Friday, October 30, 2015

Alumni spotlight: Steve Phimmasone, BA Justice '05

Steve Phimmasone
Photo by Mike Dineen
This week's profile is the third in our series about Justice alums working for the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) at the McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage. This post highlights Steve Phimmasone.

Steve Phimmasone, BA Justice '05, is a Juvenile Probation Officer II with DJJ Anchorage Probation at McLaughlin Youth Center. He always wanted a career in law enforcement and while at UAA got an internship at McLaughlin. He started out as a counselor. Steve is keenly aware that decisions he makes while dealing with kids can impact their lives and help them. The age-crime curve peaks around the age of 18-19 years.  Steve notes that this is a critical period in a young person’s life — “That’s usually when an individual gets married or gets a career or becomes a career criminal.”  But Steve also knows the bottom line is “each individual will succeed or fail because of the decisions they make.”

One of the most challenging things he finds in his work is that there is something new – and often unexpected – every day. While thinking back on his justice education and what courses might help a student today considering a career in justice, Steve says, “The subject of justice falls into every academic department – any field. If someone wants to enter this career, social work, psychology, and sociology classes would help.”