SB91 was signed into law in 2016. Now, two years later, we can see its effects everywhere. The Palmer Prison, shown above, was closed in 2016 as a direct consequence of SB91. Crime rates are up, but the number of inmates is down.
This is what happens when politicians subscribe to the notion that “Our Entire Criminal Justice System is Inherently Discriminatory” and racist, and that the only way to make up for this is to release inmates back into the society that did them so much wrong:
Yet despite the utter failure of SB91 to protect Alaskans and their property, the Alaska House of Representatives has done virtually nothing this year to reverse course.
The only bill to pass the House this year that even touches on crime relief was an increase in arrest authority for one specific crime (low level assault) in one specific type of facility (healthcare facilities). And that particular bill had every appearance of being politically motivated by legislators needing to distances themselves from SB91 without actually doing anything meaningful to reverse course on it, or to protect all of the other victims of low level assault brought about by SB91.
As legislators begin to look ahead to elections in August, will they realize that over the course of this entire year they have done nothing to reduce crime? Will the legislature now finally acknowledge that SB91 was a failure, and that we can no longer sit by waiting for it to “work”?
Alaskans are waiting for an answer.