Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dr. Myrstol appointed director of Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center

Dr. Brad Mystol, AJ-SAC Director.
Dr. Brad Myrstol was appointed Director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJ-SAC) on September 7, 2012. Dr. Myrstol is an Assistant Professor of Justice, serving as a member of the Justice Center faculty since 2009. Immediately prior to joining the Justice Center, Dr. Myrstol was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas, where he also served as a Research Assistant Professor in the Community and Family Institute. The Alaska Justice and Statistical Analysis Center  was established by Administrative Order of Governor Bill Sheffield in 1986 and has been housed within the Justice Center since that time.

Dr. Myrstol’s current research spans three substantive areas: (1) public perceptions of police, (2) homelessness and criminal justice, and (3) the criminal justice response to violence against women. His research has been published in a number of criminal justice and criminology journals, including Crime & Delinquency, Western Criminology Review, the American Journal of Criminal Justice, the Journal of Drug Issues, and Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management.

His most recent studies include an examination the intersection of place and social capital on depressive symptomology of homeless persons, and a study of Alaska Native perceptions of police in Anchorage. Dr. Myrstol just completed a study of the discriminant validity of marijuana odor detection in police searches, and he currently serves as Co-Investigator of the Alaska Victimization Survey, a statewide data collection effort unique to Alaska that is designed to provide reliable and valid estimates of intimate partner violence and sexual violence that can be used to guide planning and policy development.

From 2002 to 2006 Dr. Myrstol worked as a Research Associate in the Justice Center. During this time, he was the Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director of the Anchorage Community Survey, the Project Safe Neighborhoods Household Survey, and the Police Alcohol-related Services Study; Project Coordinator for the Anchorage Community Indicators Project; Lead Data Analyst for Project Safe Neighborhoods – Alaska; and, Site Coordinator for the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program. In addition to these duties, Dr. Myrstol’s dissertation research examining the impact of citizen alcohol use on police patrol was conducted in Anchorage with the Anchorage Police Department during this period.  Dr. Myrstol holds a doctorate in criminal justice from Indiana University.

Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs)
Since 1972, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and its predecessor agency, the National Criminal Justice Information and Statistics Service, has provided support to state and territorial governments to establish and operate Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) to collect, analyze, and report statistics on crime and justice to federal, state, and local levels of government, and to share state-level information nationally. There are currently SACs in 53 states and territories. The SACs are represented by the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA).

The information produced by SACs and their involvement in criminal justice projects have been, and will continue to be, critical to federal, state, and local criminal justice agencies and community organizations as they develop programs and policies related to crime, illegal drugs, victim services, and the administration of justice.

Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJ-SAC)

The Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center was established by Administrative Order No. 89, signed by Governor Sheffield on July 2, 1986. The AJ-SAC was declared responsible for assisting Alaska criminal justice agencies and state and local governments and officials by:
•    Maintaining data and researching available information bases;
•    Providing advice and service related to technical and procedural problems involving statistical analysis of justice data;
•    Developing methods and conducting statistical analyses;
•    Responding to requests for justice information; and
•    Providing Alaska representation to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), and the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA).

In fulfilling these responsibilities, the AJ-SAC may be called upon to assist state and local justice agencies and organizations in securing federal grants to respond to specific informational and/or data requests from BJS, BJA, JRSA, or other entities under the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) umbrella.