Friday, November 6, 2015

Summer-Fall 2015 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum

Alaska Justice Forum 32(2–3), Summer/Fall 2015
The Summer/Fall 2015 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum presents articles on a survey of studies on judicial selection methods used by U.S. states, selected milestones from the UAA Justice Center's 40-year history, an intervention to reduce public disorder in Anchorage's Town Square Park, 2014 institutional populations under authority of the Alaska Department of Corrections, and smart justice initiatives in Alaska.The 12-page issue includes the following articles:

"A Survey of Studies on Judicial Selection" by Ryan Fortson and Kristin S. Knudsen

The Alaska legislature is considering a bill — Senate Joint Resolution 3 — that would put before voters a state constitutional amendment to change the composition of the Alaska Judicial Council and the way its members are selected. The Alaska Judicial Council plays a constitutionally-mandated role in the selection of Alaska’s judges and also makes recommendations to voters concerning retaining or not retaining judges as part of the judicial retention election process. This article reviews selected existing studies relevant to potential effects of this proposed change to the council composition — studies that examined judicial effectiveness, responsiveness of judges to public opinion, and public perception of judges.

"UAA Justice Center 40th Anniversary 1975–2015"

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the UAA Justice Center presents a timeline of selected milestones from its history.

"'Activating' Park Spaces in Anchorage’s Town Square Park (Research Note)"
by Troy C. Payne and Daniel Reinhard

This brief research note describes an intervention designed to increase activity in Anchorage's Town Square Park in an effort to reduce public disorder in the park. An abbreviated evaluation of the intervention is included.

"2014 Alaska Department of Corrections Institutional Population"

This article looks at highlights from the 2014 Alaska Offender Profile published by the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC), with a focus on the 2014 institutional population defined as pretrial detainees, post-conviction inmates, and probation and/or parole violators housed in a correctional facility. A brief sidebar describes Alaska's unified system of corrections.

"Smart Justice in Alaska" by Barbara Armstrong

Smart justice initiatives seek to reform criminal justice systems by reducing correctional populations and recidivism while lowering costs, maintaining offender accountability, and ensuring public safety. This article describes two smart justice initiatives underway in Alaska, “Results First” and “Justice Reinvestment."

"Faculty Notes"

Dr. Brad Myrstol and Prof. Kristin Knudsen have been recognized with Chancellor's Awards for Excellence. Prof. Deb Periman has been promoted to Professor of Justice. Prof. Jason Brandeis has been awarded tenure and been promoted to Associate Professor.

"Alaska Justice Information Center Welcomes Staff"

Araceli Valle, Ph.D., and Karin Thomas, M.S., have joined the staff of the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJIC) as Research Professionals.

Students in Profs. Fortson's and Knudsen's classes practice mock opening statements before Judge Sen Tan and deposition skills

Prof. Kristin Knudsen, J.D., M.J.S., and Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Ph.D., coordinated a joint project with their students in LEGL 487 Trial and Advanced Litigation Practice and LEGL 380 Torts, Workers' Compensation & Insurance to develop pre-trial and trial skills using a common set of case materials that Prof. Knudsen and Prof. Fortson created.

In Prof. Knudsen's class, students were videotaped as they interviewed witnesses during a mock deposition. Eric Baldwin, videographer with Academic Innovations and eLearning, a former professional legal videographer, assisted students in understanding the technical side of what is needed to videotape a depostion that will be used as evidence, while Prof. Knudsen evaluated the performance of each team.

L: Videographer Eric Baldwin. L to r far side of table: students Casey Gilmore and Jory Knott.
L to r near side of the table: student Estellita Chiles and Leroy Latta, J.D., volunteer witness.

L to r far side of table: studentsCasey Gilmore and Jory Knott.
L to r near side of table: student Estellita Chiles and
Leroy Latta, J.D., volunteer witness

In Prof. Fortson's class, students presented mock opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments. Alaska Superior Court Judge Sen Tan (ret.) presided over the hearings.

Prof. Fortson's class l to r: Erin Leaders, Nathel Sims, Case Mohr, Kimberly Allely, James Schindler, Judge Sen Tan,
Prof. Ryan Fortson, Liz Blanas, and Tina Isbell. Not pictured: Brandon Clark and Dawn Harrison.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Khristy Parker, AJSAC researcher, interviewed by Alaska Dispatch News about Fact Sheet on DOC post-conviction incarcerated population 2005-2014

Alaska Department of Corrections: Post-Conviction Incarcerated Population, 2005–2014Khristy Parker, Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC) researcher, was interviewed by Jerzy Shedlock of the Alaska Dispatch News about the recent Fact Sheet on the Alaska Department of Corrections post-conviction incarcerated population 2005-2014.

Click here to read the article:

"Number of convict women in Alaska prisons up as overall population drops," by Jerzy Shedlock. Alaska Dispatch News. 02 Nov 2015.

Alumni spotlight: Steven Amundson, BA Justice '08

This week's profile is the fourth in our series about Justice alums working for the Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) at the McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage. This post highlights Steven Amundson.

McLaughlin Youth Center Administration
Steven Amundson, BA Justice '08, is a Juvenile Justice Officer II at McLaughlin Youth Center (MYC). Public service is important to Steven and he feels his job at McLaughlin is a good fit – “a way to work for the greater good.” He talks about getting to help the kids out and seeing “a little click” when they have an “aha” moment and suddenly understand an issue or behavior.

Looking back on his Justice courses, Steven wishes there had been more emphasis on dealing with kids who have mental health issues. A greater number of kids are coming into the system who have these issues, and he stresses the need for a different approach with them. (Note: Steven preferred no photo.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

8th Polar Law Symposium held at UAA in September -- see the photo gallery

The Anchorage portion of the 8th Polar Law Symposium was held on September 25 and 26 at the UAA campus.  Over 100 attendees and presenters participated in the symposium.

UAA - through the Justice Center and ISER - and Alaska Pacific University co-hosted this event.  This international symposium was presented in partnership with the University of Washington School of Law, the Vermont Law School, and in cooperation with the Arctic Law Section of the Alaska Bar Association. The theme was "The Science, Scholarship and Practice of Polar Law: Strengthening Arctic Peoples and Places."

Symposium organizers were Betsy Baker, Professor, Vermont Law School; Alaska Liaison, University of Washington School of Law in Anchorage; Affiliate Professor, UAF International Arctic Research Center; and Mara Kimmel, Walter Hickel Professor of Strategic Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Alaska Pacific University; Visiting Scholar, UAA Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER); Fellow, Institute of the North.

Below are photos from the event. Click here for panelist's bios.
The opening of the symposium - standing at podium l to r: Mara Kimmel and Betsy Baker, symposium organizers.
Keynote speakers on Saturday l to r:
Representative Max Gruenberg, Alaska State Legislature and
 Mead Treadwell, former Alaska Lt. Governor and Chair
of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

Panelists l to r: Sky Starkey, Matthew Newman, Heather Kendall Miller,
Raychelle Aluaq Daniel, Bob Anderson.
Panelists at table l to r: Matti Niemivuo,Troy Bouffard, Cam Carlson,
Rachael Lorna Johnston, Robin Bronen. Harry Bader in background.

Panelists l to r: Betsy Baker, Bob Anderson, Matt Ganly,
Phil Blumstein, Tina Grovier.

Panelists l to r: Betsy Baker, Rachael Lorna Johnstone, Timo Koivurova,
Mara Kimmel. Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz (seated far right) made
the closing remarks at the symposium.

Attendees during poster sessions - far right: Julia Jabour.

Diane Hirshberg, ISER (standing), opens one of the breakout sessions.

Monday, November 2, 2015

AJSAC Fact Sheet: Alaska Department of Corrections: Post-Conviction Incarcerated Population, 2005–2014

Alaska Department of Corrections: Post-Conviction Incarcerated Population, 2005–2014

The most recent issue of the AJSAC Fact Sheet presents data on post-conviction incarcerated populations supervised by the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC). The report, "Alaska Department of Corrections: Post-Conviction Incarcerated Population, 2005–2014", focuses on post-conviction incarcerated populations by crime classifications and crime categories overall and within gender.

The fact sheet is by Khristy Parker of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC).