At the outset of their deliberative process, the Commission established organizational protocols that reflect the following core principles, which informed its work:
- All persons have a right to life, liberty and are entitled to equal rights, opportunities and protection under the law. There is a public interest in keeping our children, families and communities safe. The safety and security of citizens in their communities is a fundamental responsibility of government.
- In general, local issues are best addressed at the local level. Rural law enforcement and justice systems need to be developed and implemented with meaningful involvement by rural residents.
- Federal, state and tribal laws and constitutions need to be interpreted to allow for responsive, effective justice and law enforcement systems in rural Alaska.
- The Commission will consider all practical alternatives when making recommendations, keeping in mind what is possible, and will not be limited by current legal frameworks.
Rules of Conduct
The Commission met regularly, maintained meeting minutes, strove for consensus in its decision-making, and required an affirmative vote of at least 6 members for each decision. Commissioners agreed to act in good faith to reach consensus in all aspects of the Commission's work in order to encourage the free and open exchange of ideas, views and information.
As a result of funding constraints, the Commission increasingly relied upon telephonic participation for those members who live outside of Anchorage. The Commission did not receive compensation for their time spent on behalf of the Commission.