Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dr. Payne interviewed by Alaska Public Media about homicides in Anchorage

Alaska Public MediaDecember 29, 2016 — A Fact Sheet published by the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center in November 2016 showed a steady decline in Anchorage’s homicide rate from 1986 to 2015. During this period, Anchorage had an average of 17 homicides per year. In 2016, the number of homicides in Anchorage increased to 34. Throughout 2016, as noted by Zachariah Hughes with Alaska Public Media, “news reports from Anchorage have been particularly morbid, with frequent stories about shootings and homicides.”

While the increase in the number of homicides is striking, Dr. Troy Payne, a faculty member of the UAA Justice Center, explained how this could just be a random fluctuation from year to year. At this point, it is difficult to know if there is a systemic repeatable problem that we can apply solutions to. As Dr. Payne explained, additional information will be needed to determine if this is an emerging trend and to understand the causes of these homicides.