U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the one-year anniversary of the January 6th insurrection in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Biden to pardon all federal offenses for simple marijuana possession, review criminalization

BY: , and - October 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday announced executive actions that would pardon thousands of people with prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. Biden then called on governors to follow suit with state offenses for simple marijuana possession, saying that “just as no one should be in a Federal prison solely due to the […]

An image of a barbed wire fence. (Canva image)

As people die in Alaska prisons, reform advocates are calling for independent investigation

BY: - October 6, 2022

Prison reform advocates are calling on Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration to order an independent review of the state Department of Corrections. The department recently reported its 15th in-custody death this year. William Hensley III, 34, died on Sunday at Goose Creek Correctional Center in Wasilla after a month in custody. With this death, Corrections […]

African psychologist hold hands of girl patient, close up. Teenage overcome break up, unrequited love. Abortion decision. Psychological therapy, survive personal crisis, individual counselling concept (Photo by Fizkes/Getty Images)

Increasing sexual assault response resources must be a priority in Alaska

BY: - October 5, 2022

Alaska has the highest rape rate in the entire United States. In 2020, Alaska reported 154.8 rapes per 100,000 inhabitants. The national average was 38.4.  While working as a scribe in the Providence emergency department and as a crisis line responder for Standing Together Against Rape Alaska (STAR), I discovered there are many barriers to […]

President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Janai Nelson (center) speaks to members of the press after the oral arguments of the Merrill v. Milligan case at the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4, 2022, in Washington, D.C. The case is over whether the new congressional map of Alabama violates the Voting Rights Act. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alabama case that could limit Voting Rights Act heard at U.S. Supreme Court

BY: - October 4, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday heard oral arguments in a case that challenges an Alabama redistricting map and could potentially eliminate remaining federal safeguards against racial gerrymandering. Voting rights advocates fear that the high court’s conservative majority will further weaken the Voting Rights Act, with implications for voters in states across the […]

Jan Bronson of Anchorage and Cathy Walling of Fairbanks, representing the Alaska Friends Conference, apologize to Alaska Native communities for the boarding schools it ran in Alaska and the United States. The apology took place at Sayéik Gastineau elementary school, the former site of a Quaker mission school in Juneau, during Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30, 2022. (Photo by Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)

Quakers formally apologize to Alaska Native communities for residential schools

BY: - October 4, 2022

The Alaska Quakers apologized to Alaska Native communities for the boarding schools it ran in Alaska and the United States, which forcibly assimilated and abused Indigenous children, separated them from their families and caused intergenerational trauma. In the 1800s and 1900s, the Quakers ran about 30 boarding schools for Native American and Alaska Native youth […]

Eechdaa Dave Ketah, originally from Ketchikan, is a teacher and artist in Portland, Oregon. He's taking Lingít language classes at the University of Alaska Southeast. “Having the opportunity to learn the language has been so powerful in my journey,” he says. (Photo provided by Eechdaa Dave Ketah)

His grandmother was forbidden to speak Lingít in school. Now, school is helping him reclaim it.

BY: - September 30, 2022

The class assignment was to write a letter to anyone they wanted. In Lingít. Eechdaa Dave Ketah chose his late grandmother, the person who spoke Lingít to him when he was growing up in Ketchikan. “And I was telling her that it’s hard learning the language at this point in my life, and one thing […]

Chairman Richard Durbin, (D-IL), attends a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine Texas's abortion law on Capitol Hill on September 29, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

Federal prisons ‘riddled with mismanagement’ probed by U.S. Senate panel

BY: - September 29, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in a Thursday hearing grilled the top leader of federal prisons on how the agency would address staffing shortages and reports of abuse of incarcerated people.  “The Bureau (of Prisons) has been riddled with mismanagement and, sadly, with scandal,” said the chair of the committee, Illinois […]

Retired Alaska State Trooper Lieutenant Lonny Piscoya, as seen here in Soldotna on Sept. 27, 2022, is Alaska’s new missing and murdered indigenous persons investigator.

Alaska’s first MMIP investigator stayed 5 months; new one is committing to at least 1 year

BY: - September 27, 2022

Retired Alaska State Trooper Lieutenant Lonny Piscoya is Alaska’s new missing and murdered Indigenous persons investigator. He fills the vacancy left by Anne Sears, who went back into retirement in early September after five months on the job. Piscoya, who retired in 2018 after 25 years with the Troopers, is now responsible for leading the […]

This symbol is inside of the Alaska Department of Corrections office on Sept. 7, 2022, in Douglas, Alaska. (Photo by Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)

Two more people die after a short time in Alaska Corrections custody

BY: - September 27, 2022

Two people died this week after a short time in Alaska Department of Corrections custody, bringing the total number of in-custody deaths this year to 14.  Lewey Matoomealook, 37, was pronounced dead on Sept. 25 at Alaska Regional Hospital after 13 days in Corrections custody, becoming the 13th person to die in the state’s prison […]

A bridge, completed in 2020, over the Nenana River connects to the Nenana-Totchaket Road. State officials have said it opens up access to the Nenana-Totchaket Agricultural Project lands as well as opportunities for recreation and subsistence uses. (Photo by John Whipple/Alaska Division of Agriculture)

Nenana-area tribe opposes state’s 20-mile road expansion

BY: - September 26, 2022

Some Nenana-area residents and tribal members say a state road project outside Nenana should be paused after what they describe as a failure by the state to adequately engage the public. The state wants to build 20 miles of new road to open access to agricultural opportunities and improve food security. But tribal members say […]

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, May 2, 2022 at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (James Brooks / Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Rep. Eastman remains on ballot but could be disqualified after election

BY: - September 23, 2022

An Anchorage Superior Court Judge ruled Thursday that Wasilla Republican Rep. David Eastman is likely ineligible for public office but ordered that he remain on the state’s Nov. 8 election ballots, pending the result of a trial in December. Eastman is heavily favored in the general election, but if he wins in November and the […]

Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign, speaks at a briefing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Sept. 22. (Photo by Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

Faith leaders urge minimum wage hike, expanded child tax credit as Congress nears recess

BY: - September 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — Faith leaders pressed Congress to pass voting rights legislation, a $15 minimum wage and a permanent expansion of the child tax credit during a Thursday briefing on Capitol Hill. “Poverty is a policy choice,” Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, said to lawmakers. Barber, who is the pastor of […]