Spring/Summer 2014 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum
The Spring/Summer 2014 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum
includes articles on marijuana laws and policies, homelessness statistics for Alaska and the U.S., the newly-created Alaska Criminal Justice Commission, and the Alaska Court System's Early Resolution Program (ERP) for family law cases.
issue includes the following articles:
Marijuana regulation continues to be a pressing criminal justice
and social policy issue both in Alaska and across the nation. A ballot
measure that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana in Alaska will
be before the state’s voters at the November 2014 general election. This
article summarizes Alaska’s current marijuana laws, identifies recent
changes to other state laws and federal policies related to marijuana
use and possession, and discusses the impact of those changes on
Alaska’s marijuana laws.
Across the nation in both rural and urban areas, public and private
agencies work to provide services for homeless people. One of the
biggest challenges is collecting data about homeless individuals: how
many people are homeless, who they are, what services they need most,
and how long they have been homeless. This article looks at reports from
2012, 2013, and 2014 on estimates of homelessness in the U.S. and
Alaska, the subpopulations of homeless individuals, and the various definitions of homelessness. References for sources cited are provided. Web supplements provide more detailed tables and an expanded bibliography of resources on homelesseness.
With its enactment of Senate Bill 64 during the 2013–2014
legislative session, the Alaska Legislature created the Alaska Criminal
Justice Commission. This article describes the work of the commission,
which is charged with evaluating and making recommendations “for
improving criminal sentencing practices and criminal justice practices,
including rehabilitation and restitution” over a three-year period. An
accompanying sidebar describes other provisions of SB 64, the omnibus
The Early Resolution Program (ERP), the first program of its kind
in the nation, was developed by the Alaska Court System's Family Law
Self-Help Center to provide self-represented litigants in family law
cases with free legal assitance and mediation to help resolve issues
and reach settlements without protracted court trials. This article
discusses the ERP's goals and development, describes how cases are
screened and processed, and presents ERP statistics though August 2014.
An accompanying sidebar provides a program timeline, and a web supplement outlines how attorneys and judges approach various issues in a case at an Early Resolution Program (ERP) hearing.