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State Profile

Alaska (AK) has a population of 710,2311 and covers an area of approximately 664,988 square miles.2 Main industries within the state are oil and gas, fisheries and tourism3 and in 2010 the estimated per capita real GDP was $63,090.4

In Alaska 88.6% of the population access the Internet overall and 78.7% of Alaskans access the Internet from home. Among the households with Internet access, 5.3% use a broadband connection.5

Currently, the youth population (children under the age of eighteen) stands at 187,378 and represents 26.4% of the population.6

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Alaska could do far more to educate its residents about Internet safety issues but the topic appears not to be a priority for state government. The state’s official website, and that of the Attorney General, Daniel S. Sullivan, both contain basic Internet safety pages but these are little more than a repository for external links, as opposed to any state-specific data or advice. This situation appears to be replicated across Alaska. Where advice is given online it is often outdated, riddled with broken links or is simply as list of links to external sources rather than advice which has been tailored to the needs of the Alaskan citizens. A notable exception to this is the Alaska Internet Circle of Safety which provides some useful information online and, in addition, supplies DVDs which can be borrowed from public libraries by parents. Further information can be found in the Organizations section below.

Children accessing the Internet through Alaskan public schools and libraries are protected by federal laws but it is hard to find evidence of much more in the way of progress. Internet safety is due to be addressed under Health and Wellness programs run by the Department of Education but results and evidence are yet to be publicized.

In terms of regulation, again Alaska could do much better. Whilst sentences are about average for crimes committed against children when compared to the other states, some sections such as that on bullying require updating to include the use of the Internet. One positive exception is that the state recognizes the online enticement of a minor by an adult to engage in illegal sexual activity.

Overall, Alaska’s lawmakers and policymakers could look to the example set by some other states, such as Virginia or Wisconsin for good examples of how to bring Internet safety issues into the spotlight to ensure that its residents are receiving the education and support they need to stay safe online.

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Information currently unavailable. If you have content which you feel should be added to this section, please click the e-mail icon at the top of the page to notify our Editorial Team.

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The Alaska Education Plan of March 2009 includes Internet safety in a list of issues that require implementation through health and wellness programs but the need to instruct children on the issue is only listed as a goal, no mention is made of how it will be achieved. The entire document can be viewed here: http://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/schoolhealth/pdf/EDPlan_SchoolHealthSafety.pdf The Department of Education’s website also hosts a document which gives details of the progress achieved to date. In terms of Internet safety this progress comprised professional development sessions for staff working in schools which were scheduled to be held from October 2009.7 No further details are given.

The state complies with federal stipulations that mandate all districts to have an Internet safety policy and filtering software installed where computers access the Internet.

Overall, information on integrating Internet safety into the curriculum, or even advice for parents, is woefully lacking in the state, particularly on the Department of Education’s website which would be a first port of call for many concerned adults.

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This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

In Alaska, unless otherwise specified, the punishments for felony crimes is as follows:

  • Class A felony: maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, suggested sentence is five to eight years for a first offense.
  • Class B felony: maximum term of imprisonment of ten years, suggested sentence is one to three years for a first offense.
  • Class C felony: maximum term of imprisonment of five years, suggested sentence is zero to two years for a first offense.

A defendant convicted of sexual assault in the first degree or sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to a maximum of 99 years. Where the victim was less than thirteen years of age when the crime was committed, the sentencing range is between 25 and 35 years. Where the victim was over the age of thirteen the sentencing range is between 20 to 30 years.

A defendant convicted of attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit sexual assault in the first degree or sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree faces a maximum of 99 years’ imprisonment. Sentences range from 20 to 30 years when the victim is under the age of thirteen and fifteen to 30 years where the victim is over the age of thirteen.

Convictions for sexual assault in the second degree, sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, unlawful exploitation of a minor, or distribution of child pornography may be punished by a term of imprisonment of up to 99 years, but for a first offense they range from five to fifteen years.

Sexual assault in the third degree, incest, indecent exposure in the first degree, possession of child pornography, or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit sexual assault in the second degree, sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, unlawful exploitation of a minor, or distribution of child pornography carry sentences of up to 99 years’ imprisonment. The sentencing range for a first offense is between two and twelve years.

  • Alaska Statute 11.41.260 defines stalking in the first degree (among other criteria) as when the victim is under sixteen years of age. Stalking in the first degree is a class C felony, carrying with it a prison term of up to five years.
  • Alaska Statute 11.41.270 defines stalking in the second degree as if the person knowingly engages in a course of conduct that recklessly places another person in fear of death or physical injury, or in fear of the death or physical injury of a family member. Stalking in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.
  • Alaska Statute 11.41.434 defines sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree. It includes a defendant of sixteen years of age having sexual intercourse with a minor aged under thirteen years of age and someone of eighteen years of age or older having intercourse with a minor under sixteen years of age. This offense is defined as an unclassified felony: the most serious classification and carrying with it the longest prison sentences of up to 99 years' imprisonment.
  • Alaska Statute 11.41.435 defines sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree. It takes into account sexual activity between persons aged sixteen and minors more than three years younger than the defendant. This is classed as a class B felony. Class B felonies carry with them a prison term of up to ten years.
  • Alaska Statute 11.41.436 defines sexual abuse of a minor in the third degree and covers sexual conduct between a person aged seventeen years of age or older, engaging in sexual activity with a minor aged from thirteen to fifteen years of age and more than four years younger than the offender. This offense is considered to be a class C felony.
  • Alaska Statute 11.41.452 defines the online enticement of a minor (under sixteen years of age) to engage in (defined) conduct, using a computer, by someone of eighteen years of age or older. The offense is defined as a class C felony, unless the offender was required to register as a sex offender or child kidnapper in which case it is a class B felony.
  • Alaska Statute 11.41.455 provides a definition of unlawful exploitation of a minor and includes inducing or hiring a minor of under eighteen years of age to engage in conduct (defined) which is filmed, broadcast or recorded. This is classed as a class B felony or, if the defendant has previously been convicted of distribution of child pornography or a similar offense, a class A felony. Class B felonies carry with them a prison term of up to ten years and class A felonies carry prison terms of up to twenty years as a first offense.
  • Alaska Statute 11.61.120 defines harassment in the second degree and includes using “electronic communication”. Harassment in the second degree is a class B misdemeanor.
  • Alaska Statute 11.61.125 defines the offense of distributing (or intent to distribute) child pornography and states that it is considered to be a class B felony or, if the defendant has previously been convicted of distribution of child pornography or a similar offense, a class A felony. Sexting may lead to a conviction under this statute, although minors would not be required to register as sex offenders.
  • Alaska Statute 11.61.127 defines the offense of possession of child pornography and states that each individual item found is classed as a separate violation. The possession of child pornography is classed as a class C felony under Alaskan law, carrying with it a prison sentence of up to five years for a first offense.
  • Alaska Statute 12.63.010 requires a convicted sex offender or child kidnapper to register when physically present in the state. Registrations must be updated annually.
  • Alaska Statute 14.33.200 requires each school district to produce a policy document which prohibits the bullying, intimidation and harassment of any student. Bullying, intimidation and harassment is defined as an intentional written, oral, or physical act. No specific mention of the Internet or electronic means is made as yet.
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Government

Information currently unavailable. If you have content which you feel should be added to this section, please click the e-mail icon at the top of the page to notify our Editorial Team.

Non-Government

Alaska Internet Circle of Safety
The Alaska State Library and the Alaska Library Association have created the website as part of a program to educate parents on Internet safety. Resources include DVDs which can be borrowed from the libraries, as well as information which can be downloaded. To find out more go to http://www.akla.org/safety/librarians/index.html


Sources

Page last reviewed November 4, 2011

1 http://www.census.gov/popfinder/ (last accessed November 4, 2011)
2 http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0358.pdf (last accessed November 4, 2011)
3 http://www.enchantedlearning.com/usa/states/ (last accessed November 4, 2011)
4 http://www.bea.gov/regional/gsp/ (last accessed November 4, 2011)
5 http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1157.pdf (last accessed November 4, 2011)
6 http://www.census.gov/popfinder/ (last accessed November 4, 2011)
7 http://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/schoolhealth/pdf/Actionsteps.pdf (last accessed January 18, 2010)

 

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