Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Rural justice course investigates rural crime and criminal justice

What is justice for rural communities? Explore this question (and more) by registering for: Rural Justice (JUST A355), Fall 2018,  Tuesdays and Thursdays  1 to 2:15 PM. Prerequisites: JUST 110 and Junior or Senior standing (Exceptions made upon instructor approval). CRN: 77495. Fulfills Alaska Native-Themed GER. Contact Ingrid Johnson at idjohnson@alaska.edu or 907 786 1126 with questions.
Learn about geographic, social and cultural characteristics of Alaska's rural communities and how these factors can influence the prevalence and nature of crime and criminal justice in the fall 2018 course, Rural Justice (JUST A355). Students will have an opportunity to review competing theories of justice, as well as do a comparative analysis of rural crime and criminal justice in other countries, with emphasis given to other circumpolar nations. Registration restrictions apply. Contact Ingrid Johnson, idjohnson@alaska.edu, 786-1126, with questions.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

AJiC Fact Sheet presents data on drug-related cases filed in Alaska courts, FY 2008–2017

Drug Cases Filed across the Alaska Court System, FY 2008–2017
The 18-03 issue (August 2018) of the AJiC Fact Sheet, "Drug Cases Filed across the Alaska Court System, FY 2008–2017," presents data on drug-related court filings throughout the state of Alaska for fiscal years (FY) 2008 through 2017 and the 10-year trend of misdemeanor and felony drug case filings for Alaska and for the Anchorage, Palmer, Kenai and Fairbanks courts over the same period.

Overall, felony drug case filing rates remained stable or increased in all locations until FY15 or FY16, before decreasing dramatically from FY16 to FY17. The exception is the Fairbanks court, which maintained an overall decrease in felony drug case filing rates over the 10-year period. Misdemeanor drug case filing rates, regardless of whether they increased or decreased between FY 2008–2014, decreased in all locations from FY 2014–2016 before increasing from FY 2016–2017. The year with the lowest felony drug case filing rate, for all locations, was in FY17. The lowest misdemeanor drug case filing rate, for all locations, was in FY16. Data is drawn from annual reports of the Alaska Court System for the FY 2008 through 2017.

The fact sheet is by Daniel Reinhard, Research Professional, Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC). The AJiC Fact Sheet series addresses various crime and criminal justice topics.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Expanded Brownfields Program supports redevelopment in Alaska

Keku Cannery, Kake
Keku Cannery, Kake. Photo from Alaska
Department of Environmental Conservation.
This year, Congress expanded eligibility requirements and grant limits under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields Program. An article in the Summer 2018 Alaska Justice Forum looks at this EPA program that supports redevelopment of property which may have contaminants from prior use. Anchorage, Mat-Su Borough, and Kodiak Island Borough are current recipients of Brownfield funds.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Mat-Su leadership respond to Justice Center workload-based report showing need for more Troopers, ask voters to weigh in

Alaska State Troopers B Detachment Patrol Staffing Study and Description of Dispatched Police Incidents
Mat-Su Borough Assembly approved putting language on the October 2 ballot to let voters weigh in on whether they want additional law enforcement in Mat-Su. The ballot measure, proposed by Assembly member Jim Sykes, is in response to a Justice Center report showing the need for increased Trooper staffing. The workload-based staffing model for Alaska State Troopers B Detachment, developed in a report authored by Troy Payne, associate director of the Alaska Justice Information Center and Justice faculty, is featured in the April 2018 Alaska Justice Forum. Responses to the study have been the subject of  recent KTVA news and other media reports:

Fortson & Payne article shows importance of legal representation for both parents in custody proceedings


Dr. Ryan Fortson and Dr. Troy C. Payne's article, "Lawyering Up: The Effects of Legal Counsel on Outcomes of Custody Determinations," published in the Winter 2018 edition of the UC Davis Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy, is currently available through Westlaw or Lexis at 22 U.C. Davis J. Juv. L. & Pol'y 1.

Prof. Ryan Fortson
Prof. Troy C. Payne
Fortson and Payne, Justice Center faculty, provide an empirical approach for determining whether being represented by an attorney increases the likelihood of success in obtaining one’s desired outcome as expressed in the parent's initial custody request. Many existing studies look at final outcomes in relation to the legal representation status of an individual parent, ignoring the issue of whether the parent achieved his or her initial custody request, as well as the effect of the representation status of the other parent. After controlling for initial custody request and the legal representation status of both parents, Fortson and Payne find that having an attorney can increase the chances of a parent achieving his or her desired custody outcome, but only if that parent is represented and the other parent is not represented. These results can have a substantial impact on those advocating for the increased availability of free or low-cost legal services in child custody proceedings.

A link to the Winter 2018 edition of the UC Davis Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy will be posted when available.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

We're back at our Consortium Library location!

Moving boxes
After a summer spent in offices located off-campus to allow for renovation at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, Justice Center faculty and staff have returned to their offices in the Consortium Library, Suite 213. The Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) will also be moving back to the Consortium Library from its temporary summer home, but not until later in the fall. If you have any questions, please call 786-1810.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Environmental contaminants are ‘generational game changer’

Annie Alowa at a contaminated site on St. Lawrence Island. Alowa led the effort to get the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clean up Northeast Cape. She died from liver cancer in 1999.  In 2016 she was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy Alaska Community Action on Toxics.
Annie Alowa at a contaminated site on St. Lawrence Island.
Photo courtesy Alaska Community Action on Toxics.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent $125 million to clean up contaminants left behind when the U.S. Air Force base at Northeast Cape on St. Lawrence Island closed in 1972. An article in the Summer 2018 Alaska Justice Forum discusses studies following the cleanup. While state and federal health studies recommend continued reliance upon traditional foods, St. Lawrence Island community members are conducting their own studies. They fear contaminants in traditional foods may be contributing to elevated levels of PCBs in their blood, higher cancer rates, and reproductive system challenges.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Challenges of contaminated site cleanup in rural Alaska

Contaminated sites in Alaska, FY 2017. This map marks the locations of contaminated sites throughout Alaska that have been identified by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conversation.  Source: Contaminated Sites Database, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
Contaminated sites in Alaska, FY 2017.
Source: Contaminated Sites Database,
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
Alaska is ranked third in the U.S. for Formerly Used Defense Sites properties, most of which are in remote locations. Many of the sites were contaminated during World War II, or during the Cold War, when the long-term effects of chemicals were not understood. An article in the Summer 2018 Alaska Justice Forum looks at long term efforts to clean up these, and other contaminated sites in the state, and the disproportionate impact on rural Alaska Native communities.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Alumni spotlight: Daniel Reinhard, Justice B.A. 2015, Criminology M.A. 2017, working with AJiC this summer

Daniel Reinhard, Justice B.A. 2015, Criminology M.A. 2017, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C., is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. This summer, Reinhard is working as a research professional in the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) with Associate AJiC Director and Justice faculty Dr. Troy Payne.

Reinhard's work for AJiC includes compiling Alaska criminal justice data for AJiC Fact Sheets, a series of publications that address crime and criminal justice topics. Reinhard is also assisting with the Law Enforcement and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey in Alaska, and the LEMAS Tribal Community Public Safety Supplement survey. Both are related to better understanding law enforcement staffing and resource needs throughout the state.

As an undergraduate, Reinhard worked on a case study of Town Square Park in downtown Anchorage. He co-authored an article with Dr. Payne,  "The Complexity of Problem-Solving in Urban Parks: A Case Study,"  published in the journal, International Criminal Justice Review, in 2016.

Dr.  Sharon Chamard, Justice faculty, calls Reinhard one of her "best crime prevention students." Last summer, she traveled to Vancouver, B.C.  to be an outside reader and external examiner for Reinhard's master's thesis defense.

Reinhard's area of interest is environmental criminology and international crime prevention. In the fall, he is taking Ph.D. courses at Texas State related to crime mapping, behavioral sciences, and sex offenders, as well as teaching an undergraduate class on crime theory and victimization. When  not taking courses and teaching, Reinhard is working on panhandling and homeless research in Austin, Texas.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Environmental justice in Summer 2018 Alaska Justice Forum

The 2018 summer edition of the Alaska Justice Forum looks at environmental and rural justice topics including ongoing challenges of cleaning up contaminated sites in Alaska.

Contaminated sites in Alaska, FY 2017, Contaminated Sites Database, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
Alaska is ranked third in the U.S. for Formerly Used Defense Sites properties.  Most of these properties are in remote locations, placing a disproportionate impact on Alaska Native communities that depend upon environmental resources for their livelihood. This environmental justice issue is explored in terms of the costs of cleanup and long-term impacts upon people and the environment.

This year, Congress expanded eligibility and increased limits on Brownfields Program funds.  The Brownfields Program provides funds for assessment and cleanup of contaminants on property targeted for redevelopment.  Anchorage, Mat-Su and Kodiak are among current recipients of Brownfields grants in Alaska.

The Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) recently released its Fact Sheet, Parole and Probation in Alaska, 2002-2016. The Fact Sheet is included in the Alaska Justice Forum’s online edition.
2018 summer Alaska Justice Forum articles include:
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