Walker presents plan to address increased crime in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says he will tackle the state’s rise in crime by addressing recidivism rates, improving the efficiency of state agencies and expanding mental health treatment opportunities.

Walker and state commissioners spoke Monday in Juneau.

Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth says a rise in the use of opioid drugs, cuts to public safety resources and an economic downturn contributed to the crime increase. She says the solution must also be multi-faceted.

Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan says the state spends $2 million transporting prisoners to courthouses, so installing more telecommunications resources could save money and free up officers.

Department of Corrections Commissioner Dean Williams says the department will continue a new effort to expand job opportunities for Alaskans leaving prison, such as placing them in needed fish-processing jobs.

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