House passes bill giving felons greater access to computers in prison

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House Bill 118 passed the House on Friday. The bill would remove the restriction on prisoners that keeps them from having computers in their cells, and it expands access to the internet for the purpose of rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

The bill, sponsored by Sitka’s Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, is intended to give prisoners an avenue to rehabilitate and prepare themselves to reenter society. According to Kreiss-Tomkins, recidivism is strongly linked to the inability to get a job after being released, which is why 68 percent of prisoners are re-arrested within three years, and 83 percent within nine years of being released. Without access to computers, those in prison will become unemployable.

Read more about HB 118 at this link.

An amendment by Rep. George Rauscher put sideboards on how much internet access prisoners would have. That amendment was rejected by the liberal majority of Matt Claman, Harriet Drummond, Bryce Edgmon, Zack Fields, Sarah Hannan, Grice Hopkins, Andy Josephson, Kreiss-Tomkins, Kelly Merrick, Daniel Ortiz, Calvin Schrage, Liz Snyder, Ivy Spohnholz, Andi Story, Louise Stutes, Geran Tarr, Chris Tuck, Adam Wool, and Tiffany Zulkosky.

The bill passed 31-1, with six absent. Rep. DeLena Johnson was the lone “no” vote. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

30 COMMENTS

  1. The legislator voted 31-1 to pass legislation that vetoed amendments by the liberal majority? Does that mean Alaska has 31 liberals in the House?

    • No difference, both sides lie, cheat and steal taxpayer/public funds. Just look at their recent “self authorized” pay rase, what was the vote count on that again?

  2. HAHA. That’s great. I’m sure prisoners’ will be using the internet to find jobs. That must be the reason they get rearrested, inability to send out resumes while incarcerated. I can see it now…. “The purpose of this resume is to get a job as soon as I get released in 3 years for attempted murder.” That should really sure up the job market for them. Could you please hold the job till I get out on parole? More likely they will be using it for nefarious reasons such as contacting for drugs to be sent in, stealing identity’s and CC numbers, harassment of victims or setting up payback, and of course good old porn.

    I’m really glad the legislature is putting its time into such pressing needs. No sense working on the budget or PFD issues. Lets pass the inmate porn bill. Day 119 of the session they will be screaming they don’t have enough time to vote on the budget so they will need a special session or 3 to get to the real issues. What a bunch of clowns….

    • Agree! IF reintegration into society, to the extent these individuals need jobs after incarceration, is the goal THEN Alaska should fund job placement services for them immediately upon their release. I have worked with this population and can predict accurately the number of those who would show up for this assistance. The number is low.

      However, to give inmates internet access and computers during incarceration and for their use unsupervised in their cells is, in my professional opinion, NUTS!

  3. A common trait among banana republic dictators is their use of multiple names… seemingly equal in number to the medals worn upon their jackets. The obvious reason for this nonsense is to feed their ridiculous overgrown egos. Similar narcissism is on display in our culture with hyphenated names. People like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Hillary Rodham-Clinton, Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, etc should get over themselves and give us a break with their ego-tripping multiple name syndrome. Its quite annoying.

    • I have noticed that same trend and fully agree with you, Wayne.
      .
      I categorically refuse to acknowledge, or use, pretentious hyphenated names. Such as that of our former and illegally-acting lesbian mayor.

    • I thought it multiple names was all about good white virtue signals?
      I know better than you!
      I am smarter than you!
      You are a deplorable!
      Everything I believe in has been tried human history and failed!

    • Wayne Douglas Coogan, supposing for a moment that your remarks about the use of hyphenated names is true, might it not also be true that some sectors of our populace also suffer from a collective sense of low self esteem? Much is made over the stigma of former ancestral slavery, could this same stigma and resulting hypersensitivity also be evident amongst those desendant ” shanty ass Irishmen”.
      Could your aversion to hyphenated names actually be something deeply embedded within your Celtic DNA?
      I note that many of the English nobility had silly hyphenated names.
      Your thoughts Sir.

  4. Prisoners have a right to nothing. They forfeit that the second they are locked up! Computers in their rooms are you serious?? Another idiot passing laws that will, in the end only harm the public that is paying for all this! Sexual criminals having access, thieves, makes zero sense to me. This is the leftists at work. Right is wrong and wrong is right… Disgusting!

  5. If they really give a damn about inmates and recidivism, get them off drugs and give them training in skills Alaska actually needs.
    We are hurting for skilled trades professionals statewide.
    Those skills are learned in a classroom and a practical lab. Not on a laptop in a cell.

    • Molly, this same Legislator from Sitka during the Opiod crisis had another dumb idea. His plan was to tax the pills at a rate of a buck fifty each to pay for rehabilitation of junkies. Meaning that Grandma who had a painful terminal affliction and used these pills for relief would get taxed to provide services for junkies.

  6. These Leftists bear no common sense at all. Feed porn to the prisoners on free computers. But restrict the PFD money to the law abiding general public and restrict their ability to buy their own computers. It’s a backwards society when Democrats take control.

  7. People who work in Corrections have consistently told me that recidivism is entirely correlated with age, and not much else. That is, prisoners who get out while still young enough to again participate in crime will do so. I am told that if a male has been convicted and jailed twice then there is about a 100 percent chance he will be a re-offender if let out again before he becomes either disabled or a senior citizen. Very often the crimes escalate in violence. Rehabilitation is almost a myth despite what Public Broadcasting and Democrats want you to believe. I cannot see how computer access cannot but help these people become better able to commit crimes. No Commissioner of Corrections will tell you this but the people actually interacting with prisoners every day will often speak the truth. And yes, it’s cheaper to have them age out of crime and go on welfare than it is to keep them in prison.

  8. Inmates have access to computers. The computers are not in their cells for obvious reasons. All the resources are provided if an inmate wants to improve one’s self. GEDs, AAs, anger and substance abuse management. They have to ask for it and want it.

  9. Seems reasonable…
    .
    Next best thing to conjugal visits, no?
    .
    Record of the inmate’s contacts might be helpful for parole hearings or sting operations.
    .
    So, why not?

  10. I think Wayne has something there, as I have often had similar thoughts regarding hyphenated names; Look at me…I’m special!! As for the bill…”Stupid is as stupid does.”

  11. They already have access if they ask. Our state legislators need to stop wasting time and money on garbage feel good bills that are meaningless and do not result in a benefit for anyone. I can’t find any evidence of a correlation between additional computer access and a decrease in recidivism so why would even waste time on this bill.

  12. Do our elected officials not have more pressing needs for The State of Alaska to focus on. I can already see the extra special sessions coming. It’s very sad to watch this group work. Someone needs to be a adult , oh never mind.

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