Safe Communities

POLICY STATEMENT

Numerous commissioned reports, public hearings, and news coverage tell the story of the broken public safety system in Alaska. We are failing. Our women, children, Elders, and all are hurting as a result of this. The lack of effective law enforcement and accessible judicial services in remote Alaska villages contributes significantly to increased crime, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, domestic violence, rates of suicide, poor educational achievement, and lack of economic development. The lack of rural justice systems, substance abuse epidemic, and lack of behavioral health services has increased crime in urban centers. This is not equitable nor acceptable and should be dealt with holistically, and immediately.

Local, state and federal governments fail to properly address this issue while our Native women and children suffer.

  • We demand proper public safety for rural Alaska through 1) the passage of legislation confirming the governmental authority of Alaska Native tribes over all persons within their communities without regard to land ownership; 2) enhanced access to funds to support the operation of tribal governments, tribal courts and tribal law enforcement personnel; 3) maximum cooperation and collaboration between Alaskan Tribes, the State of Alaska and the Federal Government in the administration of justice in Alaska Native villages.
  • We ask for adequate law enforcement officers in the villages and urban centers. The state and the federal government must work together to increase officer presence. Native officers should be recruited throughout Alaskan communities.
  • Be insist that tribal, city and borough elected leaders create high standards of public safety for all Alaskan communities. We seek to end the unspoken acceptance of sexual violence and sexual predators, and the substance abuse that follows.
  • We support Criminal Justice reform by keeping low-level criminal defendants out of jail and referring them to treatment centers.
  • We ask for culturally appropriate re-entry services be developed and implemented to address recidivism rates for all convicted criminals, including felons.