On Saturday, Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed into law Senate Bill 119, State Identification Card for Prisoners, which unanimously passed the Alaska Legislature in the final days of the 2023 regular session.
SB 119 provides easier access to identification cards for reentrants upon release, granting them an important tool for re-entry.
SB 119 grants the Department of Corrections statutory authority to issue state IDs to anyone leaving their custody who does not have an ID in their possession.
The bill received support from the Department of Corrections under the leadership of Commissioner Jen Winkelman and was carried by a bipartisan team from both chambers.
“In order to find housing, in order to find work, in order to open a bank account, a photo ID is required,” said Rep. Andrew Gray (D-Anchorage) who sponsored the House version of the bill. “I hope this legislation enables folks re-entering society to accomplish these basic tasks and avoid homelessness and recidivism.”
Sen. Robert Myers (R-North Pole), who sponsored Senate Bill 119 said, “Reentry is an essential part of public safety. Ensuring reentrants are supported during their transitional period helps improve community well-being and public safety. By providing reentrants with a valid form of identification upon their release we also provide the individual with an essential tool for basic life.”