Alaska Offender Profile 2009

Alaska Offender Profile 2009

"Alaska Offender Profile 2009" by Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage. Alaska Justice Forum 26(4): 2-3 (Winter 2010). At the end of 2009, a total of 5,285 institutionalized offenders under the supervision of the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC), a 5 percent increase in incacerated offenders from 2008, according to the DOC's 2009 offender profile. About 26 of the offender population was Alaska Natives and just over 10 percent was Black - disproportionate to their percentages in the general population (16% and 4%, respectively). The web version of this article includes an additional table which could not be included in the print edition for reasons of space.

At year-end 2009, there were a total of 5,285 offenders under the supervision of the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC). DOC recently released the "2009 Offender Profile" which shows 4,490 institutionalized offenders: 3,643 in Alaska facilities and 847 in out-of-state facilities. There are an additional 795 offenders in community residential centers (CRCs), treatment centers or offsite monitoring programs. The 2009 total represents a 5 percent increase in incarcerated offenders from 2008 (see Table 1 and Table 3). The state population as whole increased by about 2 percent during this same period.

Table 1. Prisoners under the Jurisdiction of the Alaska Department of Corrections, 1998-2009
Table 3. Prisoners under the Jurisdiction of the Alaska Department of Corrections, 2009: By Institution

Of the 4,490 offenders in correctional institutions, 90 percent were male, and felony offenders accounted for 86 percent of the population. Forty-seven percent of this offender population was Caucasian; Alaska Natives accounted for close to 36 percent, Blacks comprised over 10 percent, Hispanics about 3 percent, and Asian/Pacific Islanders just over 3 percent. The average offender age was 37 years (see Table 2), and the average time of incarceration was just over two years.

Table 4. Probationers/Parolees Under Supervision of the Alaska Department of Corrections, 2009

Alaska Natives and Blacks, are incarcerated at levels disproportionate to their percentages in the general population. Although Alaska Natives comprise about 16 percent and Blacks close to 4 percent of the state's population (based on 2008 population data from the Alaska Department of Labor), about 36 percent of the offender population in 2009 was Alaska Native, and just over 10 percent was Black.

The 795 offenders in community residential centers (CRCs), treatment centers, and offsite monitoring programs were 85 percent male, and the average age was just over 35 years. The average length of time in a CRC was 8 months. Alaska Natives made up 33 percent of this population and Blacks 7 percent; Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Island offenders each made up 2 percent.

Offender Groups

Juveniles (defined by DOC as offenders less than 20 years old) totaled 117 persons. All but one of these offenders were housed in Alaska. Alaska Natives accounted for 39 percent of this population, Blacks 20 percent, and Asian/Pacific Islanders 6 percent.

DOC had 601 sex offenders under its supervision at the end of 2009. Nearly all the offenders (99%) were male, and the average age was about 40 years. Of this population, 38 percent was Caucasian, 53 percent Alaska Native, 4 percent Black, and Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islanders each made up about 2 percent.

There were also 5,848 probationers and parolees under DOC's supervising authority. Eighty percent of this population was male. Twenty-six percent of probationers and parolees were Alaska Native, about 9 percent were Black, about 3 percent Hispanic, and 4 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander. The average age was about 37 years old. DOC reports that close to 100 percent of probationers and parolees are felony offenders.

According to the DOC Division of Probation & Parole, among the probationers/parolees population there are about 900 additional offenders called "absconders" who do not appear in the official statistics. These are individuals on probation or parole who have fled the state or are unable to be located by law enforcement. However, these offenders are still in the system database.

The 2009 report also provides additional data on offender groups of particular interest including Alaska Natives, juveniles, seniors, sex offenders, substance abuse offenders, and long-term offenders. The full report is available at http://www.correct.state.ak.us/ corrections/admin/docs/profile2009final.pdf.