Thursday, April 30, 2009

Research Overview: Victim-Suspect Relationship in Sexual Assault Cases

"Victim-Suspect Relationship in Sexual Assault Cases Reported to Law Enforcement: Alaska and National Data," the third issue of the Justice Center Research Overview, provides an overview of key research findings nationally and in Alaska on the relationships between victims and suspects in sexual assault cases.

This research overview compares data on victim-suspect relationships in sexual assault cases reported in the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) with information from three Alaska studies — the Anchorage Police Department (APD) study of sexual assaults reported to APD from 2000 to 2003; the Alaska Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) study of sexual assault nurse examinations conducted in Anchorage (1996–2004), Bethel and Fairbanks (2005–2006), and Homer, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Nome, and Soldotna (2005); and the Alaska State Trooper (AST) study of sexual assaults reported to AST in 2003 and 2004.

Relationships between victims and suspects in sexual assault cases have important implications for policy. In particular, stranger assaults are more likely to be reported to police.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dr. Rivera presents update on Alaska Meth Education Project

Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice Center faculty, presented an update on the evaluation of the Alaska Meth Education (AME) Project at the Alaska Meth Education Community Wellness Team Training on Monday, April 27, 2009. Dr. Rivera is the principal investigator conducting a state-wide evaluation of the effectiveness of the AME project. The goal of the AME Project is the prevention of meth use in Alaska.

Tour of the Alaska Medical Examiner’s Office

There will be a tour of the Alaska Medical Examiner’s Office this Friday, April 24th at 1:00 p.m. This tour is being sponsored by the Justice Club; however, you do not have to be a Justice Club member to participate. If you are interested in going, please email Kristin Machado at

Dr. Barnes interviewed by Anchorage Daily News

Dr. Allan Barnes, Justice Center faculty member, was interviewed by the Anchorage Daily News for their April 25, 2009 article, "Street sex moves to Internet and hotels," regarding the impact of technology on the enforcement of prostitution laws.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dr. Rosay recognized for community engagement and service learning

Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center Interim Director, presented a summary of his research on The Alaska Mentoring Initiative, a program for UAA undergraduate students to mentor youth institutionalized at the McLaughlin Youth Center (MYC), at the Selkregg Community Engagement & Service Learning Award ceremony, April 23, 2009. The two-year project was developed with the goal of successful reentry of youth transitioning from MYC to their home communities. Dr. Rosay’s research shows that institutionalized youth had significantly fewer adjudications after being mentored. In 2007, Dr. Rosay was the recipient of the Selkregg Award for his work on instituting this program.

The Selkregg Community Engagement & Service Learning Award is funded by the Iden and Selkregg families to support faculty in developing community-based research, creative activity, and course-based service-learning projects.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Director Alan McKelvie interviewed by Anchorage Daily News

Alan McKelvie, Director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), was interviewed by the Anchorage Daily News regarding Anchorage crime rates and trends that can be identified from data compiled by the Anchorage Police Department for the FBI Annual 2008 Uniform Crime Reports.

Dr. Chamard honored for volunteer work

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice faculty member, was recently honored for her service with the UAA University Police Deparment auxiliary emergency team. She and other team members were recognized by UAA Vice Chancellor Bill Spindle at their last regular meeting of the academic year. Samples of the UAA team's good work will be filmed next week, as a production crew working for Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS) creates a promotional video about police volunteers on American university and college campuses.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dr. Chamard awarded tenure

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor and awarded tenure in the UAA College of Health and Social Welfare. Dr. Chamard holds a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Rutgers-Newark and has been a Justice Center faculty member since 2003.

UAA Justice Center Student Appreciation Barbecue

Justice and Paralegal majors and their guests are invited to join Justice Center faculty and staff as we thank our great students. Come out and see your favorite professors flip burgers!

Date: Saturday, May 2, 2009
Time: 12:00-2:00pm
Location: Kincaid Park Outdoor Center, 9401 W. Raspberry Rd.

Please see the attached flyer.

Spring 2009 final exam schedule

Final examinations for the Spring 2009 semester will be held the week of April 27–May 1. The Justice Center examination schedule is now available online, showing day/date, time, and location of exams for Justice and Paralegal courses.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eight Justice Center students inducted into national criminal justice honor society

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, and Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center Interim Director, inducted eight Justice Center students and graduates into Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society, on April 14, 2009. The individuals inducted were Steven Amundson, Nashwa Azzam, Jillian Berna, Sonia Christensen, Sabina Clark, Lindy Henrick, Natalia Mejia, and Khristy Parker. Only about 10 per cent of justice students qualify for admission to Alpha Phi Sigma, which is based on a grade point average of 3.2 or better both in justice courses and overall.

Dr. Rosay testifies before Anchorage Women’s Commission

Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center Interim Director, provided testimony to the Anchorage Women’s Commission Public Forum on Sexual Violence held in Anchorage on April 15, 2009. During his testimony, Dr. Rosay emphasized that lowering the rate of sexual violence in Anchorage could only be achieved when law enforcement, sexual assault nurse examiners, and advocacy services are fully funded. The Public Forum, held in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, was organized by the Municipality of Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Justice Center Paralegal Studies students assist senior citizens

Professor Deborah Periman, Justice Center faculty, is working with Alaska Legal Services Corporation to provide an opportunity for Paralegal Studies students to learn about wills and advance health care directives while assisting older Alaskans. There will be a free Wills and Healthcare Directives Clinic on Thursday, April 16 from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m. at the Anchorage Senior Center, cosponsored by Alaska Legal Services Corporation and the Justice Center Paralegal Studies Certificate Program.

Dr. Chamard facilitates affordable housing workshop

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, in her capacity as Fairview Community Council president, will be a facilitator at the Council’s “Urban Housing Workshop”on Saturday, April 18 at the Fairview Community Recreation Center. Sponsored by the Council as part of the development of the Fairview Community Plan and the Fairview Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area, this workshop will focus on issues surrounding the future mix of affordable urban housing in Fairview.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fall 2009 Justice Center course offerings online

A list of the Justice Center's course offerings in the Justice B.A. and Paralegal Certificate programs for the Fall 2009 semester is now online in Acrobat .pdf format.

Please note that this schedule is subject to change, due to changes in classrooms, instructors, or other details that sometimes occur. We will post on our blog if/when our course offerings schedule is updated.

See a complete list of our course offerings schedules, with links to UAA catalogs and course schedules, on our Catalogs & course schedules page.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Winter 2009 issue of Alaska Justice Forum

The Winter 2009 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum focuses on the death penalty, violent deaths, factors influencing fear of crime, and the selection and evaluation of Alaska's judges.

The 12-page issue includes the following articles:

"Capital Punishment 2007 and 2008"

This article assembles Bureau of Justice Statistics figures on capital punishment in the United States. In 2007, 10 states executed 42 prisoners, 3,2000 people were under sentence of death in state and federal prisons, and all but 14 states retained the death penalty in their laws. In 2008, 37 people were executed.

"Violent Deaths in Alaska and Nationwide"

An estimated 50,000 people die annually in the United States as a result of violence — including suicide, homicide, injury deaths of undermined intent, unintentional firearms deaths, and legal intervention (such as police shootings). In Alaska, despite a relatively small population, about 250 people annually are victims of violent deaths. The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), of which the Alaska Violent Death Reporting System (AK VDRS) under the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is a part, works to capture and analyze detailed data about violent deaths with the goal of identifying populations at risk and designing and improving intervention and prevention efforts at all levels. This article describes the NVDRS and AK VDRS and reports findings from two significant surveys on violent deaths: the Alaska Violent Death Reporting System 2003–2005 Summary Report, the first annual publication of AK VDRS, and Deaths from Violence: A Look at 17 States, a survey of 2004–2005 data from NVRDS.

"Collective Efficacy and Fear of Crime in the Mat-Su Borough" by Sharon Chamard

Based on 1,068 surveys returned in the 2008 annual community survey of Matanuska-Susitna Borough residents, this article explores the relationship between fear of crime and three possible explantory factors: collective efficacy, which refers to the community's ability to control the behavior of its inhabitants adn to organize when needed to attract amenities and repel negative influences; social ties, which is a measure of how socially connected people are to others in their neighborhoods; and disorder, which measures how many indicators of both social and physical disorder are reported by survey respondents. The relationship between these three factors as found in the Mat-Su survey is consistent with other findings in the scholarly literature, and indicates that increasing perceptions of collective efficacy will lead to reductions in fear of crime.

"Selecting and Evaluating Alaska's Judges: 1984–2007" by Teresa W. Carns

Alaska selects and retains its judges using a merit selection system adopted 50 years ago at statehood (Alaska Constitution, Article IV, sections 5–8). The system, based on the "Missouri Plan" of merit selection, is administered by the Alaska Judicial Council, a citizens' commission of three non-attorneys, three attorneys, and the chief justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. Council staff reviews applications, public comment, and results of a survey of Alaska Bar Association members and conducts other investigation. The Council then meets, holds a public hearing, conducts applicant hearings, and votes on nominees. The state constitution requires that the governor shall fill any vacancy "by appointing one of two or more persons nominated by the judicial council." This article highlights findings of the Council's 2008 report on its merit selection and retention evaluation work, describing characteristics, legal experience, and bar survey ratings of judicial applicants, nominees, and appointees from 1984 to 2007. The article also includes discussion of the Council's role in judicial retention elections.

"An International Perspective on the Death Penalty"

More than two-thirds of the world's nations – 138 – have now abolished the death penalty in law or in practice, according to figures compiled by Amnesty International. Fifty-nine nations, including the United States, retain and use the death penalty. This article offers a brief overview of capital punishment internationally, including 2008 statistics, international treaties and protocols regarding the death penalty, and data on the imposition of the death penalty on foreign nationals in the United States.

"The Death Penalty in Alaska" by Melissa S. Green

In January 2009, House Bill 9 was introduced in the Alaska State Legislature. The bill, if passed, would authorize capital punishment in Alaska for persons convicted of certain first degree murders, and would represent the first time that Alaska as a state authorized a death penalty. This article gives a brief history of the death penalty in Alaska, including summaries of the cases of the eight men executed in under civil authority in Territorial Alaska from 1900 to 1957, when the Alaska Territorial Legislature abolished it two years before Alaska became a state. A bibliography for further reading on the death penalty in Alaska is also provided.

Dr. Everett presenting at Pacific Sociological Association 2009 annual meeting

Dr. Ron Everett, Justice Center faculty, is making a presentation on "Evaluation of Recidivism Following Moral Reconation Therapy with Jail Inmates," as part of the Evaluating Criminal and Juvenile Justice Programs Panel at the 2009 Pacific Sociological Association annual meeting in San Diego on April 10.

Dr. Rosay to review grant proposals for National Institute of Justice

Dr. André B. Rosay, Justice Center Interim Director, has been invited by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to assist in the evaluation of proposed research projects.

Justice Club to tour Anchorage FBI on April 17

Per Michael Guzy, Vice President of the Justice Club

We have another tour lined up, thanks to the hard work of Sarah Peterson and this one is going to be at the F.B.I. building at 10:00 a.m. on Friday the 17th. This promises to be an exciting event and sounds like it will include a presentation and tour of the building. Some members have expressed interest in a career with the F.B.I. when they graduate and this is a great opportunity to find out a little bit more about how the organization is structured. You don't have to fill out a background check, but do have to have a valid I.D. (driver's license, state I.D. or passport) to attend.

Persons interested in attending should inform Justice Club officers, so that they can give the FBI an idea of how many to expect.

For more information about the Justice Club, see the Justice Club home page.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dr. Chamard interviewed by KTUU Channel 2

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, was interviewed by KTUU Channel 2 television about the Fairview Community Council's April 4, 2009 public workshop. In her capacity as President of the Council, Dr. Chamard discussed the goal of the workshop: to develop a neighborhood vision for revitalization at the northern end of the Fairview community area. Topics included the dramatic changes in traffic patterns that are likely to occur after the Highway-to-Highway road project joins the Glenn and Seward Highways, and the potential impact on Fairview.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dr. Barnes invited to meeting of outstanding criminal justice educators

Dr. Allan Barnes, Justice Center faculty, was invited to participate in a forum to discuss future directions in criminal justice education held in San Francisco on April 3, 2009. This gathering of outstanding criminal justice educators evaluated current curriculum standards, including new and innovative concepts, and helped shape future justice instructional materials and media.

Dr. Chamard interviewed on KUDO Radio

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, was a guest on the “Cutting Edge with CC” on Newstalk 1080 KUDO radio on March 23. In her capacity as Fairview Community Council President, Dr. Chamard was invited on the show by host Camille Conte to promote the “Historic 4” community councils Anchorage mayoral candidates forum to be held that same evening and to discuss issues important to the Fairview community, including chronic public inebriates, pending road projects, and neighborhood revitalization. The Anchorage mayoral election is April 7.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Justice Center hosts annual reception April 7 for university and community partners

The Justice Center will hosts its annual reception for university and community partners on Tuesday, April 7, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the Consortium Library, Room 307. The Consortium Library is the building numbered 24 on the UAA campus map. Please call 786-1810 for parking information.

The Justice Center itself will be closed from 3:30 p.m. on April 7.