I'm a survivor of rape. I deserve accountability, but perpetuating harm doesn't help me.
Alaska's criminal legal system is holistically failing. I've arrived at this unfortunate conclusion after spending nearly 15 years healing from sexual violence, and the past decade observing the system in action through my work. Racism, the binary concept of good and bad, poor policy, and the idea that we will achieve different results by trying the same tired tactics have kept Alaskans from living in safer communities for too long.
It's time to make different choices.
Governor Mike Dunleavy's State of the State address in January relied on the same tough-on-crime rhetoric that politicians before him have embraced to solicit votes. He boasted that Alaskans are safer because he helped dismantle smart justice policies.
We've heard this narrative before from him. Three years ago, he declared "war on criminals" as if we live in Gotham City. But Dunleavy's approach to double down will fail too, because more crimes on state books, longer sentences, and greater reliance on prosecutors, police, and prisons, have never made us safer.
These ideas do not reduce or prevent crime – they displace and multiply it.
Read more about Alaska's failing criminal legal system. <[link removed]>
Communications Director, ACLU of Alaska