Thursday, April 30, 2015

Justice Center staff nominated for UAA Administrative Professional of the Year Award

The following Justice Center staff were recently nominated for the UAA Campus Bookstore 2015 Administrative Professional of the Year Award:

Melissa Green, Publication Specialist
Amy Perkins, Fiscal Tech
Tuyet Tran, Academic Program Specialist

Each of these individuals is an invaluable member of the Justice Center team and makes an important contribution to the mission of the Justice Center.

L to r: Tuyet Tran, Melissa Green, and Amy Perkins
with the mugs given to all nominees.
The Campus Bookstore accepts nominations each year to recognize the significant work of UAA employees.  The 2015 winner was Paula Feldhacker, CAS Humanities.

Rachel Epstein is the UAA Campus Bookstore coordinator for this event.

Dr. Blumenstein participates on panel for UAA Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Students watch "The Party's Over" as a prelude to the panel discussion about sexual assault.
Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein, Justice faculty, participated in the April 22 panel discussing the ABC 20/20 documentary "The Party's Over." The documentary, which aired in January 2015, tells the true story of a sexual assault on the campus of Vanderbilt University and the impact of the incident on the victim, the perpetrators, their families, the university, and the community.

Program panelists also included Stephanie Whaley, Title IX Investigator, UAA Dean of Students Office, and Camilla Hussein-Scott, a UAA student, a survivor of domestic violence, and former president of the UAA NO MORE Alliance. 

Discussion covered the prevalence of this type of sexual misconduct on all college campuses, whether or not the sexual misconduct described in the documentary was surprising, how common  this type of sexual misconduct is on our campus, what the characteristics are of  typical sexual misconduct on our campus, and recommendations for what students can do to help prevent sexual misconduct, including being "a good by-stander"  - if you see something, say something.

The program was held in the Den in the Student Union, and was part of a series of events, including a Resource Fair held earlier the same day.

L to r: Stephanie Whaley, Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein,
Camilla Hussein-Scott.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Prof. Fortson coordinates 2015 Alaska high school mock trial competition

Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, is the State Coordinator for the Alaska High School Mock Trial Competition. At this year's annual competition held March 26 - 28, he was one of numerous judges, lawyers, and non-lawyer volunteers for the event held in Anchorage at the Boney Courthouse.  The competition is sponsored by the Young Lawyers Section of the Anchorage Bar Association and the Alaska Court System.
Over 60 students from high schools in Southcentral, Southeast, and Interior Alaska participated. South High School won this year's competition; West Anchorage High School was the runner-up.

District Court Judge Jennifer Stuart Henderson swears in witnesses at 2014 event.

Prof. Brandeis interviewed by KTVA Channel 11 News about pending U.S. Supreme Court case on same-sex marriage

Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, was interviewed April 28 by KTVA Channel 11 News about the pending U.S. Supreme Court case on same-sex marriage.

Prof. Brandeis teaches courses on American government, constitutional law and civil liberties, and is a frequent speaker on constitutional law and other legal issues.  

L to r: Prof. Jason Brandeis and Emily Carlson of KTVA.

The segment with Prof. Brandeis' interview starts at 32:58 on the videotape. Scroll to "Evening News" - 4-28-2015.
"Supreme Court Arguments,"  KTVA Channel 11 News. 28 Apr 2014

UAA participates in 5th annual UAF Cyberconference on Dispute Resolution

UAA was one of nearly 20 videoconference sites for the UAF 5th Annual International Cyberconference on Dispute Resolution held on April 15. This year's keynote speaker was Raf Gangat. Mr. Gangat is a former South African Ambassador to the Palestinian Territories, to the United Emirates, and a former Consulate General to Pakistan. He currently works as a communication and media consultant in East Jerusalem, Israel.

Papers submitted for the conference are being considered for inclusion in the next issue of the UAF Alaska Journal of Dispute Resolution.
Dr. Cory R. Lepage, Justice Center faculty, and Barbara Armstrong, editor of the Alaska Justice Forum, are on the editorial board.

Prof. Brian Jarrett, UAF Dept. of Communications, was the lead facilitator for the conference.  He is a sociologist and a mediator. Contact him at

Participating videoconference sites:
Alternative to Violence Project, Seattle, Washington
Asad University, Tehran, Iran
Law Office of Adam Gulkis, Anchorage, Alaska
Ministry of Children and Family Development, British Columbia
Ministry of Justice, British Columbia, Canada
Native American Rights Fund, Boulder, Colorodo
Northern Institute for Social Justice, Yukon College, Whitehorse, Yukon
Northern Justice and Criminology, Yukon College, Whitehorse, Yukon
Office of Alaska Lt. Governor Byron Mallot, Juneau, Alaska
Office of Raf Gangat, East Jerusalem, Israel
Organized Village of Kake Circle Peacemaking, Kake, Alaska
Salisbury University, Department of Conflict Analysis, Salisbury, Maryland
Simon Fraser University, School of Criminology, British Columbia
State of Hawaii Telehealth Access Network
University of Alaska Anchorage
University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam
University of Hawaii, Manoa, Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution
University of Puerto Rico School of Law
University of Texas, Austin
VisionAlaska, Inc. - Alaska Brethren Ministries, Sterling, Alaska

Topics included:
Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Inter-Cultural Conflict
The Causes and Consequences of Inter-Cultural Conflict and the Value of Restorative Practices
Circle Peace-Making, Indigenous Knowledge, and Dispute Resolution

A detailed agenda and full list of participants is on the conference website.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Justice Club elects new officers for 2015-2016 academic year

The UAA Justice Club recently elected new officers for the 2015-2016 academic year:
  • President - Ashleigh Radvansky
  • Vice President - Coy Hill
  • Treasurer - Brandi Tyree
  • Secretary - Montana Nolan
  • Club Council Representative - Joseph Mitzel
Faculty advisors are Dr. Troy Payne and Prof. Jason Brandeis, J.D.

Email Justice Club at

Monday, April 27, 2015

Justice Center collaborates with other UAA units on behavioral health needs assessment funded by Alaska DHSS

Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice faculty, is collaborating with faculty in other UAA units in conducting a community behavioral health needs assessment. 

The UAA research team will analyze data from the assessment to help determine behavioral health priorities concerning mental health, substance use, and suicide for youth and young adults in Anchorage.

The UAA Center for Human Development heads the research team which includes the Justice Center, Behavioral Health Research Services, and the Department of Health Sciences. The project is funded by the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Behavioral Health through the Anchorage Collaborative Coalitions (ACC) which contracted with the UAA research team.

The first phase of the project involves examining existing secondary data; the second phase will involve collection of primary data that fills identified data gaps. The team is nearing completion of the first phase of the project. A presentation is scheduled to be held at UAA on May 11 to present to the community results from the analysis of secondary data.

Dr. Rivera interviewed by KSKA about making underage drinking a ticketed offense, rather than a misdemeanor

Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice faculty, was interviewed recently by KSKA Public Radio - Alaska Public Media about Minor Consuming Alcohol charges and ways to help at-risk kids.

The article notes that Dr. Rivera believes "if underage drinking is a simpler offense [a misdemeanor] it will become easier for officers to write those tickets. And the kids getting ticketed all the time will bring them to the attention of the justice system, and potentially be screened for treatment that could have significant impact."  This article is part of a series, "The Blind Spot: Troubled Teens and the Safety Net."

Read and listen to the story:
"The Blind Spot: No-Man's Land" by Zachariah Hughes and Anne Hillman. KSKA Public Radio 24 Apr 2015.

Dr. Blumenstein interviewed by KTUU Channel 2 News regarding sexual assaults in Anchorage

Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein, Justice faculty, was interviewed by KTUU Channel 2 News about the frequency of sexual assaults by strangers and the sexual assault incidents in Anchorage. Dr. Blumenstein's research areas include intimate partner violence, campus sexual assault, substance abuse, and criminological theory.

  View the story:
"Police arrest man wanted for kidnapping, assault." KTUU Channel 2 News. 23 Apr 2015.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dr. Lepage's JUST 374 Courts class participates in exercise on mock jury selection

Dr. Lepage (by door) looks on during class as students in the role of lawyers (at podium) ask questions of the prospective jurors.
Dr. Cory R. Lepage's JUST 374 class, The Courts, recently participated in a mock jury selection.  Students playing the role of prosecutors and defense attorneys practiced voir dire - asking questions of potential jurors -  during class.  Students from JUST 110 and JUST 330 classes taught by Dr. Allan Barnes, and from JUST 200 and JUST 201 classes taught by Dr. Lepage, volunteered to play the role of prospective jurors.

Students who were playing the role of lawyers were given an actual criminal case that had been decided in Alaska and had to prepare legally permissible questions to ask of each juror.  In this class exercise to demonstrate the voir dire process, attorneys for the prosecution and defense questioned potential jurors, and could request that a potential juror be removed from consideration as a juror for the case.  The questioning of the potential jurors continued until the required number of jurors was selected. Dr. Lepage acted as the judge in the mock jury selection.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Students in Prof. Knudsen's Civil Procedure class present mock oral arguments before Judge Kennedy

Judge Kennedy (far right) listens to student Rachel Gulanes (at podium) present her case.
Prof. Kristin Knudsen, J.D., M.L.S., Justice Center Legal Studies faculty, recently held mock oral arguments in her Legal 367 - Civil Procedure and PreTrial Practice course   Students were given an actual pending U.S. Supreme Court case which they then researched to determine what issues arose at the U.S. District Court level that prompted an appeal. Their mock oral arguments replicated the proceedings at the U.S. District Court.

Students presented their arguments before Deputy Chief Administrative Law Judge Christopher Kennedy of the Alaska Office of Administrative Hearings. Judge Kennedy commented on the presentations, but stated he would take the arguments "under advisement."

Prior to the oral arguments, students heard a presentation on oral argument preparation from attorneys Martha Tansik with the law firm Burr, Pease & Kurtz, and Adam Sadoski with the law firm of Holmes Weddle & Barcott. The attorneys discussed how to structure an oral argument, how to present the information, and courtroom etiquette.

Front row l to r: students I. Lopez, A. Lena, S. Smith, R. Gulanes, K. Alleley, Prof. Knudsen,
students E. Blanas, A. Preuit, and S. Ham.
Back row l to r: students D. Harrison, P. Frank, J. Schindler, R. Greer, Judge Kennedy,
students M. Notti, B. Steward, N. Sims, and K. Liss

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dr. Lepage of UAA and Prof. May of UAF to conduct evaluation of pre-trial diversion program in Anchorage

Dr. Cory R. Lepage, UAA Justice Center faculty, and Prof. Jeff D. May, J.D., UAF Justice Department, will be conducting an evaluation of  a pre-trial diversion program in the Anchorage Municipal Prosecutor's Office.  Phase 1 of the evaluation will focus on justice system cost savings as a result of this program.

The general goal of pre-trial diversion (PTD) programs is to "divert" offenders from adjudication and possible incarceration to a program with specific conditions for compliance.  The Municipal Prosecutor's Office established a pre-trial diversion alternative in 2001 which is typically offered for non-violent offenses to individuals with no or minimal criminal history.  Early in the processing of a case - often at arraignment - if program criteria are met, the offender is offered diversion as an alternative to traditional court case processing.

Participation in the program by the offender is voluntary, and the offender agrees to comply with PTD conditions which can include the payment of fines, community work service (CWS), and other applicable requirements.  If the offender successfully completes the PTD conditions, the case is dismissed.  If the pre-trial diversion conditions are not completed, the offender is subject to traditional court case processing.

Alaska Court System FY 2014 Annual Report is online

Alaska Court System Annual Report FY 2014The Alaska Court System Annual Report FY 2014 was released in February of this year and is online. As it has for three years, the Justice Center assisted the court system with the layout and design of the project.  Antonia Moras, former editor of the Alaska Justice Forum, was the project coordinator for the court system. 

Melissa S. Green, Justice Center publication specialist, worked with Ms. Moras on the project through a contract with the court system.  In collaboration with Ms. Moras, Ms. Green completed the design and layout of the text and statistical tables for the Annual Report and a Profile of the Alaska Court System.

This issue of the annual report is presented in the new, expanded format developed for the FY 2012 report which Ms. Moras and Ms. Green also collaborated on. The report includes profiles of the judges with photos, maps, easy-to-read statistical tables, an overview of the court system, highlights of court initiatives, and photos of Alaska court houses, as well as photos of scenic areas around the state.

The full text of the report in color is online at the Alaska Court System website.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Justice faculty named influential persons by first/second-year UAA students

L to r: Dr. Lepage and Dr. Payne.
Dr. Troy Payne and Dr. Cory R. Lepage, Justice faculty, have been named influential persons by first-year/second-year students at UAA, according to a MAPworks survey.

The Division of Student Access, Advising & Transition (SAAT) within the Office of Student Affairs asked first-year and second-year students who took the MAPworks surveys during the 2014-2015 academic year to name "a faculty member who has assisted them the most in their academic success at UAA." A total of 535 students nominated 102 faculty members as influential persons. The division of SAAT and MAPworks program hosted an annual faculty appreciation reception on March 25 for individuals named by students. 

The MAP in MAPworks stand for Making Achievement Possible and is a student success and retention tool linking students with the individualized resources they need, when they need them. By taking just two surveys per semester, MAPworks @ UAA can assist first and second year students in getting connected to useful resources on campus.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Justice major to present at 6th Annual UAA Community Engagement Forum on April 24

Daniel Reinhard, Justice major, is presenting at the 6th Annual UAA Community Engagement Forum sponsored by the Center for Community Engagement and Learning (CCEL) on April 24.  Daniel will be discussing his research project, "Crime and Disorder at Town Square Park," which is related to the research he has been doing with Dr. Troy Payne, Justice faculty, in collaboration with the Anchorage Police Department and the Anchorage Downtown Partnership.

Daniel also presented a paper about his project at the recent Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences annual conference in March in Orlando.

Community Engagement Forum schedule on Friday, April 24:
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 pm Poster session
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Luncheon program
UAA/APU Consortium Library, LIB 307

The poster session is an opportunity to talk to Community Engaged Student Assistants about their faculty-community partner projects.  The Community Engagement Forum features awards to students and faculty and highlights of our community partnerships, including the presentation of the 2015 Selkregg Community Engagement & Service Learning Award and Dr. Alex Hills Engineering & Civic Engagement Award.

Alpha Phi Sigma - criminal justice honor society - welcomes new members on April 23

 Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society welcomes new members on Thursday, April 23 at a 12 noon meeting at the Justice Center.  Moose's Tooth pizza is on the agenda.

If you are a new inductee, come by and pick up your certificate and pin. If you are an existing member, stop by to say hello. If you are eligible for membership but haven’t signed up yet, stop by and we can explain the process.

Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., is the faculty advisor.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dr. Blumenstein talks to Gruening Middle School class about sexual assault in Alaska

Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein, Justice faculty, spoke in February to Gruening Middle School students in Anchorage about the issue of sexual assault in Alaska. The students in Victoria Otte's 8th grade social studies class are participating in Project Citizen and are in the process of choosing a public policy topic to focus on for their project.

Dr. Blumenstein's research areas include intimate partner violence, campus sexual assault, substance abuse, and criminological theory.

The Anchorage School District website describes this program as a part of the 8th grade civics curriculum which helps students learn how to be active citizens by engaging with government and trying to solve local community public policy problems. Project Citizen is sponsored by the Center for Civic Education.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Save the date - April 15! 7th Annual Women in Law Enforcement Recruitment Fair at the UAA Student Union

Are you interested in an exciting career in law enforcement,  but don’t know who to ask, where to start or what to do?
Come to the Recruitment Fair! 

Date:  Wednesday, April 15
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Where:  UAA Student Union, Upper Level  next to the Wells Fargo Sports Complex
Parking: Free
Everyone is welcome to attend.
  • Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are actively recruiting for female officers.
  • Talk with agency representatives about the opportunities and rewards of a career in law enforcement.
Sponsored by:
with the support of 
UAA Justice Center

For more information, contact Danica Bryant, UAA Career Services Center, 786-4513

Monday, April 6, 2015

Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center releases fact sheet on Violent Crimes Compensation Board claims for FY 2004–2014

Violent Crimes Compensation Board: Claims, FY 2004–FY 2014 The most recent issue of the AJSAC Fact Sheet presents data from the Alaska Violent Crimes Compensation Board (VCCB) on claims made and compensation granted to victims of violent crime for fiscal years 2004–2014.

The report, "Violent Crimes Compensation Board: Claims, FY 2004–FY 2014," presents data on new claims filed, types of crime and types of expenses for which compensation was claimed, and compensation totals. On average, the five most common violent crimes resulting in applications for compensation over the eleven-year period were sexual abuse of a minor, domestic violence, assault, sexual assault of adults, and homicide.

The fact sheet is by Khristy Parker of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC). The AJSAC is housed within the UAA Justice Center and publishes Fact Sheets addressing various crime and criminal justice topics.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Dr. Blumenstein invited to join UAA Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition for Change

At UAA, the recently formed Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition for Change includes faculty and staff who are working on developing prevention programs and policy recommendations for the campus.

The group will be asking students to become involved in these efforts. Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein, Justice Center faculty, is a member of the coalition. Her areas of expertise include intimate partner violence, sexual assault and the college population, kidnapping, and research methods.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

In the United States, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it.

Sexual violence is a major public health, human rights and social justice issue.  UAA recently formed a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition for Change to focus on these concerns. (See related blog post, "Dr. Blumenstein invited to join UAA Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition for Change.")