Monday, January 30, 2017

Dr. Rosay Appointed to 2017 Program Committee for American Society of Criminology

American Society of Criminology
Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center Director was appointed to serve as Chair of the Sexual Violence sub-area for the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society ofCriminology.  The American Society of Criminology is an international organization whose members pursue scholarly, scientific, and professional knowledge concerning the measurement, etiology, consequences, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency.  The theme of the 2017 Annual Meeting is “Crime, Legitimacy and Reform: Fifty Years after the President’s Commission.”  The 2017 Annual Meeting marks the 50th Anniversary of the publication of the report by President Johnson’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice titled “The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society.”

Friday, January 27, 2017

Alaska Victimization Survey results show that 1 in 4 women in the Municipality of Anchorage have experienced stalking

Alaska Victimization Survey: Research on Violence Against Women in Alaska
New results from the 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey for the Municipality of Anchorage were released on January 27, 2017. The 2015 survey was conducted by the University of Alaska Anchorage for the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA). These new results describe the number of women in the Municipality of Anchorage that have experienced stalking in their lifetimes and in the past year.

In defining stalking, the Alaska Victimization Survey includes eight of the common forms of nonconsensual contacts (being watched or followed; being approached at home, work, or school; finding strange or threatening items; having your home or car intruded; receiving unwanted voice or text messages; receiving unwanted phone calls; receiving unwanted emails or messages; receiving unwanted cards, flowers, or gifts). Respondents were instructed not to include bill collectors, telephone solicitors, or other sales people. Respondents experienced stalking if they experienced these nonconsensual contacts multiple times and expressed fear.

Results

The 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey for the Municipality of Anchorage was conducted from May to August 2015. Findings include:
  • 1 in 4 women in the Municipality of Anchorage have experienced stalking in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 18 have experienced stalking in the past year.
  • More than 30,400 women in the Municipality of Anchorage have experienced stalking in their lifetime.
  • More than 6,100 have experienced stalking in the past year.
The 2015 survey also showed that stalking was particularly common among women who experienced intimate partner violence or sexual violence.
  • Among women who experienced intimate partner violence or sexual violence in their lifetime, 46% (more than 24,400) were also stalked in their lifetime.
  • Among women who experienced intimate partner violence or sexual violence in the past year, 28% (more than 2,200) were also stalked in the past year.
Details of the 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey are available at the Alaska Victimization Survey website:

More Information

For more background on this project, visit http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/justice/avs/
For more information about CDVSA, visit http://www.dps.state.ak.us/CDVSA/

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Dr. Myrstol interviewed by Alaska Dispatch News

Alaska Dispatch News
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 — Dr. Brad Myrstol, a faculty member of the UAA Justice Center and the Director of the Alaska Justice Information Center and the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center, was interviewed by Alaska Dispatch News regarding the impact of Alaska’s criminal justice reforms that were included in SB91.  The Alaska Justice Information Center is collaborating with the Alaska Judicial Council to assess the impact of these reforms.  As Dr. Myrstol explained, it is too early to measure impacts.  Dr. Myrstol further explained that it would be better to fully understand the impact of these reform efforts before making additional changes to these efforts.

Read the story:

Alaska Victimization Survey results in the news

Alaska Victimization Survey: Research on Violence Against Women in Alaska
New results from the 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey for Alaska statewide were released on January 17, 2017.  These results showed high prevalence rates of stalking, particularly among women who experienced intimate partner violence or sexual violence.  Overall, more than 80,800 women in Alaska have experienced stalking in their lifetime.

Details of the 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey are available at the Alaska Victimization Survey website.

Read more about these new estimates:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Video of Justice Center research wins Vega Digital Award

2016 Arcturus Winner / Vega Digital Awards
The National Institute of Justice video on Dr. Rosay’s research on “Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men” has received the Arcturus (3rd place) award in the 2016 Vega Digital Awards. Vega Digital Awards recognize and honor the outstanding performance, talent and effort of the best digital and creative professionals around the world.

Dr. Rosay’s video was produced by Palladian Partners Inc., whose mission is to drive positive change through engaging, evidence-based communication.  The video summarizes the research completedby Dr. Rosay as an Executive Visiting Research Fellow at the National Institute of Justice.

Watch the video:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Legal Studies Student Spotlight: Mariah Burroughs, Legal Studies minor, shines on Seawolf XC running team

Maria Burroughs with Seawolf teammates
Mariah Burroughs right) with Seawolf women's
 cross country team members Kaitlyn Maker
 (left) and Tamara Perez (center).
Mariah Burroughs, Social Work major/Legal Studies minor, is one of the outstanding women on the Seawolf cross country running  team.

In November 2016 at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships in Saint Leo, FL, the Seawolf women's team finished 8th in a field of 32 teams.  This is the 9th consecutive time the women's team has made it into the top 10 at the national level. Go Seawolves!
Maria Burroughs at the Championships in St. Leo, FL, in November.
Mariah Burroughs at the Championships in St. Leo, FL, in November.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Alumni Update: Casey Gilmore, BA Legal Studies '16 and Dominic Eubank, BA Justice '16

Casey Gilmore
Casey Gilmore
Casey Gilmore, BA Legal Studies '16 and Pro Bono Service Honors, was accepted to Willamette University School of Law, and began classes in the fall 2016. She is a member of the Women's Law Caucus at Willamette University and is a volunteer for the ACLU. Casey hopes to return to Alaska to practice after completing law school. 

Officer Dominic Eubank
Officer Dominic Eubank
Dominic Eubank, BA Justice '16, is a recent graduate of the Anchorage Police Department (APD) Academy. The academy graduation program noted that Officer Eubank chose to join APD because of all of the opportunities within the department. His favorite course in the academy was firearms training, and he enjoyed becoming a more proficient shooter and firearms handler.




Thursday, January 19, 2017

Governor cites Justice Center research in State of the State address

Gov. Bill Walker
Gov. Bill Walker
Photo by James Brook (Used by license)
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 — In his State of the State Address before a joint session of the 30th Alaska State Legislature, Governor Bill Walker highlighted violence in our communities and in our homes as a significant challenge to tackle.  Citing statistics from the Alaska Victimization Survey that show that half of Alaska’s women experience sexualviolence, intimate partner violence, or both in their lifetimes, Governor Walker renewed his commitment to reducing violence in our communities and in our homes.  “While the rate is down from 59 percent in 2010,” Governor Walker said, “it is still deplorable.”  The Governor recognized the many individuals and groups that are working on prevention. He also discussed the need to improve responses to sex crimes.  “Justice delayed is justice denied,” he explained, and “victims deserve justice.”

The Alaska Victimization Survey is conducted by the Justice Center for the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA).  It provides comprehensive statewide and regional data to guide planning and policy development and to evaluate the impact of prevention and intervention services.  New stalking estimates were released on January 17, 2017, showing that 1 in 3 women in Alaska have experienced stalking in their lifetime.

Alaska Victimization Survey

Dr. Rivera presents emerging public health issues among Anchorage youth at 34th Annual Alaska Health Summit

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 — Dr. Marny Rivera, a faculty member of the UAA Justice Center, presented emerging public health issues among Anchorage youth at the 34th Annual Alaska Health Summit.  Her co-presenters were Curtis Smith (UAA Center for Human Development) and Drs. Gabriel Garcia and Travis Hedwig (UAA Department of Health Sciences).  Together, they presented an assessment of current behavioral health concerns among Anchorage youth through the analysis of primary and secondary data sources.

They presented three major findings.  First, while substance use is trending downward across nearly all substances and age groups, there are still racial/ethnic disparities in substance use and differences in the types of substance used.  Second, poor mental health conditions affect a sizeable proportion of youth.  However, some groups are more likely to be affected by these conditions, including racial/ethnic minorities, high school freshmen, and females.  Third, a significant proportion of youth experience bullying in school or electronically.  Those who report being bullied are also likely to report alcohol use and binge drinking, feeling alone and sad or hopeless, missing school, and having suicidal thoughts.  Dr. Rivera and her co-presenters discussed the importance of enhancing and increasing internal and external youth assets to address these problems.

For more information on their 2015 behavioral health and wellness assessment:
Presenting at the 34th Annual Alaska Health Summit (left to right): Dr. Travis Hedwig, UAA Department of Health Sciences; Dr. Gabriel Garcia, UAA Department of Health Sciences; Curtis Smith, UAA Center for Human Development; Dr. Marny Rivera, UAA Justice Center

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Alaska Victimization Survey results show that 1 in 3 women in Alaska have experienced stalking

Alaska Victimization Survey: Research on Violence Against Women
New results from the 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey for Alaska statewide were released on January 17, 2017. The 2015 survey was conducted by the University of Alaska Anchorage for the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA). These new results describe the number of women in Alaska that have experienced stalking in their lifetimes and in the past year.

In defining stalking, the Alaska Victimization Survey includes eight of the common forms of nonconsensual contacts (being watched or followed; being approached at home, work, or school; finding strange or threatening items; having your home or car intruded; receiving unwanted voice or text messages; receiving unwanted phone calls; receiving unwanted emails or messages; receiving unwanted cards, flowers, or gifts). Respondents were instructed not to include bill collectors, telephone solicitors, or other sales people. Respondents experienced stalking if they experienced these nonconsensual contacts multiple times and expressed fear.

Results

The 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey for Alaska statewide was conducted from May to August 2015. Findings include:
  • 1 in 3 women in Alaska have experienced stalking in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 17 have experienced stalking in the past year.
  • More than 80,800 women in Alaska have experienced stalking in their lifetime.
  • More than 15,300 have experienced stalking in the past year.
The 2015 survey also showed that stalking was particularly common among women who experienced intimate partner violence or sexual violence.
  • Among women who experienced intimate partner violence or sexual violence in their lifetime, 50% (more than 66,800) were also stalked in their lifetime.
  • Among women who experienced intimate partner violence or sexual violence in the past year, 27% (more than 5,800) were also stalked in the past year.
Details of the 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey are available at the Alaska Victimization Survey website:

More Information

For more background on this project, visit http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/justice/avs/
For more information about CDVSA, visit http://www.dps.state.ak.us/CDVSA/

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.

Links:

Friday, January 6, 2017

Summer/Fall 2016 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum

Alaska Justice Forum 33(2–3), Summer/Fall 2016
The Summer/Fall 2016 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum presents articles on the Recover Alaska initiative to address Alaska's alcohol-related problems; therapeutic courts in Alaska; findings of the Alaska Judicial Council's analysis of felony sentencing patterns in Alaska in 2012–2013; outcomes of the Teens Acting Against Violence (TAAV) program in Bethel seen through the lens of Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets; and a farewell from Barbara Armstrong, whose eight-year tenure as editor of the Alaska Justice Forum is ending with this issue.

The 12-page issue includes the following articles:

"Recover Alaska: Healing Alaska's Alcohol Problems" by Marny Rivera and Tiffany Hall

This article provides an overview of the strategies being implemented by the Recover Alaska initiative in its mission to reduce excessive alcohol use and related harm in Alaska by influencing social norms and perceptions about alcohol use and abuse. Includes a list of online resources.

"Editor's Goodbye" by Barbara Armstrong

Barbara Armstrong, editor of the Alaska Justice Forum since 2008, is leaving the Justice Center at the end of December 2016.

"Therapeutic Courts in the Alaska Court System" by Barbara Armstrong

Therapeutic courts — often called “problem-solving courts” or “wellness courts” — have been a growing component of the U.S. court system since the 1990s. This article provides an overview of the development of Alaska Court System therapeutic courts, and describes the 12 therapeutic courts currently operating in Alaska as well as proposed pilot project courts. Includes a bibliography.

"Alaska Felony Sentencing Patterns: Selected Findings" by Teresa White Carns

This article describes selected findings from the Alaska Judicial Council's recently released report Alaska Felony Sentencing Patterns: 2012–2013. The report examines factors associated with felony sentences under new presumptive ranges set by the Alaska Legislature in 2005 and 2006. The study has been used by the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC), established by the legislature in 2014 to make recommendations about criminal justice reform and sentencing.

"Teens Acting against Violence (TAAV) and the 40 Developmental Assets" by Khristy Parker

Teens Acting Against Violence (TAAV) is a student-led anti-violence education group formed in 1996 by Tundra Women’s Coalition (TWC) in Bethel, Alaska. This article looks at the program in light of the 40 developmental assets defined by the Search Institute, a nonprofit research program whose framework of strengths and supports for youth development has become an international benchmark. While the developmental assets were not intentionally incorporated in the design of the TAAV program, they are reflected in the program's outcomes.

"New Staff"

Jo Walker has joined the staff of the Justice Center as Academic Program Specialist, and Tristian Monterastelli, has joined the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) staff as a Research Professional.