Alaska

NOTE TO USER:

While every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy, local practices and procedures may vary.  We encourage every user to consult with an experienced juvenile justice practitioner in the jurisdiction to determine how best to proceed in any particular situation. 

 

 

Collateral Consequences in the State of Alaska

            Alaska’s juvenile justice system is focused on restorative justice.[1]  The state attempts to balance the need to hold juveniles accountable for their actions, while also promoting the safety and restoration of victims and communities.[2]   However, over time, Alaska has become more liberal and now grants access to juvenile records to more parties – including insurance companies of victims and prospective employers.[3]

 

Understanding the Justice System

            Alaska’s statewide juvenile system defines a minor as an individual under the age of eighteen.[4]  Minors are generally adjudicated by the juvenile justice system, with some exceptions.[5]  In some instances the court may retain jurisdiction past a minor’s eighteenth birthday for the purpose of supervising the minor’s rehabilitation or continuing supervision.[6]

            The Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is responsible for providing “services to juveniles who commit a delinquent offense.”[7]  The DJJ is divided and offers probation services as well as juvenile detention and treatment facilities.[8]

            Furthermore, the juvenile justice system provides several options to handle juvenile offenses in accordance with the restorative justice approach that the state has adopted.  The options include dismissals,[9] adjustment with no referral,[10] adjustment with a referral,[11] informal probation,[12] and formal adjudication.[13]

            Juveniles sixteen years of age and older may be transferred to adult court when they have committed certain enumerated crimes.[14]  In general, juveniles will automatically be transferred if the juvenile commits serious offenses against persons, including murder and felonies involving a deadly weapon.[15]  However, the court may choose to waive jurisdiction and not charge the juvenile as an adult.  The court will base its decision upon certain factors such as whether the minor is amenable to treatment, the seriousness of the alleged offense, the minor's history of delinquency, the probable cause of the minor's delinquent behavior, and the facilities available to the department for treatment of the minor.[16]  The court also has discretion to transfer a juvenile to adult court for less serious offenses that are not felonies, such as traffic violations, possession of tobacco, possession alcohol, or curfew violations.[17]

            If the court determines there is probable cause that a minor is a delinquent and not amenable to treatment, that minor will be charged as an adult.[18]  If this occurs, the burden of proof rests upon the state, and the state must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the minor is not amenable to treatment under the juvenile justice system.[19]  However, if the alleged offense is a serious felony against a person, the minor is presumed not amenable to treatment, regardless of age, and the juvenile has the burden of proof and must show that he or she is amenable to treatment under the juvenile system.[20]

 

Notification of Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Arrest & Court Records

            The State of Alaska has no statute mandating the notification of the collateral consequences of a juvenile’s arrest and court records.

 

Treatment of Juvenile Arrest Records

            In Alaska, “the arrest of a minor other than for a traffic offense is not considered an arrest for any purpose except for the purpose of the disposition of the proceeding arising out of that arrest.”[21]  However, as “part of the disposition of the proceeding,” such information may be disclosed as part of the court record if the presumed confidentiality of the records is overruled by other countervailing interests, as discussed below.[22]

Are photographs and fingerprints routinely collected?

            Alaska permits fingerprinting of a juvenile in all situations where it is permissible to fingerprint an adult.[23]  Fingerprints of a juvenile are not privileged and a state or municipal agency may disclose information regarding a case to a federal, state, or municipal law enforcement agency for a specific investigation being conducted by that agency.[24]  The juvenile fingerprint records are held in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System maintained by the Department of Public Safety, in which adult offenders’ fingerprint records are also kept.[25]

            Officers may also take a photograph of the juvenile for investigative and identification purposes.[26]

Is DNA routinely collected?

            Similar to fingerprints, The Department of Public Safety shall gather and hold a blood sample, oral sample, or both as DNA in the state’s identification registration system.[27]  The state is required to collect these samples from any minor sixteen years of age or older who is adjudicated as a delinquent in the state for an act that would be a crime against a person or a felony including, but not limited to, homicide, sexual offenses, assaults, robbery, larceny, kidnapping, blackmail, libel and slander or a violations of driving a vehicle without owner's consent.[28]

            A juvenile may request that the Department of Public Safety destroy the DNA sample if the adjudication was reversed and the juvenile was not adjudicated delinquent for a later offense that also required a DNA sample.[29]

           

Treatment of Juvenile Court Records

What information does a juvenile court record contain?

            Juvenile information at minimum includes the name and address of the juvenile, as well as “information contained in applications, reports of investigations, evaluations, medical examinations, correspondence and court reports, and other information concerning the condition or circumstances of any person about whom information is obtained, regardless of whether this information is recorded.”[30]

Who can access juvenile court records?

            Court records of juvenile delinquency proceedings are confidential, and only immediately available to persons with a legitimate interest in them – including the juvenile, the juvenile’s parents or guardians via a written request, guardian ad litem or court custody investigator, or a person or agency providing consultation to the juvenile upon written authorization from the juvenile or the juvenile’s parents/guardians.[31]  However, there are many exceptions, including where records are released by court order or statute.[32]  Included in these exceptions are a variety of government agencies,[33] the victim of an offense,[34] the victim’s insurance company;[35] and school officials.[36]  The court may also permit similar information to be disclosed if an adjudicated minor has knowingly failed to comply with all the terms and conditions required by the court.[37]  Additionally, if the agency dismisses a matter that has previously been disclosed, a juvenile may request that the department disclose information about the dismissal to the public.[38]

            Furthermore, the release of information for minors who, at the time of the commission of the offense, were at least thirteen years of age may also be released due to post-adjudication behavior.[39]  In this limited circumstance, the records are made public if the minor has previously been or is in the process of being adjudicated for certain offenses, including felonies against a person, crimes involving deadly weapons, arson, burglary, distribution of child pornography, promotion of prostitution, or conduct involving a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.[40]  The court may also direct an agency to disclose the names of the minor, the guardians, and the action required by the agency if the minor has knowingly failed to comply with the terms and conditions required by the agency to adjust the juvenile delinquency matter.[41]

What juvenile data may be distributed?

            If the juvenile offense is one described above requiring disclosure of information to the public, the following information is disclosed: (1) the full name of the offender, including nick names and street or gang names; (2) names of the offender’s parents; (3) information related to the offense, including the date, time, and facts constituting the offense; (4) conditions required of the juvenile, including probation, restitution, and community service; and (5) outcome of court proceedings.[42]

Where and how are juvenile records stored?

            The Juvenile Offender Management Information System (JOMIS) was created in 2002 and combines juvenile probation and facility records into an accessible statewide computer information system that is maintained by the Division of Juvenile Justice.[43]

Do law enforcement agencies have the authority to distribute juvenile arrest data to employers?

            In Alaska, prospective employers are eligible to receive juvenile adjudication information.[44]  Additionally, certain occupations can request national criminal background checks on potential employees.[45]  For instance, licenses for employment in the Department of Health and Social Services require a background check, and certain juvenile adjudications may bar entry into professions that include home caretakers, registered nurses, and child care providers.[46]

 

Sealing and Expunging Delinquency Arrest and Court Records

            In Alaska, all juvenile proceedings are automatically sealed within thirty days of a minor’s eighteenth birthday.[47]  An exception exists when a juvenile is tried as an adult or the criminal record has been made public due to dual sentencing.[48]  In this case, someone on the juvenile’s behalf may request that the record be sealed five years after the completion of the sentence.[49]

Who can access sealed records?

            Only those granted access by the court for “good cause” are eligible to access sealed juvenile records.[50]

 

Challenging Court Record and Arrest Record Accuracy

Can corrections be made to juvenile court and arrest records?

            If the juvenile has information that is maintained by Alaska’s central repository, the individual can submit a request challenging the incorrect information.[51] This will occur if a juvenile is charged as an adult for certain crimes, or convicted of certain traffic offenses.[52]  However, juvenile criminal history is generally not maintained within the Alaska central repository of criminal justice information.[53]

 

Employment Opportunities

            Alaska law distinguishes a juvenile adjudication from a criminal charge or conviction.[54]  Thus, an adjudication is not considered a criminal conviction.[55]  As a general rule, an adjudicated minor can respond “NO” when asked whether the juvenile has ever been convicted of a crime.[56]  Furthermore, juvenile court records and proceedings are not admissible as evidence against the minor in a subsequent case or proceeding in another court, and do not disqualify a minor in a future civil service examination or appointment in the state.[57]

            However, in the state of Alaska, prospective employers are eligible to receive juvenile adjudication information.[58]  Additionally, licenses for employment in the Department of Health and Social Services require a background check, and certain juvenile adjudications may bar entry into professions including home caretakers, registered nurses, and child care providers.[59]

 

Collateral Consequences Affecting Elementary & Secondary Education Students

            If necessary, elementary and high school officials may be notified if necessary to protect the safety of the minor and the safety of the school, or to better enable the school to provide appropriate services for the minor.[60]  Additionally, schools are able to able to suspend or expel a student if the school determines that the juvenile has demonstrated behavior that “is inimicable to the welfare, society, or morals of other pupils or person employed or volunteering at the school”.[61]  This determination may be the result of an behavior from an adjudication.  In addition, suspension or denial of admission is also warranted if the juvenile is convicted of a felony that will jeopardize the attendance, welfare or education of other students.[62]

 

Collateral Consequences to Receipt of Public Benefits & Privileges       

Can an arrest or adjudication of a juvenile affect a family’s eligibility for public benefits?

            If an individual was convicted as an adult for selling food stamps, fraud or a drug offense after 1996, the conviction will hinder the juvenile’s access to public benefits and privileges, as the public benefit forms do request information regarding those prior criminal proceedings.[63]  However, a juvenile adjudication is not considered a conviction in Alaska; therefore, a juvenile and their family will not be affected in this situation.[64]

Can a juvenile record affect a driver’s license or permit?

            If an adjudication involves controlled substances or firearms, a juvenile’s adjudication record may affect the minor’s ability to obtain or maintain a driver’s license.[65]  In such a situation, the court may revoke the license for ninety days for the first offense, and a maximum of one year for a second or subsequent offense.[66]  The minor may, however, petition to reverse the revocation.[67]  The court may restore the license after half of the revocation period has expired, and the person has successfully completed a rehabilitation program.[68]

Can an arrest or adjudication affect eligibility for public housing?

            Under federal guidelines, households that include a juvenile who has a lifetime sex offender registration requirement will be permanently banned from public housing.[69]  Households which include a member who has been convicted, as an adult or juvenile, of manufacturing or otherwise producing methamphetamine on the premises of a federally assisted housing program will also be permanently banned from admission.[70]

            In addition, a household may be banned from public housing if a housing provider determines that a member iscurrently engaged in the illegal use of a controlled substance or if the housing provider has a reasonable belief that a household member’spattern of illegal drug use may threaten the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premise by other residents.[71]  When considering whether to admit a household that was formerly rejected due to a member’s illegal drug usage, the housing provider may consider a member’s rehabilitation as evidenced by completing or participating in treatment.[72]

            A housing provider may exclude any household which includes a member currently engaging in, or has engaged in during a reasonable time before the admissions decision, any drug-related or violent criminal activity or other criminal activity which would adversely affect the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents, the owner, or public housing agency employees.[73]  Although the housing authority does not have explicit access to juvenile records, knowledge of a case or criminal activity is all that may be necessary to form the required reasonable belief for eviction.   

Can an arrest or an adjudication of a juvenile household member result in a family being evicted from public housing?         

            If a child engages in criminal activity on the premises of public housing, an eviction may result and prevent any further public housing services from being provided.[74]  Criminal activities that may result in eviction include: drug-related offenses;[75] behavior that threatens the health, safety, or right to a peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents;[76] abuse or a pattern of abuse of alcohol that threatens the health, safety, or right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises by other residents.[77]

 

Collateral Consequences for National Service through National Guard/Reserve

            The National Guard is interested in any incidents with law enforcement officers, including juvenile adjudications.[78]  The National Guard/Reserve states that applicants are eligible for enlistment if “they have no record of arrest, adjudication, conviction, probation, community or public service in lieu of conviction, (includes deferred sentence), pending charge, parole, or suspended sentence.”[79]  Even those adjudications that have been expunged are required to be disclosed by an applicant.[80]

Special Offender Registries

When would a juvenile have to register as a sex offender?

            In Alaska, only those juveniles convicted as adults in criminal court are required to register as a sex offender.[81]  However, based on Alaska’s dual sentencing provisions, any juvenile sex offender over the age of sixteen may be required to register if the prosecuting department or entity chooses to refer the offender to dual sentencing.[82]  

 




[2] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.010  (2011); see also State of Alaska, Health & Social Services,, Juvenile Justice, available at http://www.hss.state.ak.us/djj/ (last visited April 28, 2011).

[3] See, University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Justice Forum , Juvenile Records in Alaska 14(4):7, Winter 1998, available at http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/forum/14/4winter1998/144wintr.pdflast visited May 1, 2011).

[4] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.022 (2011);Alaska Stat. § 47.12.020 (2011).

[5] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.020 (2011).

[6]Alaska Stat. §§ 47.12.120 (b)(1)-(3) (2011).

[7] State of Alaska, Health & Social Services, Fiscal Year 2010 Report at 191, available at http://hss.state.ak.us/publications/budgetoverview.pdf (last visited May 1, 2011)(“The division responds to the needs of juvenile offenders in a manner that supports community safety, prevents repeated criminal behavior, restores the community and victims, and helps youth develop into productive citizens.  Services are provided in the least restrictive setting that will both ensure community protection and promote the highest likelihood of success for the juvenile offender.”).

[8] Id.

[9] André B. Rosay and Thomas S. Begich ,Juvenile Probation Officer Workload and Caseload Study, Alaska Justice Forum 26(4): 6–9 (Winter 2010), available athttp://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/forum/26/4winter2010/e_jpo.html#sidebar1 (last visited May 1, 2011)(“A case is dismissed when probable cause does not exist to believe that a crime has been committed or that the juvenile committed the offense. In addition, a case is dismissed if there is not sufficient admissible evidence to support a formal adjudication of delinquency. Finally, a case is dismissed (without prejudice) if the juvenile or parent cannot be interviewed and the offense is of a minor nature.”).

[10] Id.  “Cases are adjusted without a referral or follow-up when neither formal court action nor non-judicial supervision is necessary to achieve the goals and purposes of Alaska’s restorative juvenile justice system—to hold juveniles accountable for their behaviors, to promote the safety and restoration of victims and communities, and to assist offenders and their families in developing skills to prevent crime.”  Id; see also Alaska Stat. § 47.12.010 (2011).

[11] Id.  “Cases are adjusted with a referral or follow-up when neither formal court action nor non-judicial supervision is necessary to achieve the goals and purposes of Alaska’s restorative juvenile justice system, but participation in a diversion program (e.g., counseling) is determined to be essential. In these cases, juvenile probation officers may refer the youth and/or family to specific diversion programs, may maintain a level of diversion supervision while the juvenile completes the diversion requirements, and may adjust the matter when the goals and purposes of Alaska’s restorative juvenile justice system have been met.”  Id.

[12] Id.  “Informal probation is a voluntary contract with the juvenile and parents/guardians. Informal probation may include, for example, referrals to other agencies for services, restitution and/or community work service requirements, and voluntary use of urinalysis testing. In addition to providing low levels of supervision, juvenile probation officers are required to document the informal supervision plan, including justifications for informal intervention.”  Id.

[13] André B. Rosay and Thomas S. Begich ,Juvenile Probation Officer Workload and Caseload Study, Alaska Justice Forum 26(4): 6–9 (Winter 2010), available athttp://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/forum/26/4winter2010/e_jpo.html#sidebar1 (last visited May 1, 2011)(“In some cases, if it appears that the juvenile would be amenable to a period of court-imposed participation in a diversion program (and the juvenile meets specific diversion criteria), the juvenile probation officer may recommend formal diversion. Formal diversion agreements must be voluntary and may include restitution, juvenile court, victim-offender dialogue, community work service, short-term counseling, and other programs. Juvenile probation officers are responsible for providing direct supervision, while monitoring compliance with diversion requirements. Alternatively, the juvenile probation officer may petition for formal adjudication. A petition for formal adjudication may be filed with the court if the probation officer determines that there is probable cause to support an adjudication of delinquency (i.e., a finding of guilt) and that the matter requires formal court intervention in order to assure an adequate plan of supervision.”). 

[14] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.030 (2011).

[15]Alaska Stat. § 47.12.030 (2011).

[16] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.030(a) (2011); Alaska Stat.§ 47.12.100(b) (2011); see also Patrick Griffin, Patricia Torbet & Linda Szymanski, Trying Juveniles as Adults in Criminal Court: An Analysis of State Transfer Provisions Report, December 1998, available at http://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/tryingjuvasadult/toc.html (last visited April 29, 2011).

[17] Alaska Stat.§ 47.12.030 (b)(1) (2011).

[18] Alaska Stat.§ 47.12.100 (a) (2011).

[19]Alaska Stat.§ 47.12.100 (c) (2011).

[20] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.100 (c)(2) (2011).

[21] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.200 (2011).

[22] See Alaska Stat.§ 47.12.310(b)(F) (2011).

[23] Alaska Stat.§ 47.12.210(a) (2011).

[24] Alaska Stat.§ 47.12.210(b) (2011); Alaska Stat. § 47.12.310 (b) (2011).

[25] University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Justice Forum, Juvenile Records in Alaska, Winter 1998, Vol. 14, No. 4, available at http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/forum/14/4winter1998/c_records.html (last visited April 29, 2011).

[26] Alaska Admin. Code tit. 7, § 52.030 (2011).

[27] Alaska Stat. § 44.41.035(b)(2) (2011).

[28] Alaska Stat. § 44.41.035(b)(2) (2011); see Alaska Stat. §§ 11.41.100 to .530 (2011)(crimes against persons).

[29] Alaska Stat. § 44.41.035(i) (2011).

[30] Alaska Admin. Code tit. 7, § 54.310 (2011).

[31]Alaska Stat. § 47.12.300(e) (2011); Alaska Admin. Codetit. 7, §54.340 (2011).

[32]Alaska Stat. § 47.12.310(a) (2011).

[33] Alaska Stat. §§ 47.12.310(b)(2)(D)-(E) (2011).

[34]Alaska Stat. § 47.12.300(e)(2011).

[35] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.310(2)(F) (2011).

[36] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.310(2)(C) (2011).

[37] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.315(a)(2) (2011).

[38] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.315(c) (2011).

[39] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.315(a)(1) (2011).

[40] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.315(a)(1) (2011).

[41] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.315(a)(2) (2011).

[42] Alaska Admin. Code tit. 7, § 54.390(a)(1) (2011).

[43] State of Alaska, Health and Social Services, Juvenile Offender Management Information System, available at http://www.hss.state.ak.us/djj/jomis/ (last visited April 29, 2011).

[44]Alaska Stat. § 47.12.310(e) (2011).

[45]Alaska Stat. § 12.62.400 (2011).  Occupations include mortgage lender, nurses, teachers, security guards, and those taking the Alaska State Bar exam.  Id.

[46] Alaska Stat. § 47.05.310 (2011)(“If an individual has been charged with, convicted of, found not guilty by reason of insanity for, or adjudicated as a delinquent for, a crime that is inconsistent with the standards for licensure or certification establish by the department by regulation…” the individual may not work in a position that focuses on children or vulnerable individuals (i.e. sick or elderly).”).

[47] Alaska Stat. § 47.10.090(c) (2011).  If the court retains jurisdiction of the minor past his eighteenth birthday, the records are sealed within thirty days after the court releases jurisdiction over the minor. Id.

[48] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.300(f) (2011).

[49] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.300(f) (2011).

[50] Alaska Stat. § 47.10.090(c) (2011).

[51] State of Alaska, Department of Public Safety, Request to Correct Criminal Justice Information in the Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN), available at http://www.dps.state.ak.us/statewide/background/docs/Record_Correction_Form.pdf (last visited May 1, 2011).

[52] Id.

[53] State of Alaska, Public Safety, Background Checks Requests, Frequently Asked Questions, available at http://www.dps.state.ak.us/statewide/background/faq.aspx(last visited May 1, 2011).

[54] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.180 (2011).

[55] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.180(a)(1) (2011).

[56] See id.

[57] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.180(b) (2011).

[58]Alaska Stat. § 47.12.310(e) (2011).

[59] Alaska Stat. § 47.05.310 (2011)(“If an individual has been charged with, convicted of, found not guilty by reason of insanity for, or adjudicated as a delinquent for, a crime that is inconsistent with the standards for licensure or certification establish by the department by regulation…” the individual may not work in a position that focuses on children or vulnerable individuals (i.e. sick or elderly).”).

[60] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.310(b)(2)(C) (2011).

[61] Alaska Stat. § 14.30.045(2) (2011). 

[62] Alaska Stat. § 14.30.045(5) (2011); Alaska Admin. Code tit. 7, § 54.350(b) (2011).

[63] State of Alaska, Dep’t of Health & Social Services, Division of Public Assistance, Application for Services, available at http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dpa/forms/gen50b-packet.pdf (last visited April 29, 2011).

[64] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.180 (2011).

[65] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.120(k) (2011); Alaska Stat. § 28.15.185(a) (2011).

[66] Alaska Stat. § 28.15.185(b)(1) (2011).

[67] Alaska Stat. § 28.15.185(c) (2011).

[68] Alaska Stat. § 28.15.185(c)(1) (2011).

[69] 42 U.S.C. § 13663(a) (2010).

[70] 42 U.S.C. § 1437n(f)(1) (2010); 24 C.F.R. § 966.4(l)(5)(i)(A) (2010).

[71] 24 C.F.R. § 966.4(l)(2)(iii) (2010); 24 C.F.R. § 966.4(l)(5)(i)(B) (2010) (“In addition, the lease must provide that a PHA may evict a family when the PHA determines that a household member is illegally using a drug”).

[72] 42 U.S.C. § 13661(b)(2) (2010); 24 C.F.R. § 982.553(a)(1)(i)(A) (2010) (The household may be readmitted if “the evicted household member who engaged in drug-related criminal activity has successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program approved by the PHA”).

[73] Id.

[74] 24 C.F.R. 5.858.

[75] 24 C.F.R. 5.858.

[76] 24 C.F.R. 5.859.

[77] 24 C.F.R. 5.860.

[78] Army National Guard Enlistment Program at 29, available at http://tubberville.com/FY07ECM.pdf (last visited April 17, 2011).

[79] Id.

[80] Id. at 30 (“The process of removing the “initial conviction” or “other adverse disposition” so that under state law the applicant has no record of conviction or adverse adjudication [and] despite the legal effect of this action, it does not change the fact that the applicant committed the offense or criminal act.  Applicants must reveal the underlying facts of the conviction and may ultimately require an enlistment waiver depending on the level of the offense.”).

[81] Alaska Stat. § 12.63.100(3) (2011); see also Szymanski, L., Megan’s Law: Juvenile Sex Offender Registrations (2009 Update), NCJJ Snapshot, 14(7),, available at http://www.njjn.org/media/resources/public/resource_1360.pdf (last visited April 29, 2011).

[82] Alaska Stat. § 47.12.065(a) (2011).

Resources/Links

Division of Juvenile Justice
http://www.hss.state.ak.us/DJJ/
University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center
http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/directory/j/juvenile_justice.html
Public Defender Agency
http://doa.alaska.gov/pda/
Regional District Attorney's Office
http://www.law.state.ak.us/department/criminal/doa.html
Department of Law, Criminal Division
http://www.law.state.ak.us/department/criminal/criminal_div.html