Friday, April 29, 2016

Dr. Rivera is coauthor of Anchorage Collaborative Coalitions report on youth behavioral needs assessment

 Growing up Anchorage 2015: Anchorage Youth and Young Adult Behavioral Health and Wellness Assessment Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice Center faculty, is a co-author of a report, Growing up Anchorage 2015: Anchorage Youth and Young Adult Behavioral Health and Wellness Assessment developed as part of a UAA research project led by the Center for Human Development. This project is under the auspices of the Anchorage Collaborative Coalitions.

The UAA team includes researchers from the Center for Human Development, the Justice Center, the Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services, and the Department of Health Sciences

This report will be used to inform the design of a community-based intervention for interrupting youth suicide, determining mental illness risk factors, and fostering well-being, as well as resiliency.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Dr. Payne and Justice grad Daniel Reinhard co-author article in International Criminal Justice Review

Dr. Troy Payne, Justice faculty, and Daniel Reinhard, '15 BA Justice, co-authored an article, "The Complexity of Problem-Solving in Urban Parks: A Case Study," recently published in the journal, International Criminal Justice Review.

The article describes data collection and analysis of a limited evaluation of an intervention meant to reduce crime and disorder in an urban park through increasing park use. The case study uses Town Square Park, an urban park in the Municipality of Anchorage.

Daniel Reinhard is currently in the graduate program at the School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Alpha Phi Sigma - national criminal justice honor society - inducts 16 new members in spring 2016

L to r: Newly inducted Alpha Phi Sigma members Allisa Nguyen, Brandi Cordero, Austin Otos, Stephanie Smith,
Alpha Phi Sigma faculty advisor Dr. Ryan Fortson, Jennifer Ham, Nathel Sims, and Sevy Sheppard. Not pictured: Jacqueline Hull, Jessica Leigh, Jessica Mannhardt, Case Mohr, Montana Nolan, Kelsey Smith, Jennifer Tillman, Kollin Wallace, and Weili Weng.
Sixteen Justice and Legal Studies majors were inducted as members of the Alpha Phi Sigma National Criminal Justice Honor Society, Omega Xi Chapter, on Tuesday, April 12, at the UAA/APU Consortium Library. Family and friends attended the ceremony, followed by a reception.

To be selected for this honor, each student had to maintain a 3.2 overall cumulative GPA and 3.2 GPA in their Justice or Legal Studies major. Alpha Phi Sigma recognizes academic excellence of undergraduate and graduate students of criminal justice.

Dr. Ryan Fortson, J.D., faculty advisor, moderated the ceremony.

Final report from Governor's Housing Summit released - Dr. Rivera facilitated session on reducing recidivism through housing

The summation reports from the Governor's Housing Summit held January 6, 2016 at UAA have been released.

Dr. Marny Rivera, Justice Center faculty, facilitated the Reducing Recidivism through Housing breakout session which included assistance from Bryan Butcher, CEO/Executive Director, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC), and Jeff Jesse, Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA), and a designated note-keeper, Morgen Jaco, Reentry Coordinator, Probation Officer II, Department of Corrections.

Below is the summary for the Reducing Recidivism through Housing session:

The goal of the summit noted on the Governor's website was "to bring together Alaskans from across the state to identify the barriers and seek budget-neutral solutions to the numerous housing challenges facing Alaskans."

A total of 8 breakout sessions were held at the summit: Alaskans Experiencing Homelessness, Housing Affordability in Rural Alaska, Incentivizing Private Sector Housing Investments, Innovative Funding and Financing Options for Housing, Reducing Recidivism through Housing, Senior Housing, State Building Codes and Energy Efficiency Standards, and Veteran Homelessness.  The mandate for the sessions was to generate recommendations that would be budget-neutral.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pre-Law Society hears from attorney Matt Findley about arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court

Matt Findley discusses the background of the case.
Attorney Matt Findley, who argued the recently decided case of Sturgeon v. Frost in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, spoke to the Pre-Law Society on April 15 about his preparation for and experience of arguing in front of the highest court in our nation.

The case addressed jurisdiction over rivers in national parks and more specifically, whether Mr. Sturgeon could use his hovercraft to hunt moose in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.
Prof. Fortson (standing) introduces Matt Findley (r seated).

Mr. Findley is with the Anchorage law firm of Ashburn & Mason.  Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., is the Pre-Law Society faculty advisor.

AJSAC Fact Sheet released -- Alaska Trauma Registry: Trauma Admissions Involving Firearms, 2009-2014

Alaska Trauma Registry: Trauma Admissions Involving Firearms, 2009–2014The most recent issue of the AJSAC Fact Sheet presents data on trauma admissions to all 24 Alaska acute care facilities for injuries involving firearms for the period 2009 - 2014. The report, "Alaska Trauma Registry: Trauma Admissions Involving Firearms, 2009–2014," presents data provided by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Department of Public Health, Alaska Trauma Registry.

The fact sheet is by Khristy Parker, Research Professional, Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC).

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

UW School of Law hosts information table for UAA students

Dr. Kuszler (r) talks to a student about the LSAT.
Patricia C. Kuszler, M.D., J.D., Vice Dean of the University of Washington School of Law, visited the UAA campus on April 11 to host an information table for UAA students interested in law school. Dr. Kuszler also made a presentation in Prof. Jason Brandeis' class, LEGL 101, Intro to Law.

Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Legal Studies Program Coordinator in the Justice Center, joined Dr. Kuszler in advising students about the LSAT, careers in law, and the 3+3 accelerated law school admissions program with UW. 

L to r: Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., Justice Center, and
Dr. Patricia Kuszler, Vice Dean, UW School of Law, at
the information table in SSB on April 11.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dr. Lepage recognized by two senior Seawolf women's basketball players for his support

Dr. Cory R. Lepage, Justice faculty, was one of over 20 UAA professors recognized on Faculty Appreciation Night 2016 by senior Seawolf women's basketball players.  Players invited faculty members to the event on February 11, 2016 at the Alaska Airlines Center to thank them "for their work in the classroom and their support of the Seawolves."

L to r: Dr. Lepage and Jessica Madison
on the court at the faculty appreciation
Dr. Lepage was invited by Seawolf  players Jessica M. Madison and Dominique V. Brooks; both are Justice majors. As players and faculty stood on the court, the announcer read a brief statement of appreciation written by the students about each faculty member.  Here are excerpts from the comments about Dr. Lepage:

"Professor LePage was always understanding of my athletic travel schedule and was always willing to help me stay on track." (Jessica Madison)

L to r: Dominique Brooks and Dr. Lepage
on the court at the faculty appreciation
"He was always willing and determined to help his students any way he could.  Dr. LePage has been very understanding of our travel schedules." (Dominique Brooks)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dr. Rosay speaks at two events at Harvard about violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and men

 On April 26 at Harvard University, Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center Director, joins Christine Crossland (National Institute of Justice) and Ada Pecos Melton (American Indian Development Associates) at two events about policy and research addressing violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and men.

The first event, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will be held at 12:30 p.m. and is titled, "A discussion of research priorities, implementation, and findings on violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and men."

In the evening at 6:00 p.m. there will be a dinner event at the Harvard Law School. The evening program is titled, "A discussion of the intersection of policy and research related to understanding and preventing violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and men."

Dr. Rosay will be discussing his research as a Visiting Executive Research Fellow at the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).

The events are sponsored by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Native American Student Organization, the Harvard Medical School Native American Health Organization, and the Harvard Law School Native American Law Students Association, with support from the Harvard University Native American Program, the Harvard Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, and multiple units at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health (the Office for Student Affairs; the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences; the Women of Color Collective; and the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Women, Gender, and Health).

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Pre-Law Society hosts discussion on U.S. Supreme Court case on Friday, April 15

The Pre-Law Society is hosting a discussion by Anchorage attorney Matt Findley, who argued the recently decided case of Sturgeon v. Frost in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. The case addressed jurisdiction over rivers in national parks and more specifically, whether Mr. Sturgeon could use his hovercraft to hunt moose in the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. 

Attorney Matt Findley
Mr. Findley, who is with the law firm of Ashburn & Mason, will discuss both the case itself and his preparation for and his experience of arguing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. The talk will be Friday, April 15, in Rasmuson Hall 220 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m., and is a brown-bag lunch event.

Don't miss the opportunity to hear firsthand what it's like to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Students in Prof. Knudsen's Civil Procedure class present mock oral arguments before Administrative Law Judge Andrew Hemenway

Prof. Kristin Knudsen, J.D., M.L.S., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, 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 the appeal of the denial of class decertification. Their mock oral arguments replicated the proceedings at the U.S. District Court.

Students presented their arguments before long-time Juneau Administrative Law Judge Andrew Hemenway, who now serves as the Chair of the Alaska Workers' Compensation Appeals Commission.

Students pose with Judge Hemenway and Prof. Knudsen prior to mock oral arguments. L to r: Jennifer Ham, Kara Stewart,Kyla Kosednar, Sheila Morrison, Josephine Davis, Judge Hemenway, Prof. Knudsen, Judi Hegerberg, Merri Foreman, and Taylor Lane. Not pictured Kara Blanton, Rachel El Naggar, Raquel Granados, and Joseph Mitzel.

Profs. Periman and Fortson speak at United Youth Courts of Alaska 2016 Conference on April 1 at APU

Prof. Deb Periman, J.D., and Prof. Ryan Fortson, J.D., Legal Studies faculty in the Justice Center, were guest speakers at the 2016 United Youth Courts of Alaska (UYCA) Conference on Friday, April 1. Students from 10 youth courts across the state participated in the training which was held at Alaska Pacific University.

Prof. Periman discussed "What Lawyers and Judges Really Do," and Prof. Fortson described the Alaska Youth Law Guide: A Handbook for Teens and Young Adults, an online and PDF resource developed by the Alaska Bar Association Law-Related Education Committee.

Youth courts are a restorative justice alternative to the formal juvenile justice system for middle school and high school students who are minor and first-time offenders. The youth court process is handled entirely by student volunteers who have received special training in informally adjudicating other youth.

Prof. Periman (center at podium) talks with students about the role of lawyers and judges.

Prof. Fortson (center at podium) explains the uses for the Alaska Youth Law Guide.

Friday, April 8, 2016

A look back at our 2016 National Criminal Justice Month events - and a chance to view the videos if you missed the programs!

Wednesday, March 9
"The Fairbanks 4: Lessons Learned from Alaska's First Exoneration"

Events for the 2016 National Criminal Justice Month kicked off with "The Fairbanks 4: Lessons Learned from Alaska's First Exoneration." This program was co-sponsored by the Alaska Innocence Project.

Panelists were Rick Allen, Director, Office of Public Advocacy; Lesley Hammer, Forensic Scientist, Hammer Forensics; and Bill Oberly, Executive Director, Alaska Innocence Project.

Missed the program? Click here to view the video.

Panelists (far right at table) for the "The Fairbanks 4" program spoke to a packed room of students and members of the public.
Posing for a photo after the program (l to r): Jory Knott, student  and Pre-Law Society officer and Alaska Innocence Project intern, panelists: Rick Allen, Office of Public Advocacy; Lesley Hammer, Hammer Forensics; and Bill Oberly, Alaska Innocence Project; program moderator Dr. Troy Payne, Justice Center; students and Pre-Law Society officers Nathel Sims and Camilla Hussein.

Wednesday, March 23
"How the U.S. Supports Peacekeeping in Africa: Policing and Police Training"

Later in the month Mark Mew, former Anchorage Police Department (APD) Chief, discussed his recent experiences in Africa during the program, "How the U.S. Supports Peacekeeping in Africa: Policing and  PoliceTraining." Mr. Mew's work in Africa was coordinated by Bering Straits Native Corporation.

The 2016 National Criminal Justice Month programs were sponsored by the Justice Center, Justice Club, and the Pre-Law Society. 

Missed the program? Click here to view the video.

Mark Mew (standing center) describes the challenges facing peacekeepers in Africa today.
L to r: Bill Mendenhall, Bering Straits Native Corporation; Mark Mew, former APD chief;
program moderator Dr. Troy Payne, Justice Center; Jory Knott, student and Pre-Law Society officer.

Dr. Myrstol interviewed by Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman about recent AJSAC report and sexual assault case delays

Dr. Brad Myrstol, Director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC), was interviewed by the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman about the recently released AJSAC report, Descriptive Analysis of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Incidents Closed by the Alaska State Troopers: 2008-2011.

Dr. Myrstol's work described in the report is a collaborative effort with the Alaska Department of Public Safety, Alaska State Troopers, and the Alaska Department of Law, to empirically document the criminal justice case processing and outcomes of sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor, and domestic violence cases in the state of Alaska.

He was interviewed in relation to a decades-long rape case that is the subject of the article.  Dr. Myrstol noted, "What we’re attempting to do is build resource capacity and data resources … and make that available to the public and available for researchers to mine and explore."  The study's primary objective  is to understand the factors that influence domestic violence and sexual assault case attrition throughout the criminal justice process in order to improve case outcomes for victims, their families, and their communities.

Read the article here:
"Decades-long rape case sheds light on reality of Alaska crime" by Caitlin Skvorc. Mat-Su Frontiersman, 29 Feb 2016.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Winter 2016 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum

Alaska Justice Forum 32(4), Winter 2016The Winter 2016 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum features articles on approaches to evidence-based criminal justice reform and recidivism reduction in Alaska, sexual misconduct and sexual violence as perceived by students at University of Alaska Anchorage, and an initiatve to make Alaska and national public health data available online.

The 12-page issue contains the following articles:

"Criminal Justice Reform and Recidivism Reduction" by Brad A. Myrstol and Barbara Armstrong

This article briefly examines the evidence-based approach to policymaking in criminal justice. The article also describes the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, a “smart justice” approach to reducing recidivism that is being led in Alaska by the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC), housed in the UAA Justice Center.

"Justice Reinvestment Report"

This article summarizes the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission's recommendations for criminal justice reform in Alaska included in the Commission's Justice Reinvestment Report released in December 2015.

"Sexual Misconduct: How Do UAA Students Define It?" by Lindsey Blumenstein

This article describes a qualitative study undertaken to explore how UAA students identify sexual violence and sexual misconduct, as well as the concept of consent.

"Informed Alaskans Initiative: Public Health Data in Alaska" by Barbara Armstrong

This article describes the Informed Alaskans Initiative launched by the Alaska Division of Public Health to make state and national public health data available online.

Drs. Payne and Lepage named as influential persons by first/second-year UAA students

L to r: Dr. Payne and Dr. Lepage.
Dr. Troy Payne and Dr. Cory R. Lepage, Justice faculty, have been named by UAA first-year/second-year students, as "instructors who have helped them become successful," according to a UAA Mapworks survey. This is the second year in a row they have been named.

Mapworks is described as a "student success and retention tool linking students with the individualized resources they need, when they need them." The UAA Division of Student Access, Advising & Transition (SAAT) surveyed first-year and second-year students during the 2015-2016 academic year via Mapworks and recently invited nominated faculty to a faculty appreciation reception to be held March 24 on campus.

 A total of 733 students nominated 178 faculty members as persons who had helped them succeed at UAA.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

U.S. District Court Chief Magistrate Judge Deborah Smith speaks to Dr. Lepage's class about reentry courts

Chief Magistrate Judge Deborah Smith of the U.S. District Court for Alaska spoke to Dr. Cory Lepage's JUST 490 Alternative Methods of Adjudication students on March 10. Chief  Magistrate Judge Smith discussed the federal reentry court, the Alaska Hope Court, which was established in 2015.

Alaska Hope Court participants are selected and invited to join the program; these individuals are federal offenders who are on supervised release from prison, many of whom have substance abuse problems. Reentry courts offer assistance to released offenders and have been shown to impact recidivism.

The launch of this first federal reentry court in Alaska was spearheaded by Chief Magistrate Judge Smith; Rich Curtner, Federal Defender; Karen Loeffler, U.S. Attorney; and Matthew Jedrosko, Chief of the U.S. Probation Office.

U.S. District Court Chief Magistrate Judge Deborah Smith speaks to students about reentry courts.

Dr. Myrstol conducts research in rural Alaska for National Institute of Justice study about VPSO officers

Dr. Brad Myrstol, Director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC), has been visiting rural villages in Alaska as part of a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study. The NIJ project is titled: “An Innovative Response to an Intractable Problem: Using Village Public Safety Officers (VPSOs) to Enhance the Criminal Justice Response to Violence Committed against Alaska Native Women in Alaska’s Tribal Communities."

The purpose of Dr. Myrstol’s visits to western Alaska villages was to participate in community conversations about the VPSO program in general, and the contributions VPSOs make to community and criminal justice responses to violence against Alaska Native women in the state's tribal communities.

Dr. Myrstol just after arriving at a rural village landing strip .

View of western Alaska from a small plane.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Remembering Rep. Gruenberg's visit: helping students learn about the legislative process

Rep. Gruenberg (center) gets to work explaining HB 147 to students.
On October 19, 2015, Rep. Max Gruenberg visited Prof. Kristin Knudsen's class, LEGL 356 Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing, to give realistic feedback to students who had drafted their own proposed amendments to HB 147 Animals: Protection/Release/Custody, a bill introduced by Rep. Liz Vasquez in 2015 and co-sponsored by Rep. Gruenberg.

The  bill deals with animal cruelty investigations, animals included in protective orders, and issues of ownership of an animal in divorce or dissolution cases, and as of this writing, is still in committee.

Rep. Gruenberg was accompanied by Michael Haukedalen, Alaska State Director, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), who discussed the role of lobbyists and his organization's efforts to promote this bill.  Rep. Liz Vasquez was also invited, but was unable to attend.

Rep. Gruenberg, one of the longest serving members of the Alaska Legislature, passed away unexpectedly on February 14 of this year in Juneau.

Prof. Knudsen (far right) looks on as Rep. Gruenberg (center), with Mr. Haukedalen of the Humane Society (r),
reviews a student's draft amendment. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Drs. Rivera and Blumenstein present at March 2016 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences annual meeting

Dr. Marny Rivera and Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein, Justice faculty, presented at the 2016 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) annual meeting in Denver in March.

Dr. Rivera presented for the panel, In-depth Examinations of Substance Abuse. Her topic was titled, "Under the Influence: Parents' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Regarding Youth Substance Abuse."

Dr. Blumenstein was the chair of the panel, Understanding College Student Attitudes Toward Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Violence. Her presentation was titled,"Sexual Victimization on College Campuses: How Do Students Define and Identify Sexual Misconduct?"

The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences is an international association founded in 1963 to promote criminal justice education, research, and policy analysis. Members include educators, scholars, and professionals from all sectors of the criminal justice system, as well as criminal justice students.

Dr. Blumenstein is keynote speaker at Choose Respect event in Anchorage on March 24

Dr.  Blumenstein speaking at Town Square
Park on March 24.
Dr. Lindsey Blumenstein, Justice Center faculty, was the keynote speaker at the Choose Respect March on Thursday, March 24 in Anchorage.  Dr. Blumenstein discussed the 2015 estimates from the statewide Alaska Victimization Survey.

The results from the 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey conducted by the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center for the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault  (CDVSA) show a decline in intimate partner and sexual violence in Alaska since 2010.  While the numbers are getting better, they remain unacceptably high.
Dr. Blumenstein's research areas include intimate partner violence, campus sexual assault, substance abuse, and criminological theory. The event was sponsored by the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA) and the Zonta Club of Anchorage.