Monday, August 31, 2015

Justice Alumni Chapter board meets to develop 2015-2016 chapter plan

L to r: Beth Mader, chapter president, and board members
Charles Gunther and Melanie Osborne.
The Justice Alumni Chapter met August 16 to develop the 2015-2016 chapter plan which will be submitted to the UAA Alumni Association.

Chapter President Beth Mader reports that the chapter has grown to about 20 members during this past year, and is gearing up for the annual chapter meeting to be held in early November 2015. Dr. Allan Barnes, Justice faculty, is the Justice Alumni Chapter advisor.

Membership in the chapter is open to all Justice and Legal Studies alums.  To join, contact Beth Mader, president

 Chapter Mission Statement
To advance UAA by fostering Justice student success, and by connecting alumni to one another and to the University through meaningful events, service, and communication.

Friday, August 28, 2015

DHSS Commissioner keynotes at College of Health 2015 All-College meeting

2015 COH All-College Meeting at Lucy Cuddy Hall.

L to r: COH Dean Bill Hogan and
DHSS Commissioner Valerie Davidson.
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson gave the keynote presentation  at the COH All-College meeting on August 19. She discussed Medicaid expansion and redesign of the Alaska system, and the important role the College of Health plays in supporting the delivery of health services in the state.

Commissioner Davidson noted, "We count on the work of the College of Health. You are making a difference - improving the health and lives of Alaskans."

 Dean Bill Hogan presented information on the COH programs and budget, outlined some of the major accreditation efforts over the past and coming academic year, welcomed new COH units, and recognized new faculty and staff.

Dr. Bart Quimby, UAA Academic
Dr. Bart Quimby from UAA Academic Planning, spoke briefly about the steps the Anchorage campus is taking to look at alignment of unit missions, state priorities, and student needs in this time of budget constraints. The meeting closed with a round-robin presentation by the COH Leadership Team highlighting the challenges and opportunities facing us this academic year. Dr. André Rosay was unable to attend the meeting; Barbara Armstrong, editor of the Alaska Justice Forum, and Charlotte Titus, Office Manager, presented Justice Center program and budget information.

Barbara Armstrong, Justice Center.
Charlotte Titus, Justice Center.
Barbara highlighted the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJIC) and the director, Dr. Brad Myrstol. She described AJIC's first project with the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative which focuses on examining specific cost-benefit ratios of justice system programs and helping policy makers make better decisions about investing general fund money in programs with evidence-based impact. AJIC will be expanding its work to other areas that impact offending and recidivism, including physical and behavioral health care.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dr. Rivera and Prof. Knudsen present at Howl Days frosh orientation for College of Health

Standing l to r: Prof. Knudsen and Dr. Rivera count hands of students who have declared a major.
Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice Undergraduate Program Coordinator, and Prof. Kristin Knudsen, J.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, participated in the Fall 2015 Howl Days College of Health (COH) freshman orientation on August 19.

L to r: Dr. Rivera and Prof. Knudsen  - complete with crime scene
tape on the podium - await students and their parents.
COH was the first college to experiment with a new type of orientation schedule in fall 2014 for students, and this year marks the second anniversary for this format.

Over 100 students and parents attended the presentations made by Dr. Rivera and Prof. Knudsen which included information on Justice and Legal Studies degree programs, career options, and descriptions of courses.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Prof. Fortson interviewed for National Law Journal article on law school options for Alaskans

Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Ph.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, was recently interviewed by The National Law Journal about law school options for Alaskans.

The Journal presented an overview of law school relationships to the Alaska justice community. The article looked at the Seattle University School of Law satellite law school campus recently established on the campus of Alaska Pacific University, and the partnerships UAA has with Willamette University College of Law and University of Washington School of Law for accelerated law school admission options - also called "3+3" programs. These programs allow qualified students to combine their undergraduate senior year with the first year of law school - resulting in a law degree in 6 years instead of 7.

Prof. Fortson noted, “Alaska undergraduates gravitate toward the law schools in the Northwest—the three schools in Washington and the three schools in Oregon...[T]here are a lot of connections between those schools and Alaska, which is helpful if they want to return here and practice."

Read the article here:
"Law School's Northern Exposure: Alaska hopes satellite campus will aid retention" by Karen Sloan. The National Law Journal, 19 Aug 2015.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Alaska Justice Information Center will guide work of Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative in Alaska

L to r: Gary Vanlandingham, Pew Results First; Dr. Brad Myrstol,
Alaska Justice Information Center; Stanford Turner, Results First;
Sarah Galgano, Results First ; Dr. André Rosay,
UAA Justice Center.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative in Alaska has now begun under the direction of the Alaska Justice Information Center  (AJIC) - jointly funded by the state of Alaska and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and housed within the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center.

Dr. Brad Myrstol, director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center, is the director of the Alaska Justice Information Center.

In March of this year, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative began their partnership with Alaska to further the state’s criminal justice reform efforts. This work will target evidence-based programs and recidivism-reduction grants by generating additional information to help guide policy decisions and ensuring that funded programs deliver the intended results. The state’s executive and legislative branches issued letters of support for, and commitment to, implementing the Results First approach in Alaska.

Three of the Pew's Results First team members  - Gary Vanlandingham, Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative Director; Sarah Galgano, Senior Associate; and Stanford Turner, Associate - were in Anchorage recently to meet with Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center director; Dr. Brad Myrstol, Alaska Justice Information Center (AJIC) director; Susanne DiPietro, Alaska Judicial Council director, and state agency stakeholders.

More information about the Results First Initiative can be found at

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Investigate a Legal Studies course and get 3 GER credits in the social sciences!

Register for a Legal Studies course for fall 2015!

Students talk with prosecutors and defense attorneys in a Legal Studies class.
 LEGL 101 Introduction to Law  -- delve into civil and criminal law in America, including torts, contracts, criminal procedure, and constitutional issues.
— MW 11:30 am - 12:45 pm (CRN71935)

  Register here for this class.

Prof. Fortson presents on tribal court jurisdiction at 32nd annual Tribal Courts conference

Prof. Fortson presenting
at the conference.
Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Ph.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, presented at the 32nd Annual Alaska Tribal Court Conference, August 4-6, in Fairbanks.  He discussed tribal court jurisdiction as a panelist for the session, "Domestic Violence, Developing Issues: What Can Tribes Do?" His co-panelists were Natalie Landreth, Attorney, Native American Rights Fund (NARF); Judge David Avraham Voluck, Magistrate/Judge for the Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes, Associate Judge for the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, and Presiding Judge Pro Tem for the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island Tribal Government; and Paul Mountain, Tribal Administrator, Nulato.

2015 conference cover.
Prof. Fortson discussed his Alaska Law Review article, "Advancing Tribal Court Criminal Jurisdiction in Alaska" (June 2015). He refers to the case of John v. Baker and the development of Indian law in the Lower 48, and argues Alaska tribes already possess inherent jurisdiction over criminal offenses within their Native villages. Moreover, with the gamut of social challenges facing Alaska Natives in rural Alaska, tribes need to be empowered to exercise this jurisdiction.

Participants included state and tribal court judges, court clerks, tribal administrators, Native village representatives, as well federal and state agency representatives.  The event was hosted by the Tanana Chiefs Conference  (TCC).

The conference is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Indian Affairs through the National Tribal Judicial Center at the National Judicial College, Tanana Chiefs Conference, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Tribal Management Program.

Program materials from the conference are available on the Tanana Chiefs Conference website.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Justice Center partnerships with law enforcement: A look at some recent research products

The director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Nancy Rodriguez, recently wrote an article on “Making Change Happen in Policing” for the NIJ e-newsletter, focusing on the type of policing research NIJ funds and the need for even stronger partnerships with researchers in the move toward policing reform.

In Alaska, the Justice Center has been forging research partnerships with law enforcement for a number of years.  Below are a few of our recent research products prepared in cooperation with Alaska law enforcement and law enforcement-related entities. Justice faculty are also currently conducting research with Alaska law enforcement agencies which will assist in the development of evidence-based policy decisions.

Read the full reports:

Officer-Involved Shootings in Anchorage 1993–2013 by Troy C. Payne. Report prepared for Anchorage Police Department. Anchorage, AK: Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 11 Dec 2013. (JC 1402.01). See also related map.

L to r: Anchorage Police Dept.Chief Mark Mew and
Dr. Troy Payne at the press conference for release of the report.

 The Predictive Validity of Marijuana Odor Detection: An Examination of Alaska State Trooper Case Reports 2006–2010 by Brad A. Myrstol and Jason Brandeis. Report prepared for the Alaska State Troopers. Anchorage, AK: Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 29 Feb 2012. (JC 1110.02).
Dr. Brad Myrstol (center) discusses the findings of the report
at a meeting with Alaska State Troopers.

Research Perspectives on the Use and Control of Police Force by Troy C. Payne. Report prepared for the Anchorage Community Police Relations Task Force. Anchorage, AK: Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2012. (JC 1302.01).

Justice Center researchers are also frequently invited by local and state community groups to discuss Justice Center research, including research by the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center which is housed on the Justice Center.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thinking about law school? You may qualify for accelerated admission to one of UAA's law school partners

    Explore the options with our
Accelerated Law School Admission Partners!

 UAA has partnered with Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon and the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle to provide qualified UAA students the opportunity to earn a baccalaureate degree and law degree on an accelerated schedule - typically in 6 years instead of 7.
Click here for more information.
Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Justice Center Legal Studies Program Coordinator, is the contact for questions about these programs. or 907-786-1125

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Don't miss the Justice Center booth at the 2015 Campus Kickoff on Saturday, August 22, on the Cuddy Quad!

The 2015 Campus Kickoff begins at 5:00 p.m., Saturday, August 22, on the Cuddy Quad after the Convocation at the Wendy Williamson. Faculty members will be at the Justice Center booth to speak with students about our courses and career options in Justice and in Legal Studies.  

This year's Campus Kickoff features food, information booths, prizes, and live entertainment. Don't miss DJ Pleas and comedian TJ Miller!  See you there!

Justice alum tapped for director of Muni's Office of Equal Opportunity

Heather MacAlpine
Heather MacAlpine, B.A. Justice cum laude '12, was appointed Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity for the Municipality of Anchorage by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz in June.  Heather was formerly the Associate City Ombudsman.

As stated on their website, the objectives of the Office of Equal Opportunity within the Municipality are to:
  • Ensure employees and people doing business with the Municipality of Anchorage are treated fairly.
  • Investigate Title VII complaints of discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin or sex.
  • Provide training for employees on unlawful discrimination and harassment.
  • Promote diversity within the Municipal workforce and community.
  • Ensure companies doing business with the Municipality of Anchorage follow contract compliance regulations.
  • Ensure that Minority, Disadvantaged and/or Woman-Owned Businesses have equal opportunity.
  • Ensure Non-Discrimination in federally assisted projects.

Dr. Chamard in poster session at ECCA conference on situational crime prevention

Dr. Sharon Chamard, Justice faculty, participated in a poster session at the 2015 Environmental Crime and Criminal Analysis (ECCA) Conference in June in New Zealand.  Her poster focused on "Community Attitudes About Late Night Safety."

ECCA is an annual, invitation-only symposium attended by an international group of researchers and practitioners engaged in situational crime prevention, intelligence-led policing, and problem-oriented policing.

Dr. Chamard's poster.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Explore a Justice course and get 3 GER credits this fall semester!

Dr. Marny Rivera and students in a Justice course
It's not too late to register for a Justice course and get 3 GER credits for fall 2015!

JUST 110 - Introduction to Justice
Tuesday and T/R sections are open.
      T/R 11:30 am - 12:45 pm (CRN71900)
      T/R 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm (CRN71898)
      T 5:30 pm - 8:15 pm (CRN71899)
  • How the justice system affects your life every day in unexpected ways
  • Justice processes that impact crime and society
  • Theories and methods for controlling crime

JUST 251 -  Crime & Delinquency
T/R sections are open.
       T/R 10 am - 11:15 am (CRN73242)
       T/R 11:30 am - 12:45 pm (CRN71910)
  • How different are we from the people in jail?
  • Causes and consequences of crime and delinquency
  • Ways of controlling crime and delinquency
  • Looking at crime rates and crime trends

Register here for the above courses.