Friday, March 31, 2017

Native corporation vice-president/general counsel speaks to Prof. Fortson's contracts class

Christopher Slottee at Prof. Ryan Fortson's contracts class
Christopher Slottee, Vice-President/General Counsel for Old Harbor Native Corporation spoke to students in Prof. Ryan Fortson's Contracts, Debt and Principles of Ownership (LEGL 362) class this week. Slottee talked about drafting contracts and the different types of contracts and issues he encounters in his practice.

"It's very valuable for students to  hear lawyers talk about their work," Fortson said. "My friend, Chris, has been very generous with his time and expertise. It makes a difference to our students."

Slottee began as general counsel for Old Harbor Native Corporation in June of 2015 and before that was a partner in the Anchorage law firm of Atkinson Conway & Gagnon, where he represented Old Harbor in a number of legal matters. Last year, Slottee talked about issues related to Native corporations for Prof. Fortson's Tribal Courts and Alaska Native Rights class.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mental health care among juvenile and adult correctional populations discussion April 6

Join the UAA Justice Club for a panel discussion of mental health care among juvenile and adult correctional populations, the last in our National Criminal Justice Month 2017 series of discussions.

Date: Thursday, April 6
Time: 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Location: UAA/APU Consortium Library, LIB 307
Admission: Free and open to the public

Providing mental health care has become an increasingly crucial aspect of modern correctional rehabilitation.  Nationally, more than half of prison and jail inmates have mental health problems, and probation/parole departments provide essential mental health services to their clients.

Learn how Alaska tackles these issues at a panel discussion with experts from the Division of Juvenile Justice and Department of Corrections:

Heidi Redick — Chief Probation Officer, Division of Juvenile Justice
Shannon Cross-Azbill — Clinical Director,  Division of Juvenile Justice
Laura Brooks —  Director of Health and Rehabilitation Services, Department of Corrections
Adam Rutherford — Chief Mental Health Officer, Department of Corrections

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New plan to strengthen trust between police and community

“We’re not just the people with the gun and badge,” Capt. Sean Case said last week as he explained Anchorage Police Department’s Community Action Policing (CAP) initiative and expanded foot patrols. We don’t just deal with something and go away, he said.

Capt. Case, along with Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, Sgt. Brian Williams, president of the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association (APDEA), Jamie Boring, executive director of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership, and Nora Morse, Special Assistant to Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, spoke about community policing at an event sponsored by the UAA Justice Club and Justice Center as part of National Criminal Justice Month.

L to R: Nora Morse, special assistant to the mayor, APD
Capt Sean Case, Sgt. Brian Williams, president of the Anchorage
Police Department Employees Association, and
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz discuss community policing
“We’re making contact with business owners. We’re making contact with people who live in the area,” Capt. Case said.  “It’s a communication-based approach.”

Mayor Berkowitz, who left an Assembly meeting to participate in the discussion, pointed out that “it is important to us to enhance community safety and to protect officer safety and do it in a way where there’s a lot of community trust.”

Anchorage is one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the country with four out of the five most diverse high schools. “Let’s show everyone else we can get along,” Mayor Berkowitz said.

The idea is to proactively prevent crime instead of react to it, according to a letter Mayor Berkowitz sent to the Anchorage community regarding APD’s 2017 Targeted Crime Plan.

“The police department is integral to everyone feeling safe. There is a tremendous amount of social work, a tremendous amount of counseling that goes into making sure you feel safe,” Mayor Berkowitz told a largely UAA student audience, many of whom are enrolled in Justice Center programs.

Three neighborhoods, Mountain View, Spenard and Fairview will get foot patrols. These three neighborhoods have been targeted because of a history of higher call column. They are condensed and easier to get to on foot. The communities have also been asking for better services.

The idea came from the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Mayor Berkowitz said. The Task Force, created by President Barack Obama was part of the Administration’s efforts to “strengthen community policing and strengthen trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.”

Jamie Boring, executive director of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership, spoke about the drop in crime downtown experienced with the addition of foot patrols.

Under Mayor Berkowitz, APD has grown to over 400 officers with another 56 in the training cycle. There are also more than 90 officers eligible to retire. Still, 2017 will see some gains, Capt. Case said, and encouraged students to think about applying for the academy.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Alternative court panel discussion Thursday, March 30

Join the UAA Justice Club as they present a panel discussion of alternative courts in Alaska's state and federal district courts.
  • Date: Thursday, March 30
  • Time: 7:00–8:30 p.m.
  • Location: UAA/APU Consortium Library, LIB 307
  • Admission: Free
Drug courts, veteran courts and reentry courts offer offenders an opportunity to work with a collaborative team toward treatment and rehabilitation. Learn more about how these courts operate with:
  • U.S. District Court Chief Magistrate Judge Deborah M. Smith
  • Federal Probation Officer Chris Liedike
  • Assistant Professor Cory Lepage
  • Assistant Public Defender Ben Muse
  • Assistant District Attorney Heather Nobrega
National Criminal Justice Month events are sponsored by the Justice Center and the UAA Justice Club.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Alaska Criminal Justice Working Group reviews preliminary Results First data

Dr. Brad Myrstol, Justice Center faculty and director of the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) and the  Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC),  presented Results First benefit to cost model estimates on a dozen Alaska Department of Corrections (ADOC) programs to the Alaska Criminal Justice Working Group (ACJWG)  in Juneau last week.  Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan, Supreme Court Justice Joel Bolger,  Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth,  Corrections Commissioner Dean Williams, Mental Health Trust Authority Chief Operating Officer Steve Williams, were among those who responded to the findings with vigorous discussion, including how results might be used to inform future decision-making by policy makers and program heads in the criminal justice system.

Dr. Brad Myrstol
Dr. Araceli Valle
Dr. Myrstol and Dr. Araceli Valle, AJiC research professional, fielded questions from the working group regarding how costs of programs were determined as well as how recidivism rates were calculated. They told the working group that program costs were provided by ADOC and only the state’s investment in programs was used to calculate each program’s benefit cost ratio, a monetary measure of the state’s return on investment. Estimates of recidivism reduction and victimization costs avoided when recidivism is reduced were derived from research conducted outside of Alaska.

Alaska is one of more than 30 jurisdictions throughout the country to partner with the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative. The initiative  uses innovative research tools to analyze the benefit cost ratio of evidence-based programs designed to reduce recidivism.

“The presentation went well,” Dr. Myrstol said. “It generated a lot of discussion and gave the group a lot to think about how this specific resource can be used to inform future program investment decisions.”

Other programs to be run through the Results First adult criminal justice model include therapeutic courts, ASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Program), and Alaska’s batterers’ intervention programs.

Zonta Club awards Blumenstein at Choose Respect event

Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein speaks at Choose Respect event
Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein, Justice faculty, spoke of the need for continued work to address intimate partner and sexual violence at yesterday's Choose Respect march in Anchorage. She presented data from the Alaska Victimization Survey on the impact of stalking on victims of intimate partner and sexual violence. In recognition of her work to make a difference in the lives of women and girls of Alaska, Dr. Blumenstein received the Zonta Rose Day award from the Zonta Club of Anchorage.  Zonta is a service organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and children through education, funds and service projects.

Tales from territorial lawyers and judges in new book

The Biggest Damned Hat: Tales from Alaska's Territorial Lawyers and JudgesUniversity of Alaska Press released The Biggest Damned Hat: Tales from Alaska's Territorial Lawyers and Judges by Pamela Cravez, editor of the Alaska Justice Forum and research associate at the Justice Center.

Built on interviews and oral histories from more than fifty lawyers who worked in Alaska before 1959, and buttressed by research into legal history, The Biggest Damned Hat provides new perspectives on Alaska history from gold rush times to statehood. Clubby, passionate and powerful, territorial lawyers developed their own brand of civil and criminal law in the face of uneven and, at times, unscrupulous federally appointed judges. Bringing to life a time long past—when some of the best lawyers had little formal legal education—The Biggest Damned Hat fills in a crucial part of Alaska’s history.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dr. André Rosay awarded competitive Visiting Fellowship with National Institute of Justice

Dr. André Rosay
Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center director, was awarded a competitive Visiting Fellowship with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington DC. NIJ's Visiting Fellows Program brings experienced practitioners, policymakers, and — in exceptional circumstances — researchers into residency at NIJ to make important policy and scholarly contributions with practical application to the criminal justice field and to infuse research into policy and practice. According to NIJ Acting Director Howard Spivak, Dr. Rosay's collection of data and reports regarding American Indians and Alaska Natives "is one of the seminal projects in [NIJ's] portfolio of research about violence against women in tribal communities." During his Fellowship, Dr. Rosay will be working on peer reviewed publications using data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. This is Dr. Rosay’s second Fellowship with the National Institute of Justice.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Join us Tuesday for "A Discussion of Community Policing in Anchorage" and movie on Friday

National Criminal Justice Month
"A Discussion of Community Policing in Anchorage" — kicks off  Justice Club-sponsored events for National Criminal Justice Month 2017.
  • Date: Tuesday, March 21
  • Time: 7:00–8:30 p.m.
  • Location: UAA/APU Consortium Library, LIB 307
  • Admission: Free
The Anchorage Police Department has recently increased community policing efforts, including adding foot patrols in some areas around Anchorage. Come hear the Anchorage Police Department and community leaders discuss current efforts at reducing crime, reducing fear of crime, and improving police-community relations.

Scheduled to appear:
  • Capt. Sean Case, Anchorage Police Department
  • Jamie Boring, Executive Director, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd.
  • Wanda Green, Immediate Past President, Alaska NAACP

Also, this week:
The movie, "End of Watch," will be shown Friday, March 24, in SSB 118 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.

National Criminal Justice Month events are sponsored by the Justice Center and the UAA Justice Club.



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, March 16, 2017

Justice Center closed Friday, March 17, for spring break holiday

The Justice Center will be closed Friday, March 17, 2017 for spring break holiday. We will reopen on Monday, March 20 at 8:00 AM.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Prof. Jason Brandeis article examines status of marijuana laws after election

Prof. Jason Brandeis, Justice faculty, examines different scenarios that may unfold regarding federal enforcement of marijuana laws under President Donald Trump and newly appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions in, “Status of marijuana law confused by election.” The article appears in the January–March 2017 edition of Alaska Bar Rag, a publication of the Alaska Bar Association. Prof. Brandeis provides a look at how the “fragile truce” that has been established between the federal government and states that have legalized marijuana may or may not hold in the coming years.

Prof. Brandeis teaches courses on the American legal system, constitutional law, and civil liberties, and is a frequent speaker on constitutional law and other legal topics.  Prof. Brandeis also maintains a private law practice through which he advises clients on marijuana law and policy questions.  This law practice preceded this publication, and included providing legal services to the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Prof. Ryan Fortson spearheads Alaska High School Mock Trial Competition

L-R: Prof. Fortson keeps time during the final round of mock trial
competition, Alaska Supreme Court Justice Joel Bolger,
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Morgen Christen,
Chief Judge of the Alaska Court of Appeals David Mannheimer,
Alaska Supreme Court Justice Peter Maasen, and
Anchorage Superior Court Judge Kevin Saxby
listen to students present their case.
For the past 15 years, Prof. Ryan Fortson, Justice Center faculty, has taken a leading role in organizing the Alaska High School Mock Trial Competition, sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section of the Anchorage Bar Association. In addition to coordinating volunteers, Prof. Fortson serves as principle liaison with schools and develops the materials (with the help of other volunteers) used by high school students.

This year Prof. Fortson provided students with a case involving the death of a participant in a fictional remote Alaska reality show. Teams of six to nine high school students were pitted against one another in a simulated wrongful death bench trial. Students played the roles of attorneys and witnesses and were evaluated by a panel of judges, attorneys, and law clerks. The final round took place in the courtroom of the Alaska Supreme Court on Saturday, March 4.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Dr. Myrstol and Dr. Valle provide Alaska Results First benefit cost on Alaska Department of Corrections programs

Alaska Justice Information Center
Alaska Department of CorrectionsDr. Brad Myrstol, Justice Center faculty and director of the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) and the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC), and Dr. Araceli Valle, AJiC research professional, presented findings from the Alaska Results First Initiative to Dean Williams, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Corrections (ADOC), this week. Alaska is one of more than 30 jurisdictions throughout the country partnering with the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative to use innovative research tools to analyze the benefit to cost ratio of evidence- based programs to reduce recividism. Alaska Results First analysis of evidence-based ADOC programs provides policymakers with a tool to better understand the relationship between the state’s investment in programs and the return on that investment in terms of the reduced future costs of recividism.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Justice Center takes third place at Anchorage Youth Court 2017 Gavel Games.

Justice faculty (L-R) Dr. Sharon Chamard, Prof. Ryan
Fortson
, and Prof. Troy Payne participated in
Gavel Games with Prof. Kristin Knudsen (not pictured).
Photo by Prof. Knudsen.
Lucy Cuddy Hall was filled with 30 teams of legal eagles and youth court supporters engaged in a battle of intelligence and arcane knowledge on Friday, March 3. The Justice Center, fielding its first team, battled for first with the Anchorage Bar Association through four rounds, but slipped to third behind Team Morrison and the Anchorage Bar after a round of questions on Olympic history.  Who knew bowling was an Olympic demonstration sport?

The Justice Center was a co-sponsor of the annual Gavel Games, the largest fundraiser for Anchorage Youth Court (AYC). AYC provides an opportunity for students to serve as attorneys, judges, bailiffs, clerks and jurors in cases involving their peers. Youth in grades 7 through 12 accused of minor offenses, are referred by the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice to AYC to have their cases heard. Youth found guilty are spared a formal juvenile record if they complete their sentence and do not break the law again.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Legal Studies joins College of Health's Grand Rounds

Prof. Knudsen and Dr. Tom Wadsworth, Pharm.D. at
COH's Grand Rounds
UAA College of Health (COH) and Alaska Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) held Grand Rounds on Friday, March 3, in the South Café of the Student Union.  The event drew students from across COH disciplines for a program designed to promote interprofessional education and present innovations in diabetes care.  For the first time, Justice Center Legal Studies students and faculty joined the program, bringing their perspective to questions of health policy and insurance coverage.  Madeline Rafferty, a Legal Studies B.A. student, won the event door prize.

Grand Rounds included presentations by Rachel Lescher, M.D., pediatric endocrinologist at Alaska Native Medical Center, Tom Wadsworth, Pharm.D., director of the new Idaho State University-UAA Doctor of Pharmacy program, Amy Urbanus, R.D., certified diabetes educator at Providence Alaska Medical Center, and, probably the most popular panelist, a 16-year-old Alaskan who, with family members, discussed her approach to living with diabetes.

After a short presentation, the panelists went from table to table, fielding questions and showing students how different medical devices worked.

Prof. Kristin Knudsen, Justice Center faculty who teaches Health Law, is a member of COH's Interprofessional Education Working Group which, with AHEC, organized Grand Rounds.  

Friday, March 3, 2017

Dr. Blumenstein presents data on domestic and sexual violence in Alaska at Juneau event


Watch Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein, Justice Center faculty, present results from the Alaska Victimization Survey and the University of Alaska Campus Climate Survey at a recent "Lunch and Learn" in Juneau. Carmen Lowry, PhD and Wendi Siebold, MA, PhD joined Dr. Blumenstein at the event organized by the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault and sponsored by Alaska State Representatives Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage).

Video: