From ACLU of Alaska <[email protected]>
Subject AK DOC violated rights of incarcerated Alaskans: We're suing
Date February 27, 2023 10:00 PM
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We're fighting to protect the rights of incarcerated people returning home.

Alaska Prison Project.

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Here's what you need to know about the ACLU of Alaska's Prison Project.

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Friend –

The ACLU of Alaska filed suit in state court to protect the civil rights and liberties of incarcerated people returning home and seeking transitional opportunities to reintegrate into the community after serving decades in state prisons.

Here's what happened:

All people, incarcerated or not, have due process and equal protection rights under the Alaska Constitution. However, for Jace Frankson, Sababu Hodari, Jonathan Walker, and Geoffrey Mathis, and others like them, those rights were violated by the Alaska Department of Corrections through its arbitrary and unlawful interpretation of a regulation that determines eligibility for programs that help those approaching release from prison, safely and successfully reintegrate back into the community. Only individuals approaching the end of their sentence can access such critical opportunities.

Our clients' release dates were moved up when they were granted discretionary parole by the state parole board. The newer release date should allow them to participate in transitional programs. But DOC refuses to recognize the release dates set by the Parole Board. That means, without the changes we are seeking, they will never be able to utilize these programs.

"Because of DOC's irrational interpretation of this regulation, our clients cannot access these crucial transitional programs, which would provide them great help adjusting to life outside the confines of prisons and becoming productive members of society," said ACLU of Alaska Legal Director Ruth Botstein. "But what's more troubling is the ways in which this arbitrary interpretation blatantly violates the due process and equal protections rights of Alaskans in state custody. This does not serve our government, which boasts the need for successful reentry, and it does not serve the communities that will help them succeed in our neighborhoods."

Learn more about the lawsuit. <[link removed]>

Megan Edge
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Prison Project Director, ACLU of Alaska

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