The Criminal Division works to assure safe and healthy communities by prosecuting and convicting criminal offenders throughout Alaska.
John B. Skidmore
Deputy Attorney General
Paul J. Miovas
The division prosecutes violations of state criminal law committed by adults and a large portion of the serious crimes committed by juveniles. Prosecution services protect the public by convicting criminals and placing them under appropriate controls. Without the prosecution services of the Criminal Division, Alaskans would not be able to live in safe and healthy communities. The day-to-day prosecution services are carried out by the regional district attorney's offices.
The division provides assistance to victims and witnesses of crimes, including information about court procedures, domestic violence restraining orders, and violent crimes compensation procedures. Victim and witness services are provided through the district attorney's offices throughout the state.
Office of Criminal Appeals
The Office of Criminal Appeals represents the state in criminal appellate proceedings and state and federal post-conviction and habeas corpus proceedings.
Office of Special Prosecutions
The Office of Special Prosecutions focuses on environmental crime, child support enforcement, welfare fraud, PFD and tax fraud, Medicaid provider fraud, cold case prosecutions, selected fish and game prosecutions, white collar crime and other special prosecutions. It also handles civil litigation challenging statutes related to criminal justice, for instance sex offender registration, or victims' rights.
Environmental Crimes Unit
The Environmental Crimes Unit (ECU) has statewide responsibility and jurisdiction for the investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes. Typical cases involve violations of state laws regulating hazardous waste disposal, oil spills, air and water pollution, mining, forestry and water use, and seafood processing and other health related issues. Convictions for environmental crimes can result in jail sentences and large fines. The ECU, when appropriate, also investigates and prosecutes federal environmental crimes in cooperation with the U.S. Attorney's Office and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Criminal Investigation Division. Significant federal penalties are often available and the EPA can suspend or debar corporations implicated in environmental crimes from further operations that damage the environment.
The ECU is partially funded by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through a reimbursable services agreement. The unit consists of an Assistant Attorney General cross-designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney and DEC investigators commissioned as State peace officers. The unit also receives investigation support from other state, federal and municipal law enforcement agencies.
Environmental crimes prosecution is a specialized field. The applicable laws often rely on complex state, federal and local environmental regulations. In addition, environmental crimes, like white collar crimes, can involve large volumes of business related evidence and computer documents. As such it is necessary and beneficial for the state to devote a specialized prosecutor to this field.
Advice to Public Safety Agencies
The Criminal Division provides basic legal services to the Departments of Corrections and Public Safety. These services include providing verbal and written advice and representing the departments in civil litigation and administrative proceedings directly related to the functions of the departments. The division also assists the departments in drafting legislation, regulations, policies, and procedures. Advice and litigation related to employment, contracts, and torts, however, is handled by the Civil Division of the Department of Law.