Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fall 2009: Welcome to new & returning Justice Center students!

UAA/APU Consortium Library. Photo by Melissa S. Green
Welcome from the Justice Center to our new and returning Justice and Paralegal students.

Looking for information about class schedules or other academic information? From the Justice Center home page, select Academic from the menu bar across the top of the page for information on the Justice B.A. or Paralegal Certificate programs, class schedules, syllabi (as they become available), and other student information.

Don’t forget we have a computer lab for Justice Center students open Monday thru Friday, 8:00 AM–5:00 PM (closed on holidays) located in our office suite, Library 213.

If you have any questions or need to talk to an advisor, faculty will be returning August 10. They will be available to set up appointments with students at that time.

If you do not know who your advisor is, call our main line 786-1810, and we'll provide you with that information.

If you must meet with an advisor prior to August 10, the College of Health and Social Welfare (CHSW) has an advisor on call to answer questions about the Justice Center programs. You can contact Russ Pressley, CHSW Academic Advising Coordinator, at 786-4405.

We look forward to seeing you this fall!

Spring 2009 issue of Alaska Justice Forum

The Spring 2009 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum focuses on therapeutic and problem-solving courts, an update on Alaska justice system operating expenditures, a report on the work of the Criminal Justice Working Group, and news about Justice Center appointments and forthcoming publications.

The 12-page issue includes the following articles:

"Anchorage Wellness Court: Challenges" by Ronald S. Everett

This article examines the Anchorage Wellness Court (AWC), which deals with misdemeanor alcohol offenders, including those who drive under the influence (DUI); discusses the concepts of therapeutic jurisprudence and problem-solving courts; and examines the challenges to the longstanding need and demonstrated potential for success of the AWC program. The author discusses societal views of DUI drivers and explores the broader issue of “impaired” drivers: those, for example, who drive while talking on cell phones. Four recommendations are given for the AWC: to reorient and/or clarify policy goals regarding drunk drivers; to develop alternative treatment programs and expand the number of available treatment providers; to establish a 5-year follow-up program with potential for expunging arrest and conviction records and other incentives; and to develop proactive, rather than reactive, polices of prevention to confront alcohol-impaired drivers and the underlying problem of alcohol abuse and addiction. A sidebar highlights sanctions for DUIs under Alaska Statute Section 28.35.030 and Anchorage Municipal Code 9.28.020.

"Justice System Operating Expenditures"

This article looks at changes in justice system operating expenditures for the period FY 2000–2010, and total operating expenditures for all state agencies for the same period. FY09 final budget for the State of Alaska includes $229 million in stimulus funds, a portion of which have been applied for by the Department of Public Safety, including the Alaska State Troopers. Total Alaska justice system operating expenditures grew by 68 percent from FY 2000–2010 while the total state operating budget for all agencies grew by 75 percent

"Criminal Justice Working Group Update" by Teresa White Carns

Coordinated and staffed by the Alaska Judicial Council, the Criminal Justice Working Group (CJWG) is made up of representatives from the executive branch justice agencies and other justice system agencies and organizations in Alaska. The CWCG has focused on two main aspects of the criminal justice system: crime prevention and reduction of recidivism; and efficiencies in the system. This article outlines the CJWG's recent work and accomplishments.

"Therapeutic Jurisprudence"

This article discusses therapeutic jurisprudence and describes therapeutic and problem-solving courts and their common elements. Therapeutic courts currently operating in the Alaska Court System — including addictions (drug and alcohol), mental health, and other therapeutic courts — are described, as well as other programs in Alaska that have been developed to address particular issues falling under the rubric of therapeutic jurisprudence, including community justice centers.

"Further Reading on Therapeutic Justice"

A bibliography or articles and studies on therapeutic courts and jurisprudence nationally and in Alaska. Most are available online.

"Justice Center Appointments"

Announcing the appointment of Dr. André Rosay as Director of the Justice Center; Dr. Brad Myrstol as Assistant Professor; and Khristy Parker and Jennifer McMullen as research assistants.

"Dr. Trostle Retires"

Announcing the retirement of Dr. Lawrence Trostle, an 18-year faculty member, from the Justice Center.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dr. Chamard interviewed by Anchorage Press

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, was interviewed by the Anchorage Press in her capacity as President of the Fairview Community Council. The article in the July 23-29 issue concerns the impact of the highway-to-highway interconnect between the Seward Highway and the Glenn Highway on the Fairview neighborhood.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dr. Rosay to present sexual assault research to Alaska Senate Judiciary Committee

Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center Director, will present Justice Center research on sexual assault to the Senate Judiciary Committee of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, August 3, 2009. This Senate Judiciary Committee meeting is focused on reducing sexual assault in Alaska and will also include presentations by Tara Henry (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners program), Lt. Michelle Bucher (Anchorage Police Department), Richard Crousie (Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association), Commissioner Joe Masters (Alaska Department of Public Safety), and Sue McLean (Alaska Department of Law).

Members of the committee are Senator Hollis French (D-Anchorage), Chair; Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage), Vice Chair; Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage); Senator Gene Therriault (R-North Pole); and Senator Dennis Egan (D-Juneau).

For further information on sexual assault in Alaska, see the Justice Center bibliography on violence against women.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Justice Center welcomes new writer and editor

Barbara Armstrong has joined the Justice Center as writer and editor. With 20 years of experience as Continuing Legal Education Director and Assistant Director of the Alaska Bar Association, she brings a broad knowledge of Alaska justice agencies and extensive experience in research and publication. Ms. Armstrong will provide editorial leadership for the Alaska Justice Forum and will coordinate all of the Justice Center’s public dissemination activities.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Justice Center grad assists in prisoner reentry program

Tabatha Harris, 2007 Justice graduate, is working as a case manager in the Denver County Jail Women's Mental Health Transition Unit as part of the Prisoner Reentry Program. Most of the women in this unit have a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse, and many have a history of trauma. Their offenses range from traffic charges, to prostitution, to murder. Tabatha assists these individuals in working through problems in a positive way, as well as finding resources for them upon release. Homelessness is the biggest issue. To date, this program has contributed to reducing recidivism, maintaining safety, and lowering expenses as women stay out of jail longer and use positive coping skills in place of medications. Tabatha finds her work challenging and rewarding, and enjoys her "daily adventures" at the County Jail. This program is through the Denver County Sheriff Department and funded by the Department of Justice.

Research Overview: Sex Offender Registries and Notification Programs

"Sex Offender Registries and Notification Programs," the fourth issue of the Justice Center Research Overview, presents a brief history of sex offender registries and notification programs nationally and in Alaska; describes provisions of Alaska's registry/notification laws; and discusses recent research findings about the effectiveness of such laws and their impact on offenders.

The research overview was prepared by Deborah Periman, who has previously written on Alaska's sex offender registry law for the Spring/Summer 2008 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum.

Dr. Everett joins criminal justice study tour in Germany

Dr. Ron Everett, Justice Center faculty, and UAA Justice Center students, join a criminal justice study tour in Germany from July 17 – August 2, 2009. The program is organized by Prof. Finn Esbensen, Dept. of Criminology and Criminal Justice at University of Missouri-St. Louis and administered through the Center for International Studies, University of Missouri-St. Louis. Prof. Elmar Weitekamp and Prof. Hans-Juergen Kerner from the Institute of Criminology at Eberhard Karls University of Tuebingen will accompany the tour and participate in seminars on comparative criminology/criminal justice. For more information, contact the Justice Center at 907-786-1810 or

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Justice Center concludes Group-Based Models Workshop

Dr. Daniel S. Nagin, Professor of Public Policy and Statistics at Carnegie Mellon Heinz College, concluded today his presentation of a 3-day workshop on group-based models for analyzing developmental trajectories. This invitation-only intensive program held July 7, 8, and 9 for social behavioral science researchers was hosted by the Justice Center and trained participants to use group-based models in a variety of health and social welfare disciplines. These models can describe, summarize, and analyze individual and environmental changes over time. Dr. Nagin is an internationally known expert in this field and has published extensively on group-based models.

Workshop participants are pictured here, back row, left to right: Dr. Adrienne Freng, Associate Professor, Dept. of Criminal Justice, University of Wyoming; Dr. Brad Myrstol, Assistant Professor, UAA Justice Center; Alan McKelvie, Director, Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center; Dr. Darryl Wood, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Political Science & Criminal Justice, Washington State University, Vancouver; Gregory Matt Snodgrass, Ph.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon Heinz College.
Front row, left to right: Dr. Daniel Nagin, workshop presenter, Teresa and John Heinz III University Professor of Public Policy and Statistics, Carnegie Mellon Heinz College; Dr. Marny Rivera, Assistant Professor, UAA Justice Center; Dr. David Driscoll, Director, UAA Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies. Not pictured, Dr. André Rosay, Director, UAA Justice Center.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Justice Center faculty and staff additions

Dr. Brad Myrstol has joined the faculty of the Justice Center. He was most recently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and also held an appointment as a Research Assistant Professor at the Community and Family Institute of the University of Arkansas. Dr. Myrstol received his Ph.D. from Indiana University, and his recent research has examined public perceptions of police and other legal actors, homelessness and criminal justice, and the relationship between substance abuse and crime. He is a former research faculty at the UAA Justice Center where he co-authored a number of studies and articles.

Khristy Parker, B.A., University of Alaska Anchorage and Jennifer McMullen, M.A., Simon Fraser University, have joined the staff as research assistants. Ms. Parker will be working with Dr. Sharon Chamard on aspects of the Anchorage Community Survey and other projects, and Ms. McMullen will be working with Dr. Marny Rivera on the evaluation of the Alaska Meth Education Project.

Prof. Periman teaches at Color of Justice 2009

Professor Deborah Periman, Justice faculty member, participated as a panelist and on the planning committee for the "Color of Justice 2009 - Encouraging Diversity in the Judiciary" program on Thursday-Friday, June 18-19, 2009 at the UAA campus and the Alaska Court. Over 75 high school students attended this program sponsored by the National Association of Women Judges with additional support from the University of Alaska Anchorage, the Alaska Court System, and other educational and community partners.

Left to right: Professor Periman and co-presenter Susan Lee, Director of Admissions for Gonzaga University School of Law highlighted the academic roadmap for planning for college, law school, and a career in justice.