Thursday, January 31, 2013

Justice Center participates in UAA Civil Rights Resource Fair

L to r: Prof. Ryan Fortson discusses the new Legal Studies Program
options with a prospective student.
The Justice Center and other UAA and community groups that provide civil rights education participated in the 2013 Civil Rights Resource Fair as part of Alaska Civil Rights Month.  The event was held January 30 at the UAA Student Union.

Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Justice faculty, and representatives from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Alaska Native Justice Center, UAA Multicultural Center, Anchorage Equal Rights Commission,  Language Interpreter Center, UAA Dean of Students - Office of Diversity & Compliance, and Identity Inc., were among the participants.

L to r: Tom Funke, Law Enforcement Coordinator, U.S. Attorney's Office;
Prof. Fortson, Justice Center; and U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Charlotte Titus joins Justice Center as office manager

Charlotte Titus joined the Justice Center as Office Manager on January 2, 2013. She was most recently the Administrative Coordinator in the Office of the Dean, UAA College of Education.  Prior to that, Charlotte was the Fiscal Technician for Parking Services and Catering & Conferencing at UAA. Before moving back to Alaska, she also worked for the University of West Florida Department of Computer Science as administrative support for the department chair.

We look forward to working with Charlotte as we start this new chapter and new year.

New Legal Studies Program approved by American Bar Association - check out the options!

All of the the new Justice Center Legal Studies Program Options have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA):
  • Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies
  • Legal Studies Minor
  • Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies
  • Legal Nurse Consultant (LNC) Paralegal Certificate
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Paralegal Studies
 The Legal Studies Program at UAA and the Paralegal Studies Program at UAF are the only American Bar Association approved programs in Alaska.

2012 marked the 20th anniversary of American Bar Association (ABA) approval of the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program at the Justice Center.  Since 1992, the Paralegal Studies Certificate has been awarded to several hundred individuals.

The mission of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Paralegals is to improve the American system of justice by establishing ABA standards for the education of paralegals and by promoting attorneys' professional, effective and ethical utilization of paralegals.

UAA Paralegal graduates can be found working in law firms, state and federal agencies, corporate legal departments, the courts, Native corporations, and the private business sector, contributing to the justice system on the local, state, and federal levels.

Prof. Deborah Periman, J.D., is the Legal Studies Program Coordinator.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dr. Gover of University of Colorado Denver joins Justice Center as affiliate faculty

Dr. Angela Gover
Dr. Angela Gover, Professor and  Director of the Undergraduate Program in Criminal Justice at the University of Colorado Denver - School of Public Affairs, has joined the Justice Center as Affiliate Professor of Justice.

Dr. Gover received her Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland. Her research interests include policy relevant family violence issues, violence against women, and gender and crime.

She will be working with Dr. André Rosay on publications related to violence against women.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center releases Fact Sheet on violent crime arrests in Alaska 1980-2011

The Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC) has released, "Violent Crime Arrests in Alaska,"  the second issue in its new Fact Sheet publication series.  Presented in this Fact Sheet are violent crime arrest data for the period 1980 - 2011. The data were extracted from the Alaska Department of Public Safety's annual report Crime in Alaska.  Arrest trend data for Part I violent crimes (murder/non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault) are presented in the aggregate and for each offense category. Age, sex, and racial group membership information for those arrested by Alaska law enforcement in 2011 are also presented.

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.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Prof. Fortson volunteers for Martin Luther King Day free legal clinic in Anchorage

Prof. Fortson, J.D., waits for his next client at the MLK Day free legal clinic.
Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Justice faculty, was a volunteer lawyer for the Anchorage MLK Day 4th annual free legal clinic that is held in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his work.  Volunteer lawyers assisted nearly 200 clients on January 21.

The clinic is a public service project of the Alaska Bar Association, Alaska Court System, and Alaska Legal Services Corporation, and was held at the Mountain View Community Center.

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., attorneys answer legal questions for free on MLK Day in communities across Alaska.  These clinics are for low income Alaskans with civil legal needs that include family, landlord-tenant, and public benefits matters.

UAA Legal Studies students Sarah Horton and Josie Grande also participated as volunteers for the Anchorage event.

L to r: Alaska Bar Pro Bono Director Krista Scully,
Legal Studies student volunteer Sarah Horton.
Not pictured: Legal Studies student volunteer
Josie Grande.

Anchorage Reentry Coalition hosts Reentry Transition Fair

The Anchorage Reentry Coalition hosted their first Reentry Transition Fair on December 14, 2012 and served about 100 ex-offenders. The goal  of the fair was to provide ex-offenders information on housing services, employment, health services, Veterans' services, educational opportunities, recovery services, and spiritual support resources.

Close to half (43%) of the attendees were Caucasian and more than one-third (38%) were Alaska Native. The majority of those seeking assistance were male (73%). Housing was the biggest need identified by participants at this event.  The Anchorage Reentry Coalition hopes to offer similar Reentry Transition Fairs on a quarterly basis. Barbara Armstrong, Alaska Justice Forum editor, is a member of the Coalition. For more information on Coalition activities, contact Ruth Schoenleben at

Josiah Brewster, Career Development Coordinator, Nine Star Education & Employment Services,
presents information on "Overcoming Barriers."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

College of Health hosts Spring 2013 get-together for faculty, staff, and students

L to r: Justice Center Director Allan Barnes, COH Dean Bill Hogan, UAA Chancellor Tom Case,
COH Administrative Dean Susan Kaplan, School of Nursing Director Barbara Berner

The UAA College of Health (COH) hosted a Spring 2013 Get-Together for faculty, staff, and students on January 17 in the PSB Lobby. Tasty, healthy snacks and a chance to chat were on the agenda.

See more photos in the slideshow below.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Article by Prof. Brandeis on the right to privacy and marijuana possession published in Alaska Law Review

"The Continuing Vitality of Ravin v. State: Alaskans Still Have a Constitutional Right to Possess Marijuana in the Privacy of Their Homes," an article by Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Justice faculty, has been published in the December 2012 issue of the Alaska Law Review.

The article addresses the unique history and case law surrounding the Alaska Constitution's right to privacy and how it applies to private, personal marijuana use.

Prof. Brandeis teaches courses on American government, constitutional law and civil liberties, and is a frequent speaker on constitutional law and other legal issues. Prof. Brandeis also maintains a private law practice through which, subsequent to the date of the writing and publication of this article, he provided legal representation in administrative agency proceedings for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dr. Myrstol speaks to Alaska judges on public perceptions of judicial fairness

Dr. Myrstol discusses procedural justice.
Dr. Brad Myrstol, Justice faculty, presented at an Alaska Court System training for newer judges on January 11, 2013.  One portion of the training focused on "Maintaining Impartiality"; Dr. Myrstol presented findings from his article, "Public Perceptions of Judicial Fairness," published in the Alaska Justice Forum Summer 2012 29(2) issue.

In the article, Dr. Myrstol and his co-author, Dr. Cory R. Lepage, Justice faculty, discussed procedural justice and local courts. Their study examined data from the 2009 Alaska Community Survey and responses to questions about public perceptions of fairness of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and police.

Monday, January 14, 2013

UAA and Justice Center closed today due to icy roads

The Justice Center is closed today due to icy roads. The UAA, ER, and JBER campuses are closed today. Check the UAA website for notification of campus closures.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2012 Mat-Su Borough Community Survey and Trends 2008-2012 released

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Community Survey 2012 and Trends 2008–2012: A Sourcebook of Community Attitudes by Dr. Sharon Chamard and Heather MacAlpine has been released.

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 are 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, 2010, and 2011 Mat-Su Surveys. Heather MacAlpine, Justice B.A. Cum Laude ’12, assisted with data collection, entry, and analysis, and also assisted with the 2011 survey.

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 2012 survey was distributed to 1,965 adult heads-of-household in the Mat-Su Borough in the late summer and fall of 2012; a total of 845 completed surveys were returned, for a response rate of  43%.

This sourcebook presents both the results from the 2012 survey and trends from 2008-2012 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. The survey is part of the ongoing Community Indicators Project.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Justice alum joins Senator Murkowski's D.C. staff

Leila Kimbrell, J.D. - Justice alum
Leila Kimbrell, B.A., Justice, and Paralegal Certificate '02, has been tapped by Senator Lisa Murkowski to serve in her Washington D.C. office. Born in Soldotna and raised on the Kenai Peninsula, Leila will be working on economic policy matters.

Most recently, she worked as an associate attorney at the law firm of Wohlforth, Brecht, Cartledge & Brooking in Anchorage, with a  practice emphasis on municipal law involving all levels of civil litigation, as well as the transactional practice of the firm including public financings and real estate and business transactions. Her past work experience focused on municipal governance, including planning and zoning, code enforcement, and resolution and ordinance interpretation and drafting.

Leila is a member of the UAA Justice Center Paralegal Studies Certificate Program Advisory Committee.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Prof. Fortson is new Alpha Phi Sigma faculty advisor starting Spring 2013 semester

Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Justice faculty, is the new faculty advisor for Alpha Phi Sigma, Omega Chi Chapter as of the Spring 2013 semester. Dr. Marny Rivera and Dr. Brad Myrstol had been the faculty co-advisors for the past several years.

Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society, recognizes scholastic achievement and excellence by undergraduate and graduate students in the criminal justice sciences. The mission of Alpha Phi Sigma is to promote critical thinking, rigorous scholarship and life-long learning; to keep abreast of the advances in scientific research, to elevate the ethical standards of the criminal justice professions and to sustain in the public mind the benefit and necessity of education and professional training.