Monday, November 20, 2017

Troy Payne talks about how social media crime reports can distort world view

Dr. Troy C. Payne, Justice Center faculty,  discussed the ability of social media reports of crime to distort people's view of the world in a recent story in the Anchorage Daily News about the uptick in social media reports of crime.
Dr. Troy C. Payne, Justice faculty

Although there are few academic studies about the impact of social media crime reports, one recent study found that the amount of time that people consume social media about crime influences how they feel about their community, according to Dr. Payne.

"People who use social media are more likely to feel unsafe," Payne said. They may not see crime personally, but when they "look on their Facebook feed, or Nextdoor, they see crime all over the place."

"It can have this really strange distorting effect on how we view the world," Payne said.

While crime in some categories, such as car theft, is increasing, when combined with social media accounts, you have the perfect environment for people to perceive crime as pervasive, Payne said.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Northern Light cites Alaska Victimization Survey to highlight efforts to address intimate partner violence and sexual assault

The Northern Light used the 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey (AVS) to underscore the need to address intimate partner violence and sexual assault, stating that nearly one in two Anchorage women experience intimate partner violence, sexual assault, or both in their lifetime.

Keeley Olson, executive director of Standing Together Against Rape (STAR), added that rates of child sexual abuse in Alaska are six times higher than those in the lower 48 and that once someone is harmed, they are more likely to be harmed again. It is very important to prevent the first occurrence of sexual violence, she said.

Open communication is important. “As it becomes more mainstream to speak about it, the stigma and blame will dissipate. If everyone would express belief and offer support to those impacted, rather than laying blame, or making excuses, it would make a world of difference,” Olson said in the Northern Light article.

The article listed several initiatives at UAA that are increasing awareness about intimate partner violence and sexual assault including the mandatory Title IX training and the Take Back the Night March in September. UAA has also done 21 bystander training presentations according to Betty Bang, a nurse practitioner at the Student Health and Counseling Center. The goal is to help students get involved in intervening.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Alaska Justice Information Center provides research necessary for evidence-based policy making

The Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) is well-positioned to provide Alaska policy makers and lawmakers with the information and research necessary to make evidence-based decisions, according to Brad Myrstol, AJiC director, in recent stories published in Alaska Business Monthly and Cordova Times.  AJiC released its first major report, the Alaska Results First Initiative, in October, and legislators have called upon Myrstol to provide information about crime rates numerous times this fall.

Nationally, and in Alaska, policy makers have historically relied upon "gut-feel" rather than data, according to Myrstol. That trend is changing and AJiC is making it possible for lawmakers to dig deeper and get the information they need to support policy decisions.  This year AJiC is building an integrated Alaska justice platform, a repository for justice data routinely collected by criminal justice agencies in Alaska. The platform will make it possible for AJiC to help answer the complex questions Alaska lawmakers face when creating justice policy for Alaskans.

"How UAA’s Justice Information Center Is Using Data to Help Policymakers" by Catalina Myers.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Legal Ethics students participate in diversity luncheon

Students in Prof. Deb Periman's  Legal Ethics class A215 were invited to participate in the 2017 Diversity Luncheon titled: Diversity in Our Community: Stories Affecting Our Lives. Senior Justice Dana Fabe, Retired Alaska Supreme Court Justice, moderated the conversation between Shauna Hegna, President Koniag, Inc., Jo-Ann Chung, District Court Judge, Karina Waller, Executive Director, Ted Stevens Foundation, and Mark Kroloff, Principal, First Alaskan Capital Partner, LLC.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Alumni spotlight: Dominick Eubank, Justice '16, is APD patrol officer

APD Patrol Officer Dominick Eubank
Dominick Eubank, double major in Justice and History, 2016, is a Patrol Officer with the Anchorage Police Department (APD). Dominick entered the Police Academy in June 2016, a month after graduating from UAA. He completed the Academy in December 2016 and also completed  Field Training between December 2016  and April 2017.

The responsibilities of Dominick's job include investigating person and property crimes at the patrol level. The crimes Dominick investigates range from misdemeanors to felonies and include theft, assault, and domestic violence. He also responds to violent  crimes such as homicide and robbery prior to detectives being involved.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Random Reamey joins AJiC as research professional

Random Reamey
Random Reamey, new AJiC research professional.
Please join us in welcoming Random Reamey to the UAA Justice Center. Random is a research professional in the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC). Prior to working at the Justice Center, Random was a research professional and graduate research assistant at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER). At ISER he analyzed data from the American Community Survey and other sources to analyze how potential tax options used to balance the Alaska state budget would impact children and families in urban and rural Alaska. This included an analysis of the impact of the Permanent Fund Dividend on Alaskan households. Random began working at ISER as a First Alaskans Institute Intern as part of his undergraduate business degree and continued working there after graduating with a B.B.A. in Economics from UAA in summer 2016. He is currently enrolled in the M.B.A. program at UAA and is interested in business intelligence. Research and analysis for AJiC is similar to the research and analysis in business, according to Random. Decision makers in both fields require good data and analysis in order to make the best decisions possible.

Myrstol presents crime data to House Finance

slide presentation
Dr. Brad Myrstol, interim Justice Center director and director of the Alaska Justice Information Center and Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center, provided the Alaska House Finance Committee with Alaska crime statistics during its special session meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 31. Dr. Myrstol provided  "big picture" annual crime rates from 1985-2016 and monthly crime rates from 2014 to 2016. The presentation gave legislators  trends over both long and short periods of time as well as trends for specific crimes.  In addition to Dr. Myrstol, the committee also heard from Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth from the Department of Law and Tony Piper from the Alcohol Safety Action Program. The committee is considering the financial implications of addressing crime rates and changes proposed to criminal justice reform in SB 54. See Dr. Myrstol's presentation here.