Why Do Criminals Move to Alaska? An In-Depth Analysis

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The unique landscape of Alaska, known for its remote wilderness and rugged beauty, has also become a notable destination for individuals with criminal pasts seeking a fresh start. This article explores the various reasons driving this trend, shedding light on Alaska’s distinct legal and social environment.

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Escape from the Past

For individuals with a criminal history, moving to Alaska often represents an opportunity to escape a burdensome past. In some states, like Kansas, stringent requirements such as public registries for drug offenders make it challenging to live without constant reminders of one’s criminal history. These registries can impact employment, education, and personal relationships, leading individuals to seek a new life in Alaska, where such requirements are notably absent or less strict​​.

Alaska’s legal system presents a different scenario compared to many other states. The state has shown a tendency toward leniency in certain cases, with prosecutors and judges occasionally agreeing to plea deals and “no jail” sentences, even for serious crimes. This approach, combined with the high crime rate in the state, may contribute to Alaska being seen as a more forgiving environment for those with a criminal background.

Alaska's Legal Landscape

In some small communities in Alaska, there’s a notable demand for workers, including for positions like city police officers, that do not strictly bar individuals with criminal records. This presents an opportunity for felons, even those with serious convictions, to find employment and reintegrate into society​​.

Challenges of Travel and Resettlement

However, moving to Alaska is not without its challenges, especially for those with a criminal record. Travel restrictions can apply, particularly when crossing international borders or attempting to enter other states. For example, individuals with a DUI may face issues when trying to enter Alaska, as criminal inadmissibility can be a barrier​​.


Alaska’s unique social and legal environment, coupled with its physical remoteness, offers a different kind of opportunity for individuals seeking to leave their criminal past behind. However, this does not mean that Alaska is a lawless haven; it’s a place with its own set of rules and challenges. The decision to move to Alaska should be considered carefully, taking into account both the opportunities and the potential hurdles.

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