Monday, November 30, 2009

Dr. Chamard heads subcommittee of Anchorage's Homeless Leadership Team

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, will coordinate the activities of the data subcommittee of the "Causes of Chronic Public Inebriation" work group of the Municipality of Anchorage's Homeless Leadership Team. The primary tasks of the subcommittee are to investigate sources of data concerning chronic public inebriates, gain access to the data, and conduct preliminary analyses to inform decision-making by the Leadership Team.

See the Justice Center's Homelessness bibliography for other information about homelessness.

Dr. Rivera to assist Oregon Criminal Justice Commission

Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice Center faculty, has drafted an assessment plan for drug courts in Jackson County, Oregon, and will also serve as the evaluator for the plan. Funding supporting the durg courts and evaluation has been provided by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission Drug Court Grant Program. The grant is designed to provide funding for drug courts, including addiction treatment, mental health, and employee services, and for court coordinator positions. This grant from the Oregon legislature is aimed at addressing the public safety and public health issues caused by drug use, especially methamphetamine, in the state.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Alaska Mentoring Initiative seeks mentors for Spring 2010

The Justice Center is seeking mentors for youth at the McLaughlin Youth Center for Spring 2010. Please see the attached flyer.

The Alaska Mentoring Initiative is a partnership between the University of Alaska Anchorage, the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska. Its goals are to enhance the civic engagement of University students with formal opportunities to mentor institutionalized youth and to empower institutionalized youth by having a mentor that will facilitate their re-entry into their home community.

For further information, email Dr. Rosay at

Thanksgiving holiday closure

The Justice Center will be closed from Wednesday, November 25 through Friday, November 27 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. We'll return to our normal hours of operation on Monday, November 30. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Justice Club tour of Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory on Dec. 11

The Justice Club is sponsoring a tour on Friday, December 11th at 3:30pm of the Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory. The crime lab is located at 5500 E Tudor Road.

Please send an email to if you would like to attend. You must be a current Justice Club member and have paid the club dues for either the semester or the year to participate in this tour.

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

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fall 2009 final exam schedule

Final examinations for the Fall 2009 semester will be held the week of December 7–11, 2009. The Justice Center examination schedule is now available online, showing day/date, time, and location of exams for Justice and Paralegal courses.

Dr. Rosay interviewed by KTUU Channel 2 News

Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center Director, was interviewed by KTUU Channel 2 News as part of their November 22, 2009 report on forensic nurses and the prosecution of sexual assault cases in Alaska.

The Alaska Senate Judiciary Committee Chair recently released their, "Report and Recommendations: Reducing Sexual Assault in Alaska." The Justice Center has a number of research reports on sexual assault nurse examinations.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dr. Myrstol appointed to NeighborWorks Anchorage Board of Directors

Dr. Brad Myrstol, Justice Center faculty, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of NeighborWorks Anchorage, a chartered member of NeighborWorks America. Neighborworks America is a national nonprofit organization created by Congress to provide financial support, technical assistance, and training for community-based revitalization efforts. Dr. Myrstol serves on the Board as a Fairview resident, one of the target areas of the organization's program.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dr. Rosay assists with Muni of Anchorage report on sexual violence in Anchorage

Dr. André Rosay received special acknowledgment for his contribution to the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) Report, "Sexual Violence in Anchorage, Alaska - Findings and Recommendations September 2009." The MOA Department of Health and Human Services, Human Services Division, Safety Links Program, expressed in the report their appreciation to Dr. Rosay "for reviewing Uniform Crime Report data and theories and relationships between data, and his testimony regarding the need for specific services and preventative measures in Anchorage."

For copies of the report, call the Safety Links Program at 907-343-6589. The report will be posted to the MOA website shortly.

Prof. Periman announces Diversity Committee film showing, "Crash"

Prof. Deborah Periman, Justice faculty member, announces a Diversity Committee event for faculty, staff, and students. The CHSW Diversity Committee will host a discussion and showing of the film "Crash" on Friday, November 20, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., SSB 118. Admission is free and snacks will be provided.

"Crash" is a movie that casts light on bigotry and racial stereotypes as the story of people impacted by a car collision unfolds . The film is set in Los Angeles, a city with a cultural mix of every nationality.

Prof. Periman co-chairs the CHSW Diversity Committee.

Dr. Rivera to evaluate Oregon Family Connections Program

Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice Center faculty, will serve as the evaluator for the Family Connections program funded by a Family Connection Discretionary Grant that was recently awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children & Families . The award was made to the drug treatment provider, OnTrack, Inc., located in Jackson County, Oregon. The funding is intended to help children at risk of entering foster care to reconnect with their families by providing a number of services, including residential family drug treatment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Methamphetamines focus of research report and Research Overview

Alaska Meth Education Project: Process and Outcome Evaluation, 2009 by Dr. Marny Rivera and Jennifer McMullen is the first report to provide information regarding Alaskans’ perceptions of meth, including effects and risks associated with meth use and perceptions regarding the availability and use of meth by young adults in Alaska. The report evaluated the efforts of the Alaska Meth Education (AME) Project, a statewide effort to reduce meth use and availability in Alaska by educating Alaskans about, and preventing youth from trying, meth. The AME Project provides free community education presentations, an anti-meth media campaign. anti-meth summits, and a website and Facebook page which provide information, local resources, and links to their campaign ads. The AME Project has resulted from the efforts of five local government: the Municipality of Anchorage, Matanuska Susitna Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough, and the City and Borough of Juneau.

Evaluation methods included a survey to evaluate community education presentations; a survey conducted with UAA Justice students exposed to the anti-meth radio advertisements generated by the AME Project; a survey of 10,000 randomly sampled Alaskans; and a process evaluation involving interviews conducted with AME Project statewide advisory committee members.

Meth is also the focus of a new issue of the Justice Center Research Overview, also written by Marny Rivera and Jennifer McMullen — "Methamphetamine (Meth) Use, Trafficking, and Treatment" — which presents a summary of the meth problem in the U.S. and Alaska using the most recent available data on use, trafficking, and treatment related to methamphetamines.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Justice Club tour of Anchorage Correctional Complex on Nov. 20

The Justice Club is sponsoring a tour on November 20 at 10:00am of the Anchorage Correctional Complex. The jail is located at 1400 E. 4th Ave. between downtown and Mountain View.

The Justice Club has previously been to Hiland Mountain and Spring Creek correctional centers, both of which house prisoners after trial and conviction. The Anchorage Correctional Complex, however, houses a variety of inmates, and consequently a more complex security structure. As described by Anchorage jail architect Steve Fishback in a 2001 article in the Alaska Justice Forum, "The Design of the New Anchorage Jail":

Operating as a booking center and pretrial facility, the Anchorage jail will accept defendants who will be charged with a variety of offenses, including violent and destructive crimes. For this reason, the Anchorage jail has been designed and constructed as an extremely high security institution. Since the jail population will include sentenced misdemeanants, as well as individuals charged with serious crimes, the custody structure will range from minimum to close and maximum custody.

You must be a current Justice Club memeber and have paid the club dues for either the semester or the year to participate in the tour. You must also fill out a background check form and submit it to the Justice Center by November 12. This form is available in the Justice Center and on the Justice Club’s webpage.

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

Atlas of Anchorage Community Indicators released

The Atlas of Anchorage Community Indicators is an online collection of maps reflecting survey and census data for the Municipality of Anchorage. The intent of the Atlas is to make empirical information about Anchorage neighborhoods widely accessible to many different audiences. Our selection of indicators for presentation in the Atlas was inspired by Peter Blau and his interest in measures of heterogeneity (diversity) and inequality and by the work of the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. In these prior works, variables known as Community Indicators were theorized to educate and inform researchers about the cause and context of neighborhoods in the development of criminals. These indicators can be measured in various ways, typically through surveys or by mining existing census data.

By leveraging Geographic Information Systems methods and technology and using survey data, the Justice Center has been able to illustrate the distribution of these variables (by 2000 U.S. Census block group) throughout the Municipality of Anchorage. This will allow the audience to see patterns of distribution, and raises important questions about the spatial distribution of variables like Concentrated Disadvantage (a measure of relative neighborhood poverty) and Residential Stability (theorized to promote the evolution of common values). Ideally, this information will educate community councils, sociologists, and other stakeholders about the composition of Anchorage neighborhoods and the possible ramifications of that composition, and assist in policy making.

Dr. Rivera assists Oregon Treatment Courts

Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice Center faculty, was the consultant on and will serve as an evaluator for a drug court program for the Jackson County (Oregon) Treatment Courts. The program has been funded by a Drug Court Enhancement grant, and the funding will be used to enhance offender accountability by increasing the restitution collection rate among drug court participants.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Justice Center Research Overview: Two new issues on Anchorage arrestees & homelessness

Two new issues of the Justice Center Research Overview look at homelessness among adult male arrestees in Anchorage:
Both Overviews, by Justice Center faculty member Brad A. Myrstol, are based upon data collected in Anchorage from 2000 to 2003 as part of the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program. Anchorage was one of 40 sites which participated in the nationwide ADAM program. Justice Center researchers collected data on the prevalence and types of drug use among booked arrestees during four two-week periods each year, once per quarter, at Cook Inlet Pretrial Facility and Anchorage's Sixth Avenue Jail (through 2001) and at the Anchorage Correctional Complex (2002-2003).

Although the program was discontinued in 2003, its data continues to be valuable for understanding alcohol and drug use among Anchorage arrestees. ADAM data was also the basis for a recent Alaska Justice Forum article by Brad Myrstol, "Drug Use Trajectories of Anchorage Male Arrestees: 2000–2003" (Summer 2009).

For further information, see our bibliographies on homelessness and on drugs & drug abuse.

Dr. Chamard interviewed by KTUU Channel 2 News about 2007 Anchorage Community Survey Report

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, was interviewed by KTUU Channel 2 News concerning the release of the "2007 Anchorage Community Survey Sourcebook," "2007 Executive Summary," and the " Community Indicators Project at UAA: Anchorage Police Department Related Results." This biannual survey of the Anchorage Municipality asks residents demographic information, their opinion about life in Anchorage, including their level of satisfaction with municipal services, their perception of safety in the community, and questions about neighborhood social cohesiveness.

The 2009 Anchorage Community Survey is currently underway, and the report from the survey is anticipated in late spring 2010.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dr. Rivera elected Chair of the CHSW Curriculum Committee

Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice Center faculty member, has been elected to serve as Chair of the College of Health & Social Welfare (CHSW) Curriculum Committee. This committee reviews proposals for changing, adding, or deleting majors, minors, courses and programs in CHSW.

Dr. Chamard quoted in Anchorage Daily News re H2H project

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, was interviewed October 30, 2009 by the Anchorage Daily News in her capacity as President of the Fairview Community Council about the Highway-to-Highway Project. The Highway to Highway Project is a proposal to connect the Seward Highway to the Glenn Highway.