Justice Projects in Review

This October, the Justice Committee continues efforts to advocate for BIPOC community involvement in APD bodycam policy implementation, state legislation and a lawsuit against incarceration costs.

APD Bodycam Policy

The Justice Committee has been working with the ACLU of Alaska and other partners on reviewing and analyzing draft APD policy regarding implementation of body cameras. The group has drafted a letter to APD Chief of Police McCoy requesting:

  1. Community education on body cams through public learning sessions and town halls;
  2. Establishment of a timeline for drafting body cam policy with specific steps;
  3. Feedback on public comments and input;
  4. Increased effort to solicit feedback and input from impacted communities.

Alaska Minority Impact Statement

ABC met with Wayne Ford and his team from the Wayne Ford Equity Impact Institute regarding possible legislation in Alaska requiring minority impact statements. 

A Minority Impact Statement bill requires impact statements attached to legislation affecting minorities whenever a law “creates a public offense, significantly changes an existing public offense or the penalty for an existing offense, or changes existing sentencing, parole, or probation procedures.”

Mr. Ford is a former Iowa State Representative who was the author of legislation requiring minority impact statements in Iowa. Alaska is one of 21 states that have not proposed minority/racial impact statements.

ABC is planning to meet with the staff of Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson on introducing this type of legislation in Alaska.

Lawsuit Challenging the High Cost of Phone Calls at Alaska Jails

The Northern Justice Project has filed a lawsuit challenging the expensive costs of jail calls from those incarcerated to family members as a violation of the Alaska Constitution. ABC would like to consult with and assist NJP in this litigation. Some Alaska Black Caucus members and their families may be impacted by the excessive costs of telephone communication with incarcerated family members.

If you would like to provide information and input on this issue you should notify the ABC Justice Committee by emailing thealaskablackcaucus@gmail.com.