Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alaska State Troopers Captain Steven Arlow speaks about career opportunities and need for Village Public Safety Officers on Dec 2

Captain Steven Arlow of the Alaska State Troopers (AST) will discuss Trooper career opportunities and the current need for Village Public Safety Officers (VPSOs) in rural Alaska on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. in Rasmuson Hall 108.

This event is sponsored by Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society - Omega Xi Chapter, the Justice Club, and UAA Native Student Services.

For more information, call the Justice Center at 786-1810.

Dr. Myrstol publishes article on school resource officers in Western Criminology Review

Dr. Brad Myrstol, Justice faculty, has recently published, "Public Perceptions of School Resource Officer (SRO) Programs," in  volume 12, number 3 of  Western Criminology Reviewthe peer-reviewed journal of the Western Society of Criminology.

About the article:
Prior research examining people’s perceptions of SRO programs has focused on the views of
four stakeholder groups: school administrators, teachers, parents, and students. Notably, however,
no prior studies have assessed the views of the general public, and few have utilized multivariate
analyses in order to identify the factors that shape perceptions of SRO initiatives. Using
community survey data collected in Anchorage, Alaska this study explores the general public’s
awareness of, perceived need for, and belief in the effectiveness of SRO programs, and
systematically examines factors that predict public support for them within a multivariate
framework. Results show that public support for SRO programs is multidimensional and “fuzzy.”
Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prof. Brandeis holds mock oral arguments in courts and civil liberties class

L to r: Vikam Patel, Prof. Brandeis,
Justin Roberts, and Callie Kim discuss the project.
Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Justice faculty, has scheduled a moot court project for his Justice 344 course, "Courts and Civil Liberties." A moot court is a mock appellate court proceeding which involves the presentation of oral argument before a panel of judges. Students are divided into teams and prepare arguments for hypothetical cases.  Their arguments are then presented before a panel of  judges (including Prof. Brandeis) composed of lawyer volunteers. Vikram Patel, Law Office of Vikram Patel; Justin Roberts, General Counsel for IBEW Local 1547; and Callie Kim, Alaska Public Defender Agency, participated as judges for the first arguments.

The judges pose questions to the students and evaluate their presentation. The hypothetical cases address such issues as alternative criminal sentencing, the establishment clause (separation of church and state), student free speech rights, second amendment right to bear arms, privacy and technology issues, free speech and political protest, and equal rights and protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Mock oral arguments will continue this week and next with different lawyer volunteers as judges.

Student David Crozier presents his argument.

Participants in first mock oral arguments. Front row l to r:  Callie Kim (lawyer volunteer), Tamara Douglas, Dawn Leonard, Samantha Cestnik, Mary Dombroski, Vikram Patel (lawyer volunteer). Back row l to r: Justin Roberts (lawyer volunteer), David Crozier, Sean O'Connor, Prof. Jason Brandeis.  Not pictured: Sam Peters and Jennifer Gregory.

Justice major featured in UAA Honors College video

Ezekiel Kaufman, Justice major, is one of several students featured in a video about the University Honors College. Students enrolled in the Honors College complete an enriched curriculum and a thesis project. In the video,  Zeke discusses how being a member of the college has helped him see himself as "a professional."

Zeke's goal is to work as a public policy analyst.  He is currently a research aide to Dr. Brad Myrstol, Justice faculty, and is a member and treasurer of Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society.

Below is the video - Zeke's segment starts at 2:07 into the video.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Summer/Fall 2011 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum

The Summer/Fall 2011 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum features articles on immigrants in Alaska, VPSOs and violence against women cases, Alaska's Five-Year Prisoner Reentry Strategic Plan, and the PACE pilot project for probation violators. The 12-page issue includes the following articles:

Immigrants in Alaska—Authorized and Unauthorized by Antonia Moras

The immigration of most foreign-born residents of Alaska has occurred legally under established laws and regulations. However, the picture of immigration in Alaska—both authorized and unauthorized—differs in some details from the rest of the country as a whole. According to census figures based on an average over the 5-year period of 2005–2009, immigrants from Asian countries formed a greater proportion of the foreign-born population than they did in the U.S. overall. Over one-half of immigrants to Alaska came from Asia. In the country as whole, immigrants from the Americas constitute over 55 percent of the foreign-born, with Mexico being by far the most common country of origin. The article also discusses the increase in and estimated number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. and Alaska, and place of birth of and labor force participation of unauthorized immigrants. Includes notes on data sources and a bibliography of articles on immigration and noncitizens that have appeared in the Alaska Justice Forum.

Enforcement of Immigration Laws by Antonia Moras

Although there has been increasing involvement by state and local law enforcement, and more politicization of immigration issues at the state and local level, the federal government still has primary responsibility for enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. Despite relatively few cases, the adjudication of immigration cases in Alaska has slowed dramatically over the last decade, as it has elsewhere. This article also examines immigrant detention Alaska, immigration court proceedings, and the lengthy time for an immigration proceeding, and the enormous backlog of cases.

PACE: A Pilot Project for Probation Violators in Anchorage

Probation Accountability and Certain Enforcement (PACE), based on the Hawaii Court HOPE model, is a pilot project introduced in the Anchorage Superior Court in July 2010. This article presents findings and recommendations from a recent Alaska Judicial Council evaluation of the project, which seeks to deal with probation violations quickly with immediate imposition of a sanction.

Alaska's Five-Year Prisoner Reentry Strategic Plan, 2011–2016

The Five-year Prisoner Reentry Strategic Plan, 2011-2016, released this year by the Alaska Prisoner Reentry Task Force, presents a comprehensive overview of the issues surrounding successful prisoner reentry in Alaska, and makes recommendations for implementation of the plan. Includes a bibliography of resources on prisoner reentry and justice reinvestment.

A Brief Look at VPSOs and Violence Against Women Cases

This article looks at a study of sexual assault (SA) and sexual assault of a minor (SAM) cases reported to Alaska State Troopers in 2003 and 2004 when the first responder was a local paraprofessional police officer— a Village Public Safety Officer (VPSO), Village Police Officer (VPO), or Tribal Police Officer (TPO). The probability of a case being referred to the Alaska Department of Law, of being accepted for prosecution, and resulting in a conviction was greater in most types of SA and SAM cases reported to the Alaska State Troopers when paraprofessional police officers were involved as first responders. Past studies have also demonstrated the positive impact of paraprofessional police in rural Alaska. A brief description of the VPSO program and current VPSO staffing is given. Includes a bibliography of articles on Village Public Safety Officers (VPSOs) and paraprofessional police that have appeared in the Alaska Justice Forum and elsewhere.

U.S. State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies Census 2008 by Bureau of Justice Statistics

Over 1.1 millions persons were employed full-time by state and local law enforcement in the U.S. in 2008, according to the most recent census of state and local law enforcement agencies from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Of that number, 765,000 were sworn personnel – defined as those with general arrest powers. In 2008, Alaska had 1,298 sworn personnel in 50 state and local law enforcement agencies, including 274 sworn officers of the Alaska State Troopers.

Faculty Notes

Marny Rivera, Justice Center faculty member, has been awarded tenure and been promoted to Associate Professor.

Recent Justice Center Faculty Publications

A bibliography of recent publications by Justice Center faculty.

Mat-Su Borough Community Survey 2011 and Trends 2007-2011 released

The Justice Center has released the most recent publication from its Community Indicators Project:
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Survey, conducted annually beginning in 2006, is a cooperative research effort between the Justice Center and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to collect information about satisfaction with Borough services, household aspirations, and household composition. These data will be used by Borough decision-makers to prioritize projects, improve services, and better plan for the future growth of the Mat-Su Borough.

This year's study was conducted by Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice faculty, who also was the principal investigator for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Mat-Su surveys.Heather MacAlpine, a senior in the Justice B.A. program, assisted with data collection, entry, and analysis.

The survey asks Mat-Su Borough residents to evaluate the quality of Borough services, provide opinions about Borough decision-making, and sum up their perceptions about a range of issues relevant to the present and future of the Mat-Su community. The 2011 survey was distributed to 2,577 adult heads-of-household in the Mat-Su Borough in the late summer and fall of 2011; a total of 1,159 completed surveys were returned, for a response rate of  45%.

This sourcebook presents both the results from the 2011 survey and trends from 2007–2011 in five major areas: (1) evaluation of current borough services; (2) use of borough facilities; (3) life in Mat-Su neighborhoods; (4) local government access, policies, and practices; and (5) respondent background information. Additionally, findings from a derived importance-performance analysis of the survey data are presented, as is a compilation of respondent comments.

See the Justice Center's Community surveys bibliography for a complete list of Justice Center reports and articles from various community surveys, including the Mat-Su Community Survey.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

College of Health Diversity Committee presents program on using Native case studies in the classroom

The College of Health Diversity Committee presents a program on "Native Case Studies: Using Diverse Case Studies As An Effective Teaching Method" on Friday, November 18, from 11 am - 12:30p.m. in LIB 307.  UAA faculty attended the 6th Annual Enduring Legacies Summer Institute for Writing and Teaching Native Cases sponsored The Evergreen State College in Washington this past summer.  They will share the methods they learned for stimulating student interest and participation by weaving culturally diverse case studies into course curricula.

This event is sponsored by the College of Health (COH), COH Diversity Committee, and CAFE. Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Justice faculty, is Chair of the COH Diversity Committee.

Dr. Chamard moderates Conversation Salon Series discussion on the working poor on January 17

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice Center faculty, will moderate the January 17, 2012 session of the Conversation Salon Series: The Working Poor sponsored by the Anchorage Public Library and  UAA/APU Books of the Year.  The January 17 event will look at "Criminalizing the Working Poor" and is based, as are all the events in the series, on David Shipler's book, The Working Poor: Invisible in America.

Conversation Salon Series discussions are held every third Tuesday of the month, from Septetmber to May, at  5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Ann Stevens Room of the Loussac Library.   The sessions are not presentations, but opportunities for attendees to discuss issues relevant to themselves and the community. For more information contact Nancy Clark at 343-2972.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Justice faculty present at American Society of Criminology annual conference

Justice faculty will be presenting on a variety of topics at the 2011 annual American Society of Criminology Conference on November 16-19 in Washington, D.C.:

 "Using POGIL Techniques in Justice Related Classes: Considerations, Caveats and Conclusions
   Dr. Allan Barnes

"Do Housing Vouchers Increase Crime?"
"Criminogenic Features of Apartment Complexes: Effects of Place Management"
  Dr. Troy Payne

"Self-Protective Measures and Fear of Crime, Social Engagement, Collective Efficacy and Neighborhood Crime Levels"
 Dr. Sharon Chamard

"Estimates of Violence against Women in Alaska: Results from the Alaska Victimization Survey"
"Intimate Partner Violence against Alaska Native and Non-Native Women: Estimates from the Alaska Victimization Survey"
"Reporting of Sexual Assault Victimizations to Police: Results from Two Alaska Cities"
 Dr. André Rosay and Dr. Brad Myrstol

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.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dr. Rivera participates in UAA Alcohol Awareness event

UPD Lt. Scott Chafin (left) and Dr. Rivera at the Justice Center display.
Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice faculty, participated in the UAA Alcohol Awareness Week event held Wednesday, October 26, at the Student Cafeteria.  The "Wii Happy Hour" included pizza, "mocktails," a chance to wear "drunk goggles" to test your equilibrium, and displays by the Justice Center, the University Police Department Drug Paraphernelia, Student Health and Counseling, and others.

The Justice Center display highlighted recent research on college-age drinking and included data from the 2010 survey of UAA students. This event was part of National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week and was coordinated by the UAA Dean of Students Office.

(l to r) Dr. Rivera and Justice majors Mary Dombroski and Kristen Crain-Robinson enjoy pizza while looking at research data.

Dr. Chamard publishes 2009 Anchorage Community Survey results for Anchorage Police Department

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice faculty, has recently published, "Anchorage Community Survey 2009: Anchorage Police-related Results," as part of the Community Indicators Project at the UAA Justice Center.

The Anchorage Community Survey (ACS) asked residents to respond to questions about the quality of life in their Anchorage neighborhood, their satisfaction with municipal services, and their opinion of the criminal justice system, including police.  This report presents the findings of the 23 questions that focused on the Anchorage Police Department (APD).  Overall, respondents were satisfied with APD, with close to two-thirds (66%) of those who answered these questions reporting they were satisfied (43%) or very satisfied (23%).

The report also includes results grouped by community council area of the survey respondents.The full report of the 2009 Anchorage Community Survey is forthcoming.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair a great success

IRS Special Agent Cathleen Hollowell.
The October 5, 2011 Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair sponsored by the Women Police of Alaska (WPA) attracted numerous UAA students and non-students interested in law enforcement career opportunities. Women, and also a number of men, attended the fair to talk to federal and state law enforcement agency representatives from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Anchorage International Airport Police, Alaska Air National Guard Security Forces, Seward Police Department, U.S. Air Force Reserve, Anchorage Police Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement, Alaska State Troopers, IRS Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (AFT), Alaska Department of Corrections, and the Women Police of Alaska..

K-9s "Elvis" and "Batman," explosives detection dogs from the Anchorage International Airport Police attended as representatives of their law enforcement agency, as well K-9 "Rex" from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge Law Enforcement who is trained to detect different types of game that have been taken illegally.  Photos of the K-9s are in the slideshow below.

The event was presented with the support of the Alaska State Troopers, the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police, and the UAA Justice Center. Dr. Brad Myrstol was the faculty liaison for this program.

UAA Chancellor Tom Case (left) with U.S. Deputy Marshals Rochelle Liedike
and Ryan Thompson of the U.S. Marshals Service.
See a slideshow of this year's Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair below.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Compass" piece appears in Anchorage Daily News about violence against women and Alaska Victimization Survey

"Act to end violence against Alaska women," an opinion piece, appeared in the Anchorage Daily News Compass section on Sunday, November 6, 2011.  This essay was written by Lauree Morton, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center Director, and principal investigator for the Alaska Victimization Survey.

The piece discusses the high rates of violence against women in Alaska and the Alaska Victimization Survey, and describes ways communities and individuals can make a difference. Details on the survey are available at the Justice Center website (

Prof. Wolfe presents crime scene and evidence collection for statewide law enforcement agencies

(l to r) Enhancing snow impressions to see detail.
Prof. Jim Wolfe, Justice Center adjunct faculty, lectured at several law enforcement training events during October and November. During the week of October 24, he presented "Crime Scene and Evidence Collection" at the UAF CTC Law Enforcement Academy in Fairbanks.

The following week he was in Bethel for the Advanced VPO (Village Police Officer) Training where he team taught "Crime Scene and Evidence Collection" with Jessica Hogan of the Alaska Crime Laboratory. Prof. Wolfe will be in Dillingham the week of November 7 presenting "Evidence Collection Refresher" for the Dillingham Police Department.

Prof. Wolfe (l) discusses comparison of tracks.
Prof. Wolfe (l front) demonstrates making snow impressions.
Prof. Wolfe is a former forensic scientist with the Alaska Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory, and is currently a forensic consultant and trainer.

Photos are from the Fairbanks training.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Prof. Periman speaks to Alaska Association of Paralegals

Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., has been invited to speak to the Alaska Association of Paralegals (AAP) about "Current Issues Facing Today's Paralegals" on Thursday, November 10.

Prof. Periman is a Justice faculty member and the coordinator of the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program at the Justice Center.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Overflow crowd listens to Steven Barnes tell of being wrongly imprisoned for 20 years

Steven Barnes tell his story.
Over 150 students and members of the public listened to Steven Barnes, wrongly imprisoned for murder and rape for 20 years, tell his moving and unforgettable story on November 2 on campus at Rasmuson Hall 117.  An overflow crowd watched him via livestreaming in RH 110.

Steven was ultimately exonerated through DNA testing obtained by the Innocence Project.  He shared with the audience his experiences in prison and his reintegration into a normal life. Since his release in 2008, Steven has been working with troubled teens and teaches them construction skills. 

The event was cosponsored by the Alaska Innocence Project and the UAA Justice Center.

Click here for the web version of his presentation which was produced by the UAA Journalism and Public Communications Department. 

Media coverage of this event:
"Falsely imprisoned for twenty years, Steve Barnes speaks at UAA" by Grace Hawkins (The Northern Light - UAA Student Newspaper - online November 1, 2011)

"Innocent Man Released After 20 Years In Jail Shares His Story with Alaskans" by Christine Kim, KTUU Channel 2 News, November 2, 2011

 KTUU Channel 2 video (3:33)

Dr. Rivera awarded contract by ABC Board to analyze strategies to reduce sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors

Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice faculty, has been awarded a contract by the Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to conduct a policy analysis of strategies designed to reduce the sale of tobacco and alcohol to underage persons and to analyze data on compliance with laws prohibiting such sales. The policy analysis will include a review of other research and studies on this topic and an exploration of the kinds of influences (social climate, enforcement, sanctions) that affect compliance/violation of laws prohibiting tobacco and alcohol sales to underage persons. This report will also assess the impact of the municipal code requiring identifications checks for all alcohol purchases.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Steven Barnes wrongfully imprisoned for 20 years speaks at Justice Center event November 2

Steven Barnes tells his story.
Hear Steven Barnes, wrongfully imprisoned for murder for 20 years, tell his story. The Alaska Innocence Project and the UAA Justice Center cosponsor this presentation by exoneree Steven Barnes on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. in UAA Rasmuson Hall, Room 117.

Mr. Barnes was convicted of rape and murder based on questionable eyewitness identification and evidence in 1989 and was finally exonerated in 2009 through DNA testing obtained by the Innocence Project.  Come hear his unforgettable story.

This event is free and open to all UAA students, faculty, staff, and the public.  Parking is free. For more information, call the Justice Center at 786-1810.