Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day closure on September 2

The UAA campus and the Justice Center will be closed Monday, September 2, in observance of Labor Day.

The Justice Center will reopen on Tuesday, September 3 at 8:00 a.m. However, there will be no classes that day.

Have a safe and healthy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dr. Chamard interviewed on KRUA radio program "Informania" about research on homelessness and homeless encampments


Dr. Sharon Chamard
Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice faculty, was interviewed July 8 on KRUA 88.1 The Edge - the UAA student radio station - on "Informania."  The program host is Deb the Librarian, aka Professor Deborah Mole, Liaison Librarian to the Journalism & Public Communications Department.

The interview included discussion of Dr. Chamard's research on homelessness and homeless encampments, and crimes against business; the courses she teaches; and her public service activities.

"Informania" is a weekly interview show that helps satisfy the need for information. Prof. Mole also selects music to match the theme of the program. Get more information and an archive of past interviews on her blog - "Deb's Informania Radio Show."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

AJSAC releases Fact Sheet on the operating budgets of Alaska criminal justice agencies, FY 2001–2013

The Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC) has released, "Alaska Criminal Justice Agency Operating Budgets, 2001–2013,"  number 13-07 in the Fact Sheet publication series.

The July 2013 issue of the AJSAC Fact Sheet presents data on operating budgets enacted by the Alaska Legislature for six key criminal justice agencies from state fiscal years 2001 to 2013. These agencies include the Department of Corrections, Department of Public Safety, Alaska Court System, Division of Juvenile Justice, Criminal Divison of the Department of Law, and Legal and Advocacy Services within the Department of Administration (including the Office of Public Advocacy, the Public Defender Agency, and the Violent Crimes Compensation Board). The budget information presented reflects appropriations rather than actual agency expenditures. The report examines increases in budget allocations for the six agencies and the criminal justice budget as a percentage of the overall statewide operating budget over the 13-year period. The Fact Sheet is by Dr. Brad A. Myrstol, director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center.

Dr. Chamard attends AAUP training in Seattle

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice faculty, attended the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Collective Bargaining Chapter Summer Institute in July in Seattle. 

She is a member of the UAA Representative Assembly, United Academics Local 4996.

Dr. Chamard attended sessions on faculty handbooks, how to access institutional data through the AAUP website, and online education.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Four individuals from Justice Center nominated for 2013 Chancellor's Awards for Excellence


Two faculty members and two staff members from the Justice Center have been nominated for 2013 Chancellor's Awards for Excellence:

  • Dr. Brad Myrstol - Associate Professor - For Excellence in  Research/Creative Activity
  • Prof. Deb Periman, J.D. - Associate Professor - For Excellence in Service to the Community
  • Barbara Armstrong - Research Associate - For Staff Excellence
  • Tuyet Tran - Academic Program Specialist - For Staff Excellence in Service to Students

The Chancellor's Awards promote excellence in what we do and recognize individuals and groups for their exceptional service to the university community.

There are group and individual awards in nine categories.  Winners will be announced at the September 20 Faculty and Staff Convocation at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

AJSAC awarded grant for Alaska Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Case Processing Project

Dr. Brad Myrstol, Justice Center faculty and Director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC), received a research grant award in the amount of $79,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The grant funds will be used to support a new AJSAC research initiative called the Alaska Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Case Processing Project, a collaborative project with the Alaska Department of Public Safety, the Alaska Department of Law, and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Juvenile Justice.

The primary objective of the project is to empirically document the criminal justice case processing and outcomes of sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor, and domestic violence cases in the state of Alaska. In coming years, Dr. Myrstol intends to expand the project to include additional Alaska police agencies.

A portion of the grant award will also go toward the continued participation of the AJSAC in the nationwide Arrest-related Deaths (ARD) data collection project, which is a component of the larger Bureau of Justice Statistics Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP).

The AJSAC is housed at the UAA Justice Center. For more information about AJSAC research projects and publications, please visit the AJSAC website.


Dr. Myrstol interviewed by Alaska Dispatch about new state plea bargain plan

Dr. Brad Myrstol, Justice faculty and Director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC), was interviewed recently by Jill Burke for an Alaska Dispatch article, "Will Alaska's plea bargain plan serve justice, or cause it to grind to a halt?" posted online August 13.

The article looks at the impact banning plea bargains for serious cases will have on the entire justice system.  Dr. Myrstol comments on the critical role of plea bargaining in managing court caseload.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Don't miss the Justice Center booth at the 2013 Campus Kickoff on Saturday, August 24, at the Cuddy Quad!


The Justice Center will be at the 2013 Campus Kickoff on Saturday, August 24, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the Cuddy Quad.  Faculty members will be at the Justice Center booth to speak with students about our courses and options, including the new Legal Studies program.

This year's Campus Kickoff features food, information booths, prizes, and live entertainment. Don't miss "Butt Sketcher" - the original butt sketch artist, and the tunes of  "Buckwheat Zydeco"!  See you there!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Save the date! College of Health hosts August 21 workshop on recruiting diverse faculty with Dr. Uma Jayakumar of USF

The College of Health (COH) and Alaska WWAMI are hosting a program for UAA faculty and staff on recruiting and retaining diverse faculty - "Is 'Critical Mass' Necessary for Fostering Educational Benefits and Student Success?"


Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Where: PSB 166, UAA Main Campus
Speaker: Dr. Uma Jayakumar, University of San Francisco


Dr. Uma Jayakumar, USF
Noted diversity scholar Dr. Uma Jayakumar of the University of San Francisco will discuss the shifting landscape of diversity scholarship, including the question of "critical mass," her scholarship impacting the U.S. Supreme Court's recent diversity case, Fisher v. University of Texas (2013), and the function of affirmative action post-Fisher.

Her presentation will also include a faculty/staff workshop  to assist units in developing strategies for recruiting and retaining diverse faculty and staff.


Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Justice faculty, chairs the COH Diversity Committee.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Prof. Wolfe presents forensic light source on behalf of Swedish forensic scientist to UAF CTC Law Enforcement Academy

Prof. Jim Wolfe, Justice adjunct faculty, teaches twice yearly at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College (UAF CTC) Law Enforcement Academy. This spring he presented a Versa Light - a special forensic light source -  to the academy on behalf of Swedish forensic scientist Kjell Carlsson whose company invented and donated the light.

Foreground L to r: At the May 2013 course, Prof. Wolfe presents the donated Versa Light to Dusty Johnson, Coordinator,
UAF CTC Law Enforcement Academy, while academy students look on.

Mr. Carlsson visited Alaska and spoke to Prof. Wolfe's "Criminal Investigation" class in 2012. He specializes in developing innovative tools for forensic investigation and has worked for the Stockholm Police Crime Lab and the Swedish National Crime Lab. 

The light source has two types of light: white light for searching for and photographing physical evidence, and blue-green light for searching for biological fluids and other fluorescent-types of evidence.

Prof. Wolfe is a former forensic scientist with the Alaska Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory, and is currently a forensic consultant and trainer.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

UAA Justice major is first student to receive Law Enforcement Education Program scholarship 2 years in a row

Justice major Lena Illig.
Photo courtesy of LEEP
Justice major Lena Illig is the first person to receive a $1,000 Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) college scholarship two years in a row.  She is featured in an Anchorage Daily News article published online August 1 and in the August 5 UAA electronic newsletter, Green & Gold Digest.

Lena's goal is to become an Alaska State Trooper. This year, she is one of 21 top students awarded the scholarship by LEEP's professional public safety officers. The LEEP scholarship is presented to students interested in pursuing a career in public safety and all of its related fields — law enforcement, police-fire dispatch, corrections officer, firefighting or emergency medical technicians (EMT).

The Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to public safety research and education with a focus on child safety. LEEP was founded in 1997 and expanded nationally in 2004 to reach children and teens throughout the country.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Justice faculty participate in iTeach intensive at UAA

Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., and Dr. Ron Everett, Justice faculty, were selected to participate in this week's iTeach at UAA. The program is a five-day intensive hands-on clinic for UAA instructors, offered by the Instructional Design Team at the UAA Faculty Technology Center. 

The iTeach intensive assists faculty in:
L to r: Prof. Periman; Sarah Frick, FTC Instructional
Designer (standing); Dr. Everett (foreground) take
a break during the iTeach intensive.
  • designing courses that are fun, possess academic integrity and meet UAA's academic guidelines; 
  • joining a community of like-minded iTeach participants who care about course quality; 
  • gathering and managing their own research; 
  • creating course schedules that work for them and their students;  
  • building and manageing online learning communities; and 
  • developing pedagogically sound face-to-face or online courses. 
 UAA is collaborating with UAF eLearning and Distance Education to adopt the iTeach training framework. Many instructors within the UA system have taken advantage of this exceptional professional development opportunity over the last several years.

Justice Center participates in National Science Foundation workshop at UAF on becoming a messenger for science - winning support for research

L to r: Dr. Sharon Chamard, Dr. Troy Payne, and Barbara Armstrong
at the UAF Wood Center, site of the workshop.
Dr. Sharon Chamard and Dr. Troy Payne, Justice faculty, and Barbara Armstrong, Alaska Justice Forum editor,  attended the National Science Foundation  (NSF) workshop, "Science: Becoming the Messenger," held at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) on July 17.

The “Science: Becoming the Messenger” workshop, which is offered by NSF all over the nation, equips attendees with the skills and techniques communications professionals use to influence people’s thinking and attitudes, and demonstrates how these skills can be used to win support for research. The workshop was led by three experienced science communicators, and covered strategies from crafting a message to delivering it  - using both traditional and new media.

Dr. Chamard on screen in the video shown at the workshop.
Part of this interactive program included filming a video of a "pitch" for funding for a project using some of the techniques that had been demonstrated earlier. Participants videoed each other using cell phones or other mobile devices.

Dr. Chamard's video was chosen by the workshop leader, Joe Schreiber, to use as an example of how to edit and use still photos  with a video. Mr. Schreiber took the raw video, edited it, inserted appropriate stills related to the topic, then showed it to the group.

In the video, Dr. Chamard explains that her project would look at spatial predictors for where homeless encampments are located, and the environmental impact of those encampments, including the risk of accidental/intentional fires, habitat destruction, and health and sanitation issues. Using spatial predictors, public agencies and social service providers could more easily find homeless encampments. This would allow them to offer alternative housing arrangements to campers, and close the camps before they become so large and entrenched that they are environmental hazards.



Among other UAA community members who attended the program were Dr. Diane Hirshberg, Director, Center for Alaska Education Policy Research; Prof. Mara Kimmel, Dept. of Political Science & ISER;  Dr. Bridget Hanson, Research Assistant Professor, Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services; and Dr. Jonathan Alevy, Economics Department.

Dr. Hirshberg was one of the attendees selected to present her proposed project to the entire workshop audience. The audience voted on whether projects should hypothetically be funded or not, and Dr. Hirshberg successfully convinced the group that her project  - which focused on education in Alaska - should be awarded foundation support.  Her next assignment was a mock interview with a real-life journalist during which she had to defend her project and the hypothetical funding award.  Dr. Hirshberg persuasively answered all the challenges and questions put to her during the interview.


On stage: Dr. Hirshberg (r) is interviewed by Chris Mooney,
a Washington, D.C. journalist.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dr. Payne publishes review of risky facilities research in Crime Analyst's Research Digest


Dr. Troy Payne, Justice faculty, published a review of a research paper, "Risky Facilities: Crime Concentration in Homogeneous Sets of Establishments and Facilities," by John E. Eck, University of Cincinnati; Ronald V. Clarke, Rutgers University, and Rob T. Guerette, Florida International University, in Crime Analyst’s Research Digest, 2nd edition.

This publication by the International Association of Crime Analysts features summaries on general topics.   Practitioners and researchers who are knowledgeable in the field provide crime analysts with a quick summary of relevant research articles.

AJSAC releases Fact Sheet on Alaska adult probation & parole figures for 2002–2012

The Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC) has released, "Alaska Offender Profile: Adult Probation/Parole, 2002–2012," number 13-06 in the Fact Sheet publication series.

The report presents data on the adult probation/parole population under Alaska Department of Corrections supervision for the period 2002–2012, and briefly describes how probation and parole operate in Alaska. Data were extracted from the annual Offender Profile publication of the Alaska Department of Corrections. The report examines the total numbers of adults under probation/parole supervision, rates of supervision, demographic breakdowns by sex and race, and distribution by supervising authority. The Fact Sheet is authored by Dr. Brad A. Myrstol, director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC).

The AJSAC is housed within the UAA Justice Center, and published the monthly AJSAC Fact Sheet addressing various crime and criminal justice topics. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Drs. Barnes and Rivera serve on College of Health Academic Assessment Task Force

Dr. Allan Barnes and Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice faculty, are serving on the College of Health (COH) Academic Assessment Task Force formed by Dean Bill Hogan.

The purpose of the task force is to evaluate the general state of academic assessment in the College of Health, and provide feedback and recommendations to the Dean. The task force will review plans and surveys, meet with selected programs, and prepare a report for the dean. The main work of the task force will be completed by August 9 with a report to follow.  Dr. Barnes is the task force coordinator.

Task force members are:
Prof. Stephanie Olson – Dental Hygiene
Prof. Catherine Sullivan – Nursing
Dr. Marny Rivera – Justice
Dr. Beth Sirles – Social Work
Dr. Allan Barnes  - Justice - Task Force Coordinator

Prof. Knudsen presents to students in Della Keats Health Sciences Summer Residential Program

Photo of Della Puyuk Keats, Inupaiq doctor
(1909 - 1986)
Prof. Kristin Knudsen, J.D., presented  “Law and Medicine: How Law Shapes Our Health Care System (or Not)" to students in the Summer 2013 Della Keats Health Sciences Summer Program at UAA on July 23.

Prof. Knudsen's presentation focused on historical events in health care delivery in the U.S. and Alaska, and the intended and unintended impact of three laws responding to those events: the Hill-Burton Act of 1946, Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (Medicare - 1965), and the Alaska Turning Point Act of 2005.

The residential summer program is named after Della Keats, an Inupiq doctor, and seeks to foster, affirm, and encourage high school students’ interest in the medical professions. The WWAMI School of Medical Education sponsors this UAA program for high school students who come from an ethnic minority background, live in rural Alaska off the road system, are first-generation American, speak English as a second language, and/or are economically disadvantaged.


Standing center: Prof. Knudsen discusses the impact of law on health care in Alaska.

The Della Keats Leadership Team members are Dr. Ian van Tets and Dr. René Contreras, Co-Directors; Cassandra Dale, Program Coordinator; and Dr. E.J. David, ANCAP Director.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Alaska Law Review article by Prof. Brandeis noted in Anchorage Daily News Compass piece by former Justice Center director John Havelock

The December 2012 Alaska Law Review article on marijuana law in Alaska by Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Justice faculty, was noted in part 2 of an Anchorage Daily News Compass piece on marijuana law by former Justice Center director John Havelock.

Mr. Havelock noted, "Alaska policy has wobbled, as indicated in UAA Professor Brandeis's recent article in the Alaska Law Review."

Here is the link to Prof. Brandeis' article, "The Continuing Vitality of Ravin v. State: Alaskans Still Have a Constitutional Right to Possess Marijuana in the Privacy of Their Homes "

Prof. Brandeis teaches courses on American government, constitutional law and civil liberties, and is a frequent speaker on constitutional law and other legal issues. Prof. Brandeis also maintains a private law practice through which, subsequent to the date of this Anchorage Daily News article, he provided legal representation in administrative agency proceedings for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Prof. Knudsen publishes report - "Alaska Boards and Commissions - Results of the Alaska Citizen Members Survey"


Prof. Kristin Knudsen, J.D., Justice faculty, recently published a report for the Alaska Office of Boards and Commission - Office of the Governor entitled Alaska Boards and Commissions - Results of the Alaska Citizen Members Survey.

Her report presents information on reported participation, role perception, attitudes toward law, recruitment and satisfaction with experience among lay members of mixed administrative tribunals based on a survey of lay members of Alaska’s adjudicatory boards and commissions.

Prof. Knudsen's report was the basis for her recent presentations on lay participation in mixed administrative tribunals to staff of the State of Alaska Office of Administrative Hearings.

A “mixed” administrative tribunal is an appointed board or commission that decides legal issues with the involvement of a professional administrative law judge; this  involvement varies in degree and methods, depending on the tribunal’s rules and statutes.  

Drs. Rivera and Lepage serve as members of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Data Group

Dr. Marny Rivera and Dr. Cory R. Lepage, Justice faculty, have been asked to serve as members of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (DVSA) Data Group. Katie TePas,  Office of the Governor, is the data group chair.

The data group works with the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and the Governor's Choose Respect Initiative to identify strategies for collecting statistics and identifying baselines for data related to domestic violence and sexual assault in the state.