Friday, December 21, 2012

Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center launches Fact Sheet publication

The Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC) released the first issue of its new Fact Sheet publication series, Firearm Use in Violent Crime in the U.S. and Alaska, 1980-2011, on Friday, December 21, 2012. Presented in this Fact Sheet issue are national and statewide statistics on the prevalence of murder in the U.S. and Alaska from 1980 to 2011, as well as data on the use of firearms in murders (both for the U.S. as a whole, and Alaska), aggravated assaults (Alaska only), and robberies (Alaska only) over the same period.

All of the data presented in this Fact Sheet were extracted from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports program. National statistics were gleaned from the FBI's annual UCR publication, Crime in the United States; Alaska-specific statistics were compiled from the Alaska Department of Public Safety's annual UCR publication, Crime in Alaska.

The AJSAC is housed within the UAA Justice Center and will publish one Fact Sheet addressing various crime and criminal justice topics each month. Dr. Brad Myrstol, Justice faculty, is the AJSAC director .

A look back at the 2012 Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair - see our slideshow

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Law Enforcement officers - l to r: Terry Robson and Kelly Modla - speak to
students about career opportunities.
The 4th annual Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair sponsored by the Women Police of Alaska (WPA) was held on October 24, 2012 and 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), Alaska Air National Guard Security Forces,  Anchorage Police Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement, Alaska State Troopers, IRS Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Marshals Service, Alaska Department of Corrections, and the Women Police of Alaska.

Explosives Detection K-9 "MacDuff" of the U.S. Marshal Service also attended the fair.  For a photo of "MacDuff" and other participants and attendees, see 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.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Just 344 Civil Liberties students participate in mock appellate arguments for finals project

Front row seated l to r:  Azaria Kantor, Charlotte Morthorpe, Derek Witte, Isabell Wilkinson.
Front row standing: l to r: Prof. Brandeis, volunteer lawyer Tara Wheatland, Ailee Wood, Joshua Johnson.
Back row l to r: Volunteer lawyer Vikram Patel, Jacob Carbough, Christina Cyphers, Kaitlin Simenson,
volunteer lawyer Marika Athens, Yevgenii Kisarauskas.

The judges meet before the mock trial:
l to r: Vikram Patel, Tara Wheatland, Marika Athens,
Prof. Brandeis.
 Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Justice faculty, held mock trial arguments in his Justice 344 - "Courts and Civil Liberties" course on December 10 as the final project of the semester.  Students participated in a  moot court  - a mock appellate court proceeding which involves the presentation of oral argument before a panel of judges. Students were divided into teams and prepared arguments for hypothetical cases.  Their arguments were presented before a panel of  judges (including Prof. Brandeis) composed of lawyer volunteers. Prior to the oral arguments, students prepared briefs on their cases and submitted them to their opposing counsel team and to Prof. Brandeis and the judges.

Note: For Spring 2013, JUST 344 is now JUST 443 Civil Liberties.

Panel of judges l to r: Prof. Brandeis discusses the format for the moot court; Marika Athens,
Tara Wheatland, Vikram Patel.

Volunteers lawyers were Marika Athens, Assistant Attorney General, Special Prosecutions Unit on Cybercrimes; Tara Wheatland, Associate, Jermain Dunnagan & Owens; and Vikram Patel, Grants Administrator, Anchorage Park Foundation.

See slideshow below of students presenting their arguments.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Justice Center closes for winter break at 5:00 p.m. December 21 - reopens on January 2

The Justice Center, along with the rest of the UAA campus, will be closed for the winter holiday break from 5:00 PM on Friday, December 21, 2012. We will reopen for our normal business hours on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

All of us at the Justice Center wish you a festive holiday season, with all best wishes as we enter a new year.

Justice Center hosts College of Health leadership team meeting

COH Leadership Team
The Justice Center hosted the December 13 meeting of the College of Health (COH) Leadership Team. The team meets twice each month during the academic year.

At the meeting, Prof. David Dannenberg, new Director of the UAA Faculty Technology Center (FTC), briefed team members on the resources available at FTC.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Students in JUST 320 Crime Prevention course examine sexual assault on campus

Students in Dr. Sharon Chamard's JUST 320 - "Crime Prevention" course made their final research presentation on December 12.  The semester-long research project looked at sexual assault on the UAA campus examining number of reports of sexual assault, risk factors, and University policies. Their research also compared UAA to other universities around the country. Recommendations for the UAA campus were also presented.

See slideshow below of each student discussing an aspect of the research.

L to right: Ariel Post, Dr. Sharon Chamard, Michael Jones, Harold Plunkett,
Christina Cyphers, Erik Gorman, Robert Moore,Christopher Dominey.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Prof. Fortson re-elected to Anchorage Bar Association Board of Directors

Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Justice faculty, was re-elected today to a three-year term on the Anchorage Bar Association Board of Directors. 

The Anchorage Bar Association is a voluntary association of Anchorage-area lawyers and other law office professionals serving the legal profession by fostering public respect for and trust in the members of the legal profession, encouraging collegiality and lifelong learning among its members, and promoting equal access to justice for all persons.  The Anchorage Bar provides direct member benefits and law-related public service.  

3 Justice alums graduate from Alaska Department of Public Safety Training Academy in Sitka

Front row, 4th from left - Jacob Ruebelmann, 5th from left - Adam Ronchetti.
Back row, 6th from left - Sarah Herrin.

Three Justice alums were among the 18 new law enforcement officers who graduated from the Alaska Department of  Public Safety Training Academy in Sitka on November 16.  The Justice alums and the agencies they work for are:
  • Sarah Herrin, Justice '11 - Kenai Police Department
  • Adam Ronchetti, Justice '11 - Anchorage Airport Police and Fire
  • Jacob Ruebelmann, Justice '11 Magna Cum Laude - Homer Police Department


Congrats to our alums and best wishes in their new careers!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Prof. Knudsen awarded Masters in Judicial Studies

Prof. Kristin Knudsen, Justice faculty, was awarded a Masters in Judicial Studies by the University of Nevada, Reno on December 8, 2012.  The Judicial Studies program at UNR is organized jointly with the National Judicial College and is one of only two such programs in the U.S.  The program integrates technical studies of the judicial process with graduate academic courses to promote intellectual evaluation of the American judiciary.

Prof. Knudsen’s 302-page thesis, “Citizen Adjudicators – Lay Members of Alaska's Mixed Administrative Tribunals as Lay Judges in Mixed Courts,” examined the participation, attitudes, and recruitment of lay members of mixed (lawyer and non-lawyer) administrative tribunals in Alaska and compared findings to survey-based studies of lay judges in European mixed courts.

 Research for her thesis included a comprehensive anonymous survey of lay members of Alaska’s state administrative tribunals.  Among other findings, Prof. Knudsen found little evidence for a judicial dominance effect (inhibiting deliberative expression and dissent) equivalent to that seen in European mixed courts associated with Alaska’s mixed tribunal structures.  However, tribunal practices that do not support lay member contribution during deliberation were associated with member dissatisfaction and a perception of unfairness of the tribunal and hearing outcomes.
Prof. Knudsen joined the Justice faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2012 and teaches in the Legal Studies program.  She received her J.D. from the University of Santa Clara School of Law.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dr. Rosay discusses collaborative research on juvenile substance abuse at Reclaiming Futures event

Far l to r: Bill Hall, moderator, and Susan Richardson, Reclaiming Futures National Executive Director,
open the program.
Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center, presented at the panel discussion and reception sponsored by the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and Volunteers of America - Alaska (VOA-Alaska) on November 20, 2012. Dr. Rosay discussed his collaborative research with VOA-Alaska and DJJ on juvenile substance abuse, and the impact on treatment completion and recidivism that the Reclaiming Futures Anchorage program has had in Alaska. Results of the evaluation showed that youth who participated in Reclaiming Futures were more likely to complete treatment, and were less likely to recidivate.

The reception honored the 10th anniversary of Reclaiming Futures and was attended by Susan Richardson, Reclaiming Futures National Executive Director.

The Reclaiming Futures model for juvenile substance abuse treatment has been used in 29 communities, large and small, rural and urban, in 17 states, including one Indian reservation.  It has been used in Anchorage for the past ten years and has brought together judges, juvenile justice professionals, treatment providers and community leaders to identify how juvenile courts can provide substance abuse treatment teens need to help them be successful.

L to r: Dr. André Rosay; Linda Moffitt, Reclaiming Futures
Volunteer; Lee Post, DJJ Juvenile Probation
Supervisor; Glen Kratochvil, VOA Restorative Justice
Reclaiming Futures is an initiative created in 2001 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that offers a new approach to helping teenagers caught in the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime.  The national office of Reclaiming Futures is housed in the Regional Research Institute of the School of Social Work at Portland State University.
L to r: Susan Richardson, Reclaiming Futures National
Executive Director; Dr. André Rosay; Karin Schaff, VOA
Alaska Treatment Services Director; Jeff Jessee;
Alaska Mental Health Trust Chief Executive Officer.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Justice/Paralegal Studies alum appointed to Paralegal Studies Advisory Committee

Justice Center alum Travis Harding
In Alumni News, Travis Harding, Justice B.A. '03 and  Paralegal Studies Certificate '11, has been appointed to the Paralegal Studies Advisory Committee. Travis joins Justice Center alumna Beth Adams, Chief Deputy Clerk, Alaska Appellate Courts, a long-time Advisory Committee member.

Travis has worked as a legal technician for the Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor, Alaska Region for 5 years.  He works directly with the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Services, and the Bureau of Land Management to coordinate criminal cases that come before magistrate judges in the various federal district courts in Alaska.  His responsibilities include drafting a variety of pleadings and motions in criminal cases for review by office attorneys.

The Advisory Committee meets twice yearly to review course offerings and discuss program goals. Their most recent meeting was in October of this year to discuss new programs, internships, pro bono honors, an assessment plan, and a risk management plan.  The committee is composed of representatives from UAA, the Alaska Court System, Alaska Judicial Council, state and federal agencies, Native corporations, and private law firms. The Paralegal Studies Certificate is part of the Legal Studies Program. Prof. Deborah Periman, J.D., is the Legal Studies Program Coordinator.