Friday, February 27, 2015

Join us on March 2nd! National Criminal Justice Month speaker discusses 40 years of experience in corrections

"40 Years in Corrections: Are We Going Forward or Backward? "

March is National Criminal Justice Month.

Dr. Allen Ault.
Join us to hear Dr. Allen Ault, Dean of the College of Justice & Safety at Eastern Kentucky University, share his experiences as Commissioner of Corrections in Georgia, Colorado, and Mississippi; warden of a maximum -security prison; and Chief of Special Projects, National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice.

Date/time: Monday, March 2nd, 2015, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Location:
UAA/APU Consortium Library, LIB 307

Admission: Free
Parking:
Free in the following lots only - Library Main Lot, Library NE Lot, and East Parking Garage. 

(The Central Parking Garage and surface lot are pay parking only.) Click here for Google map - click on markers to find free parking areas. 
 
Dr. Ault will discuss his years in corrections, and his work on corrections initiatives such as reentry and inmate mental health, and how his experiences have shaped his view on the death penalty.

This event is sponsored by the Justice Center, the Pre-Law Society, and the Justice Club. Dr. Troy Payne and Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., are the Justice Center faculty advisors for this event.


In 2009 the United States Congress established March as National Criminal Justice Month. The purpose of National Criminal Justice Month is to promote societal awareness regarding the causes and consequences of crime, as well as strategies for preventing and responding to crime.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Prof. Brandeis interviewed by Alaska Dispatch News for article about marijuana and employment

Prof. Jason Brandeis, Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, was interviewed for a recent article in the Alaska Dispatch News about marijuana use and employment.  Because of the conflict between federal and state law regarding marijuana use, and because some Alaska employers receive federal funds which potentially brings them under the terms of the 1988 Drug-Free Workplace Act, Prof. Brandeis commented, " I imagine there will be some court cases that come out of this."

Read the article:
"With pot legal in Alaska, can you still get fired for failing a drug test?" by Michelle Therriault Boots. Alaska Dispatch News, 23 Feb 2015.

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 he provided legal representation in administrative agency proceedings for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska.   

Justice Center welcomes students at 2015 Spring Preview Day

L to r: Prof. Deb Periman and Dr. Marny Rivera
get ready to welcome students.
Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice Undergraduate Program Coordinator, and Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Legal Studies Program Coordinator, met with high school students and their parents at the Spring 2015 Preview Day on February 13 at the UAA Student Union.

Preview Days are designed specifically for high school juniors and seniors and their guests and help students get ready to attend UAA. The event offers students and their guests the opportunity to experience firsthand all that UAA has to offer.


High school students crowd around the Justice Center table to talk about majoring in Justice or Legal Studies.

Students attend mock classes, workshops on admissions and financial aid, and speak with current students about campus life as well as UAA faculty about academic programs. Guests attending with the students speak with UAA administrators and also attend workshops on admissions and financial aid.

"Spirit" gives a cheer for the Justice Center.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Vicarious trauma among researchers: recognizing and dealing with it — A guest blog post by Dr. Jane Palmer

Dr. Jane Palmer, American University
We welcome as our first "guest blogger," Jane Palmer, M.S.W., Ph.D., with American University in Washington D.C.  She is a researcher in the areas of gender-based violence and vicarious trauma.

Her post today focuses on factors that put researchers at risk for vicarious trauma, how researchers can help themselves, and how supervisors can support research staff. This post is based on a presentation Dr. Palmer gave in June 2014 at a roundtable at UAA on vicarious trauma among researchers.

Vicarious Trauma Among Researchers

Since I became a researcher in the field of gender-based violence, I have become concerned with the issue of vicarious trauma among researchers. My earlier professional experience as a counseling intern at a center for children who have been sexually abused was my first introduction to this concept. Vicarious trauma is experienced when working in a trauma-related field begins to negatively impact someone’s personal life. At my internship placement, I learned that self-care is critical to prevent vicarious trauma and its little sisters: compassion fatigue and burnout. Vicarious trauma is a well-researched area in the field of Psychology – in the context of therapists – but there is limited research on this issue among researchers. Of note, in the field of sexual violence, are Dr. Rebecca Campbell’s (2002) book Emotionally involved: The impact of researching rape and a recent article in the peer-reviewed journal Violence Against Women by Dr. Jan Coles and her colleagues.  Much of the information below was gleaned from these two sources.

Compared to therapists, Coles et al. (2014) assert that conducting research on trauma-related topics may actually put researchers at higher risk of vicarious trauma because they are not in a helping role. To research and analyze, but not be able to offer assistance can tip the scale.  Therefore, this blog post will focus on the factors that put individual researchers at risk for developing vicarious trauma and what supervisors can do the support their research staff before and during trauma-related research projects.

What Factors Are Associated with One’s Risk of Experiencing Vicarious Trauma?

There are several possible contributors to a person’s level of vicarious trauma. 
  • The researcher’s personal history of trauma, or past exposure to traumatic events. This could be a risk or protective factor. Individuals with little to no experience with trauma could be profoundly affected by what they learn in the course of the research. Alternatively, someone with a history of trauma may have better preparation to hear the stories. However, this will depend on where the individual is in his or her healing process, as some content can be triggering for survivors.
  • The researcher’s coping and self-care strategies.  The level of impact depends on the extent to which a researcher engages in healthy self-care or coping strategies.  To evaluate your level of self-care, the University of Buffalo School of Social Work offers a great self-assessment. For some excellent self-care tips, check out this article from the Huffington Post.
  • The researcher’s current life circumstances. No matter one’s past history with trauma, current coping and self-care strategies, a researcher’s current life circumstances can affect how she or he is able to cope with the stories she or he hears. Before embarking on a trauma-related research project, evaluate if you have the “space” in your life for it. If you feel like you’re life is currently trying or chaotic, now may not be the right time for this particular project.
  • The researcher’s current support systems.  It is crucial that researchers have someone to debrief with, whether it is a professional colleague, a friend or loved one.  Support systems should be those that can actually be supportive of you (that is, they are interested in the topic and are ok with hearing the stories or supporting you how you need to be supported). For research projects with confidentiality agreements, the debriefing should occur with other project members. Still, your loved ones can support you even without knowing the content of what you are studying.  Researchers should evaluate the extent to which their current support systems are a positive force in their life and consider avoiding the toxic or negative people in their lives.
  • The researcher’s current level of self-awareness.  Do you know your limits?  Do you listen to the little voice in your head or do you tune it out? Developing self-awareness will help you, your relationships and your daily life immensely.

How can I support my research team?

At the organizational level, research supervisors can prevent or mitigate vicarious trauma by preparing research assistants (RAs) about the issues they will hear or read about throughout the project.
  • This preparation should occur early in the process – as early as the hiring phase – so that the right team is selected to do this difficult research.
  • Supervisors should develop policies and procedures related to caring for the research assistants (such as a maximum number of interviews per day or a protocol if an RA experiences negative impacts while conducting the research). 
  • RAs should receive regular, scheduled and supportive supervision and have plenty of opportunity to debrief with one another (especially in cases where confidentiality agreements preclude them from discussing their work with others). 
  • If debriefing is not possible (because you are not working on a team or the team has shifts that make meeting impossible), I highly recommend utilizing journaling in order to do a “data dump” of stories and their impact before going home or to decompress at the end of a shift. If possible, supervisors should assign RAs some “mindless” tasks in addition to the tough stuff so they can get a mental and emotional break, as needed.
  • Finally, RAs and supervisors should actively practice and promote self-care that nourishes the body, mind and spirit. Ignoring these tips may affect the validity of your research findings (Wray, Markovic & Manderson, 2007).
How Do I Know If I Have Vicarious Trauma?

Vicarious trauma is the most severe impact of conducting research about violence. Researchers can also experience lower levels of impact when they work on trauma-related research projects (such as compassion fatigue or burnout). Any research project can make a researcher feel stressed – a state that is common among, well, basically everyone – and a state that can be managed on a daily basis. Burnout, on the other hand, is a more severe form of stress that includes symptoms such as increased apathy, irritability, pessimism, cynicism, or fatigue.  If burnout goes untreated, a researcher can experience compassion fatigue (also called secondary traumatic stress). People at this stage feel emotionally or physically depleted and have symptoms similar to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, such as hyper-vigilance, avoidance or numbing or have nightmares about the events they have heard or read about but not experienced.  Finally, the most severe impact of empathic engagement with traumatic material is vicarious trauma, which is associated with changes in one’s world view (related to safety, trust, intimacy, and control), persistent physical and/or psychological symptoms (such as persistent hyperarousal, cynicism, guilt or loss of idealism) and behaviors that affect one’s relationships (such as withdrawal, increased conflict or disconnection from loved ones).

Conclusion


Conducting research about violence is not for everyone. Both researchers and supervisors must reflect on whether, given their current circumstances and past history, they have the internal and external support to embark on a project that involves traumatic material.  If your gut is telling you that now is not the time, then take the time you need to address current stressful life circumstances or your own history or trauma before embarking on a research project that involves other’s stories of pain and trauma. Oh yeah, and stop watching C.S.I. and Criminal Minds, you’ll thank me later.

About the author
Dr. Palmer in front of
Northwestern Glacier in
June 2014.
Jane Palmer is a professorial lecturer at American University’s School of Public Affairs in Washington DC and the Director of the Community-Based Research Scholars program. She received her Ph.D. in Justice, Law & Society from American University and her M.S.W. from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her research focuses on responses to gender-based violence (including bystander intervention, help-seeking behaviors and public policy). Her self-care strategies include yoga, meditation, hiking and attempting to read young adult fiction at the same rate as her nieces.




References
Campbell, R. (2002). Emotionally involved: The impact of researching rape. London: Routledge.
Coles, J., Astbury, J., Dartnall, E. & Limjerwala, S. (2014). "A qualitative exploration of researcher trauma and researchers’ responses to investigating sexual violence." Violence Against Women, 20, 95-117.
Wray, N., Markovic, M. & Manderson, L. (2007). "The impact of data triangulation and intensive-research practices on the researcher and qualitative research process." Qualitative Health Research, 17, p.1392.

Justice major/Legal Studies minor is captain of UAA Ski Team

James Schindler skiing for UAA in 2014.
(Photo by Karl Schindler)
James Schindler, Justice major/Legal Studies minor, is a senior and captain of the UAA Seawolves Ski Team. After college, James is considering going into law enforcement.

The ski team has home meets this year - which happens only every 3 or 4 years.  Come out and support the UAA Ski Team on February 23 - 28 in Girdwood!  

See the current guide about the UAA Seawolves Ski Team. 

James Schindler, Captain,
UAA Ski Team.
Seawolf Invitational at Girdwood:
Feb. 23 - Freestyle
Feb. 24 - Classical
Feb. 25 - Giant Slalom
Feb. 26 - Slalom

NCAA West Regional/RMISA Championships at Girdwood:
Feb. 27 - Freestyle/Giant Slalom
Feb. 28 - Classical/Slalom



Monday, February 23, 2015

Justice Center alum spotlight: Beck Strah

Beck Strah
Beck Strah, B.A. '08 -  Psych major/Justice minor, is a first year Ph.D. student in Criminology and Justice Policy at Northeastern University. Beck received his M.A. in Criminal Justice from Seattle University.

Prior to his doctoral work, Beck was employed as a Corrections Deputy in Snohomish County, Washington for two and one-half years. His current research interests include corrections, recidivism, training evaluation, masculinity and crime, and risk assessment.

Beck credits Dr. Allan Barnes, Justice faculty, with making criminological theory an interactive experience in the classroom and inspiring him to enter the field of criminological research.

Illustration of Prof. Brandeis in Atlantic Monthly reprinted in Alaska Dispatch News.

Cartoon panel from The Atlantic article showing Prof. Brandeis
commenting on individual rights and state constitutions.
Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, was featured in an illustrated article in February 8 issue of The Atlantic magazine about the history of marijuana in Alaska. Prof. Brandeis was interviewed by the author, Josh Kramer.  The Alaska Dispatch News recently reprinted the illustrated article.

See the Alaska Dispatch News article:
"Tundra Green: An Illustrated History of Cannabis in Alaska" by Josh Kramer. Reprinted by Alaska Dispatch News on 8 Feb 2015 from The Atlantic.
  
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 he provided legal representation in administrative agency proceedings for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Dr. Payne interviewed by KTOO Public Radio News about police use of force in Juneau

Dr. Troy Payne, Justice faculty, was interviewed by KTOO Public Radio News Juneau for an article about the use of force in arrests by the Juneau Police Department.

He commented "...Juneau police’s reported percentages for use of force are lower than expected."  The article also noted, "Payne says it’s extraordinarily difficult to compare one department, one place to another. Other departments similar to Juneau’s, for example, may be located near a major metropolitan area or classify handcuffing a suspect as a use of force."

Read the article:
"Juneau Police release figures on use of force during arrests," by Matt Miller. KTOO Public Radio, Juneau, 19 Feb 2015.

Interview with Prof. Brandeis about marijuana law featured in year-end news highlights on KTUU TV Channel 2 News

An interview about marijuana law with Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, by KTUU TV Channel 2 News which aired in November 2014, was featured in the 2014 year-end news highlights by KTUU.

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 he provided legal representation in administrative agency proceedings for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Call for papers: 8th Polar Law Symposium Alaska, September 2015 — Abstracts due March 15

8th Polar Law Symposium — Alaska 2015The Eighth Polar Law Symposium is sponsored by University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Alaska Anchorage, UAA Justice Center, UAA Institute of Social and Economic Research, and University of Washington School of Law in cooperation with the Arctic Law Section of the Alaska Bar Association.

Recent Polar Law Symposia have been hosted in Greenland, Finland, Iceland, and Tasmania.

The symposium will be held:
  • September 23–24 (Wed–Thu) at University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • September 25–26 (Fri—Sat) at University of Alaska Anchorage
Theme:
The Science, Scholarship, and Practice of Polar Law: Strengthening Arctic Peoples and Places

Call for Abstracts:
Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Legal Studies Program Coordinator, UAA Justice Center, is the faculty liaison for this event.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Prof. Knudsen is Attorney Connect volunteer judge for Dimond High Drama, Debate and Forensics Tournament

Prof. Kristin Knudsen, J.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, was a volunteer judge for the recent Dimond High Drama, Debate, and Forensics Tournament sponsored by the Anchorage School District. Over 180 students competed from 13 schools in communities around the state including Sitka, Delta Junction, Homer, and the Mat-Su.

Prof. Knudsen was one of several attorneys who volunteered as part of the Attorney Connect program, a project of the Alaska Bar's Law Related Education (LRE) Committee. The goal is to create a liaison between the schools and attorneys who are interested in legal education for their students.

UAA Seawolf Debate Team members were also volunteer judges at the event.

Student debaters at the Dimond High tournament.
(Photo by Allison Schaeffer, Dimond High Yearbook photographer.)







Save the date - March 2nd! National Criminal Justice Month speaker discusses 40 years of experience in corrections

"40 Years in Corrections: Are We Going Forward or Backward? "


March is National Criminal Justice Month.

Dr. Allen Ault.
Join us to hear Dr. Allen Ault, Dean of the College of Justice & Safety at Eastern Kentucky University, share his experiences as Commissioner of Corrections in Georgia, Colorado, and Mississippi; warden of a maximum -security prison; and Chief of Special Projects, National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice.

Date/time: Monday, March 2nd, 2015, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Location:
UAA/APU Consortium Library, LIB 307

Admission: Free
Parking:
Free in the following lots only - Library Main Lot, Library NE Lot, and East Parking Garage. 

(The Central Parking Garage and surface lot are pay parking only.) Click here for Google map - click on markers to find free parking areas. 
 
Dr. Ault will discuss his years in corrections, and his work on corrections initiatives such as reentry and inmate mental health, and how his experiences have shaped his view on the death penalty.

This event is sponsored by the Justice Center, the Pre-Law Society, and the Justice Club. Dr. Troy Payne and Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., are the Justice Center faculty advisors for this event.


In 2009 the United States Congress established March as National Criminal Justice Month. The purpose of National Criminal Justice Month is to promote societal awareness regarding the causes and consequences of crime, as well as strategies for preventing and responding to crime.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dr. Chamard publishes chapter on homeless encampments in book about criminal activity

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice faculty, recently published a chapter, "Factors Associated with Homeless Encampment Locations in Anchorage, Alaska," in the book, The Criminal Act: The Role and Influence of Routine Activity Theory, published by Palgrave MacMillan. The editors are Martin A. Anderson and Graham Farrell.

This book is a festschrift in honor of Dr. Marcus Felson, who originated the routine activity approach to crime rate analysis.  Dr.  Felson was Dr. Chamard's dissertation advisor at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers-Newark.

Dr. Chamard's chapter looks at homeless encampments in the Turnagain, Fairview, Mountain View, and Tudor areas of Anchorage.  Encampment clusters were established using call for service data from the Anchorage Police Department.  The chapter then examines the different factors associated with each encampment cluster. 

Dr. Payne interviewed by Alaska Dispatch News about changes in marijuana law and impact on law enforcement

Dr. Troy Payne, Justice faculty, was interviewed for an article in the Alaska Dispatch News about the upcoming changes in marijuana law and enforcement in Alaska. Dr. Payne was asked about arrests for marijuana possession in Anchorage and searches for marijuana.

He noted that seizures of marijuana by police are the only available data for how often police come in contact with the drug. Moreover, marijuana is common, and a small amount of the drug often "opens the door to a search that turns up something else." In effect, marijuana possession has been “a valuable tool for police and prosecutors” in criminal and other drug interdiction, and it is unknown what impacts losing that tool will have, according to Dr. Payne.

"For Anchorage police, legal pot means changes big and small" by Michelle Theriault Boots. Alaska Dispatch News, 3 Feb 2015.

Dr. Barnes discusses student team-based learning at UAA Campus Bookstore event - listen to the podcast!

Dr. Barnes talks about POGIL.
Dr. Allan Barnes, Justice faculty, spoke February 11, 2015, at a UAA Campus Bookstore event about using  POGIL - process oriented guided inquiry learning - to create an interactive community of learning in the classroom.
 
In his presentation -  "Is the Lecture Dead?" - Dr. Barnes described his experiences using POGIL in his classes, how the technique works, and the positive outcomes for students and the teacher.

Listen to the podcast here. Scroll down to number 42.

All UAA Campus Bookstore events are informal, free, and open to the public.  For information on upcoming events, call Rachel Epstein at 786-4782 or email repstein2@uaa.alaska.edu.  

L to r: Dr. Allan Barnes and Rachel Epstein,
Campus Bookstore Special Events Coordinator.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Alaska Victimization Survey results show that more than half of adult women in the Nome Census Area have experienced intimate partner violence or sexual violence or both


Alaska Victimization Survey



The results of the 2014 Alaska Victimization Survey for the Nome Census Area were released on February 11 in Nome. The troubling numbers show that:
Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
  • 51% of adult women in the Nome Census Area have experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence or both, in their lifetime;
  • 11% have experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence or both, in the past year; 
  • More than 3 out of every 10 adult women in the Nome Census Area have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime; and 
  • More than 4 out of every 10 have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
Due to the survey’s limitations, these are conservative estimates.

The survey was designed to measure the lifetime and past year exposure to sexual violence and intimate partner violence. It was conducted from April to June 2014 in the Nome Census Area through a contract with the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA). Respondents were randomly selected by phone (using both land lines and cellphones).

Details of the survey are available at: http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/avs/nome.html.
More Information:
For more background on this project, visit http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/avs
For more information about CDVSA, visit http://www.dps.state.ak.us/CDVSA/

Bering Sea Women’s Group:
The Bering Sea Women’s Group provides community and village information for men, women and children who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes.  It offers a wide range of advocacy and support services, including safety planning, emergency shelter, crisis intervention, referrals and help with housing and public assistance, children’s services, parenting classes and much more.  Their 24-hour crisis line is 1-800-570-5444 or 907-443-5444.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dr. Barnes speaks at February 11 UAA Campus Bookstore event - "Is the Lecture Dead?"


Dr. Allan Barnes, Justice faculty, speaks at UAA Campus Bookstore event in February about creating an interactive community of learning in the classroom using POGIL - process oriented guided inquiry learning.

What: "Is the Lecture Dead?"
Day: Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Time: 5:00 pm -7:00 pm
Place: UAA Campus Bookstore
Cost: Free
Parking: Free parking in West Campus Central Lot (behind Rasmuson Hall). Click here for a link to a campus map. The Campus Bookstore is number 12 on the map.

POGIL is a student team-based teaching technique which Dr. Barnes has used in a number of his Justice classes.  POGIL stresses cooperative learning through a discovery-based student team environment.

At this event, Dr. Barnes talks about:
  • his research using POGIL in his classes,
  • how the technique works, and 
  • the positive experience and outcomes for students and the teacher.
All UAA Campus Bookstore events are informal, free, and open to the public.  There is free parking for bookstore events in the West Campus Central Lot (behind Rasmuson Hall), the Sports Lot and the Sports NW Lot.

For more information call Rachel Epstein at 786-4782 or email repstein2@uaa.alaska.edu. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

North to the Future - video and materials from joint Alaska Law Review/Justice Center Symposium now online

Dr. Hensley (at podium) discusses the history of Alaska Natives.
Fran Ulmer,  former UAA Chancellor and Special Advisor to the U.S. State Department on Arctic Science and Policy, and Dr. William Iggiagruk Hensley, Visiting Distinguished Professor, UAA College of Business and Public Policy, were the featured speakers at the October 16, 2014 Alaska Law Review symposium - "North to the Future: Opportunities and Change in Alaska's Emerging Frontiers." Attendees included attorneys from the public and private sector, state and federal government staff, members of the public, and UAA students, faculty, and staff.

The symposium addressed the rapidly evolving changes in Alaska and the Arctic, and the challenges presented to Alaska's leaders and institutions in addressing the legal issues associated with economic development, climate change, and social and cultural impacts, including issues of tribal sovereignty and the rights of Alaska's Native people.

View the videos of the presentations and course materials, including PowerPoints.

Read the transcript of the keynotes and the articles submitted for the symposium in the December 2014 Alaska Law Review, published by Duke University School of Law for the Alaska Bar Association.

Sponsors of this event were the Justice Center, the Alaska Law Review, and the Alaska Bar Association Arctic Law Section. Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Ph.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, was the faculty advisor for this event.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dr. Rivera awarded competitive grant from Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services to evaluate Chronic Inebriate Anti-Recidivism Treatment Program - Permanent Supportive Housing Program

Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice faculty, was recently awarded a competitive research grant from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services to evaluate Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) and Intensive Case Management (ICM) programs that are part of an anti-recidivism pilot project for the chronically homeless population in the Anchorage area, many of whom have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. The pilot project is unique in the provision of intensive community-based treatment services in addition to permanent and supportive housing.

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is a client-centered, recovery-oriented behavioral health service delivery model that has received substantial empirical support for reducing psychiatric hospitalizations, facilitating community living, and enhancing recovery for persons with serious mental illness.  ACT is designed specifically for persons who have the most severe and persistent mental illnesses, and who historically have not benefited from traditional outpatient programs.  ACT in Anchorage will prioritize treatment toward individuals with a history of chronic homelessness and interactions with the criminal justice system, and/or high use of psychiatric emergency services.

Intensive Case Management (ICM) is a service delivery model in which case managers, working in teams, provide intensive community-based treatment, coordinate with other service providers, and develop strong therapeutic relationships with individuals.  This approach helps individuals get access to needed treatment and supports necessary to achieve stability and an improved quality of life.  ICM in Anchorage will serve individuals who have been identified as top users of the Anchorage Safety Center (ASC) for public intoxication.

Both service models are based on stable housing as the platform for recovery using the Housing First approach, which minimizes barriers to housing entry by not excluding an individual from services or housing based on sobriety; this ensures that individuals who are in the most need of services are prioritized.

Using these two approaches, the goal is to see housing stability, decreased use of acute care settings, reduced interactions with the criminal justice system, and an improved quality of life for the individuals served through these programs.  

Dr. Rivera's evaluation will provide an important quantitative and qualitative assessment of how these evidence-based best practices - ACT and ICM - will work here in Alaska.

Dr. Blumenstein attends Green Dot College Campus Training - a violence prevention strategy

Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein, Justice faculty, recently attended a Green Dot College Campus Training at UAF sponsored by the UAF Green Dot Implementation/Steering Committee. This group is chaired by UAF Chief of Police Keith Mallard and is working to launch the Green Dot program on the Fairbanks campus.  Dr. Blumenstein has been invited to participate in the launch at UAF this spring.

The program prepares individuals to be Green Dot trainers in bystander intervention.   Dr. Blumenstein is now qualified to give bystander intervention training and overview presentations about Green Dot. Her areas of research include violence on college campuses, violence against women, and intimate partner violence.

Members of the UAF Green Dot Implementation/Steering Committee take a break
from the training for a photo. Dr. Blumenstein was invited to participate in the event.
She is in the top row, third from left.
Green Dot is a national program that teaches violence prevention strategies. As described on its website, Green Dot  is "a new way of thinking about and doing prevention ....[It] is about culture change - harnessing the power of individual choices to shift our current norms."  Green Dot seeks to give people the skills to safely prevent and intervene in power-based personal violence situations.  Scores of colleges across the country have launched the Green Dot program on their campuses.

And communities throughout Alaska have also launched the Green Dot program to prevent violence. See more information about Green Dot in Alaska and in Anchorage.

Dr. Barnes speaks at February 11 UAA Campus Bookstore event - "Is the Lecture Dead?"

Dr. Allan Barnes, Justice faculty, speaks at UAA Campus Bookstore event in February about creating an interactive community of learning in the classroom using POGIL - process oriented guided inquiry learning.

What: "Is the Lecture Dead?"
Day: Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Time: 5:00 pm -7:00 pm
Place: UAA Campus Bookstore
Cost: Free
Parking: Free parking in West Campus Central Lot (behind Rasmuson Hall). Click here for a link to a campus map. The Campus Bookstore is number 12 on the map.

POGIL is a student team-based teaching technique which Dr. Barnes has used in a number of his Justice classes.  POGIL stresses cooperative learning through a discovery-based student team environment.

At this event, Dr. Barnes talks about:
  • his research using POGIL in his classes,
  • how the technique works, and 
  • the positive experience and outcomes for students and the teacher.
All UAA Campus Bookstore events are informal, free, and open to the public.  There is free parking for bookstore events in the West Campus Central Lot (behind Rasmuson Hall), the Sports Lot and the Sports NW Lot.

For more information call Rachel Epstein at 786-4782 or email repstein2@uaa.alaska.edu. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

UAA community volunteers at Project Homeless Connect 2015

UAA student volunteers from Dr. Sharon Chamard's JUST 490 class - front row left to right:
Dr. Chamard, Lakedria Hall, Adler Yambao. Back row l to r: Daniel Reinhard, Russell Baluyut,
Ryan Jakubek, Jordan Oberlander. Not pictured Coy Hill.
Members of the UAA community volunteered at the 13th Annual Anchorage Project Homeless Connect (PHC) held at the Egan Center on Wednesday, January 28, 2015.  The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness presents this day-long program with the help of community sponsors and volunteers. The goal is to move our community closer to ending homelessness.

Among UAA community volunteers for the 2015 PHC were Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty and students from her JUST 490 Homelessness & Crime class - Russell Baluyut, Lakedria Hall, Coy Hill, Ryan Jakubek, Jordan Oberlander, Daniel Reinhard, and Adler Yambao; Barbara Armstrong, editor, Alaska Justice Forum, Justice Center; and Heather MacAlpine, Justice alum and Municipality of Anchorage Associate Ombudsman.

This event brings together service providers and government agencies under one roof to assist homeless persons in identifying their top 3 issues of concern, and then links individuals with the appropriate provider. Services provided included haircuts, health exams, legal services, housing and employment information, and referrals to mental health and substance abuse counseling.

Hospitality is an important part of the day and a lunch is served to attendees.  As they leave the event, participants are offered canned food items, fresh produce, and clothing to take with them.  Similar programs are presented in cities across the United States.

At the Municipality of Anchorage Emergency Operation Center, volunteers
entered information about PHC clients including demographics, duration of
homelessness, and other details to assist service providers and public agencies.
(Photo by Judith Atkins, Municipality of Anchorage)
The initial interview with each attendee also presents an opportunity for collecting information about who is homeless and why.  These data are aggregated and provide a tool to assist service providers and government agencies in policy making and structuring services.

Preliminary estimates show several hundred individuals and families were served on January 28, and over 200 volunteers assisted. The data for the final report for this event will be tabulated over the next several weeks.