Friday, October 16, 2009

Summer 2009 issue of Alaska Justice Forum

The Summer 2009 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum focuses on patterns of drug use among male arrestees in Anchorage; homelessness in Alaska; and results of a needs survey being used to develop a state victim assistance academy.

The 12-page issue includes the following articles:

"Drug Use Trajectories of Anchorage Male Arrestees: 2000–2003" by Brad A. Myrstol
Using data collected in Anchorage as part of the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program, this article reports the preliminary findings of a developmental study of the connection between the use of illicit drugs and criminal offending. Results show that for each of five illicit drugs (marijuana, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin), there were dramatic increases in (1) arrestees’ drug use levels, and (2) the number of arrestees who intensified their drug use, approximately 90 to 120 days prior to arrest. These findings suggest that analysis of drug use trajectories preceding crime events may be important for furthering our understanding of the drug use-crime connection.
"A Look at Homelessness in Alaska"
Homelessness, and its impact on individuals, families, and society, is an issue of growing concern both nationally and in Alaska. This article provides information on homelessness in Alaska and nationally. On a single night in January 2008, the U.S. homeless population was estimated at 664,000. In 2008, Alaska at 0.24 per cent ranked number 10 among states for estimates of homeless persons as a percent of a state’s total population; a single-night count in January 2009 placed Alaska's homeless count at 4,583.
"Victim Service Training Needs: State Victim Assistance Academy" by André B. Rosay
Victims for Justice, a community-based crime victim service organization located in Anchorage, began in 2008 to develop a plan for a State Victim Assistance Academy for Alaska. As a first step in developing the academy, Victims for Justice in partnership with the UAA Justice Center conducted a needs assessment survey, with results reported in this brief article.