attorney to judge

When she was 25, Amy Mead was living in Boston, working at the Hard Rock Café and wondering what to do with the rest of… Continue reading


Report: Wiretaps netted four murder indictments in 2017

Police and prosecutors conducted four wiretaps in Alaska last year, work that resulted in the indictments of multiple people for murder, a new state report… Continue reading

Delayed report reveals three state wiretaps in 2015

The Alaska Department of Law has revealed that police and prosecutors conducted three wiretaps in 2015 as part of a murder investigation in Fairbanks. The… Continue reading

Walker selects Kotzebue man for vacant Alaska House seat

Hours before the deadline set by state law, Gov. Bill Walker selected John Agnaqluk Lincoln for a vacant position in the Alaska House of Representatives.… Continue reading

Quiet wires: Alaska illegally fails to report its wiretaps to public

The Alaska Department of Law is failing to disclose when it taps the phone of an Alaskans, the Empire has learned through a public records… Continue reading

Rural Alaska faces critical shortage of law-enforcement officers

The head of Southeast Alaska’s Village Public Safety Officer program said Thursday that he believes a public safety plan proposed by Gov. Bill Walker is… Continue reading

Goodbye bail: Alaska switches to new system of criminal justice

On a gray day in November, many of Juneau’s top lawyers gathered in a jury room within Dimond Courthouse. The district attorney was there, as… Continue reading

Budget cuts hit prosecutors hard

This is a part of a continuing series examining the effects of budget cuts to state services. To see how state budget cuts are affecting… Continue reading

Senate approves criminal justice reform bill, adjourns special session

Despite warnings from some of the state’s top legal minds, the Alaska Senate on Friday approved a constitutionally problematic criminal justice reform bill, then adjourned… Continue reading

Legal analysis finds big problem with SB 54

After a weeklong whirlwind of amendments, Senate Bill 54 is in the hands of the lawyers — and some of them aren’t happy. A late… Continue reading

House votes to partially roll back Senate Bill 91

The Alaska House of Representatives has voted to roll back the controversial criminal justice measure Senate Bill 91, but lawmakers failed to pass a full… Continue reading

Alaska State Troopers investigate man who threatened lawmakers for ‘coddling the guilty’

House floor debates over Senate Bill 54 enter their fourth day today after a tumultuous weekend that saw the Speaker of the House warn Alaska… Continue reading

Alaska House starts voting on rollback of criminal justice reform

As voting began Saturday morning on floor amendments to Senate Bill 54, members of the Alaska House of Representatives found themselves divided into two camps.… Continue reading

Lawmakers amend SB 54 as measure nears House floor vote

Stealing a new iPhone may land someone in jail for felony theft if a new version of Senate Bill 54 becomes law. In a marathon… Continue reading

Cost of criminal justice rollback is big unknown

As the Alaska House of Representatives advances toward a vote on Senate Bill 54, lawmakers are missing one critical piece of information: the price tag.… Continue reading

Walker asks for balanced budget as tool to fight crime

Gov. Bill Walker called the Alaska Legislature into its fourth special session of the year and put taxes and criminal justice on the agenda. While… Continue reading

House Judiciary Committee calls for tougher jail sentences, but costs will rise

Senate Bill 54 is advancing in the Alaska House of Representatives. Late Thursday night, the House Judiciary Committee moved the bill to the House Finance… Continue reading

From across Alaska, residents try to sway Legislature on SB 54

The calls came from Bethel, Nome and Fairbanks. There were plenty from Anchorage and the Mat-Su, and some from Southeast. On Tuesday night, members of… Continue reading