Jerry Active's mother Mary Sergie says her son's battles with alcohol landed him in a detention center in Bethel before the age of 18. He was also sent to a boy’s facility for using gas as an inhalant.
Sergie says her son told her that he thought he would be released from the Anchorage Jail last weekend directly into a half-way house.
But 12 hours after his release, authorities rearrested active for a double murder. They say he killed 73-year-old Touch Chea and his wife 71-year-old Sorn Sreap in their Mountainview home, and sexually assaulted the couple's two-year-old great granddaughter.
"I don't believe he would do that in his sober right mind,” said Sergie. “He would never, ever hurt anyone like that if he was sober."
His mother tells Channel 2 the 24-year-old has struggled with alcoholism for most of his life.
Department of Corrections Deputy Commissioner Ron Taylor says he can't confirm if Jerry Active had made it through an assessment program for sex offender treatment.
A Corrections Department spokeswoman confirmed Thursday that substance abuse and sexual-offender treatment were both conditions for his parole. Active was given the option to complete those programs while he was incarcerated or after he was released.
"The engagement of treatment is a voluntary process,” said Taylor. “We can't actually force a person to do treatment, whether they're in custody or out of custody."
According to Taylor, the DOC creates case management plans for the offender to help him transition into society upon release, but the requirements for each individual are unique.
"For probation, the court is given or assigning those persons to us to supervise that case for them,” adds Taylor. “For parole, then it's the Parole Board that has the jurisdiction so that we're doing the supervision for the parole board.”
Active’s mother says the system is tough for Alaska Natives who are often unable to return to their villages due to the nature of their crimes, and, as a result, they live on unfamiliar streets with little support.
"Whatever he pleads we stand by him and I pray that it turns out that wherever he is he can get help."
While the family still supports active, many in the community remain outraged that a criminal justice system allowed for his release and a lack of rehabilitation treatment.
Channel 2 reached out to the Department of Law for comment on this case, but Spokesman Clint Campion says they will not be releasing any statements nor will the department be doing any interviews on the matter until next week. Several state lawmakers have asked for an investigation into the release of Jerry Active.
Contact Adam Pinsker