Starting this week, state courts and court offices throughout Alaska will close at noon every Friday in an effort to cut operating costs.
During the closures staff will take unpaid furloughs, resulting in a 4 percent salary reduction for Alaska Court System employees. The change saves an estimated $2 million annually, according to the court system.
"In order to adapt to the state's current fiscal challenges, the court system has implemented a number of other cost saving measures, including reducing its workforce by 9 percent by not filling positions as they become vacant," the court system said in a release.
The court system says it designed the measures to save money while minimizing the impact on access to justice.
There are plans to keep some designated courts open for certain emergency and time-critical proceedings, like petitions for domestic violence protective orders and involuntary mental health commitments, and hearings regarding guardianship.
The Anchorage Correctional Complex will also hold hearings on Fridays for in-custody arraignments.