SB 119: State Identification After Incarceration Passes, Signed by the Governor

This bill, introduced by Senator Robert Myers and Representative Andrew Gray (companion bill HB 53), requires the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC) to work with the Alaska Department of Administration Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to provide state ID cards for all eligible individuals leaving incarceration.

Proof of identity is critical for successful community reentry after incarceration. A returning citizen must show government-issued identification when accessing essential resources, such as employment, housing, addiction treatment, transportation, banking, and entry into public buildings for social security cards.

Without an ID, individuals can wait weeks or months while appropriate documentation, such as a birth certificate, arrives from another jurisdiction. These delays and subsequent inactivity are known to increase the likelihood of recidivism (return to criminal behavior.)

SB 119 amends Alaska’s state statutes to ensure that eligible individuals released from an Alaska prison, halfway house, or juvenile justice facility have the appropriate documentation needed to obtain a valid state ID upon release.

By addressing the ID issue, individuals leaving incarceration are more likely to be successful in their communities with stable housing, employment, and treatment, and less likely to return to criminal activities.

SB 119 was signed into law by Governor Dunleavy on August 7, 2023, in Fairbanks.

Other 2023 legislative advocacy successes are found in the AK Advocates Legislative Report.