Monday, August 20, 2018

Justice Center welcomes three new faculty!

Rita Augustyn, Ph.D.
Rita Augustyn, PhD, joins the Justice Center faculty this fall after receiving her PhD from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Dr. Augustyn’s primary areas of research are in corrections, inmate reentry, prison-based treatment, sexual offending, and the effects of race and age. In addition to her dissertation, which evaluates prison-based residential substance use treatment programs, she is interested in exploring the definition of “older” populations and age cutoffs, with eye toward finding the tipping point where misconduct changes.

Dr. Augustyn has interned both at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services in the Adult Protection Services unit and the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services in the Planning and Research Division. The internships have provided opportunities to research vulnerable adult abuse and prison-based sex offender treatment. Dr. Augustyn uses both her academic background and experience in real-world situations to provide a multi-dimensional approach to teaching.

A lifelong Nebraskan, Dr. Augustyn, applied to UAA undergrad, but decided to stay in Nebraska to help with the costs of college. She received her PhD, M.A., and B.A. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she received a scholarship to go to graduate school. Dr. Augustyn is delighted to finally have the opportunity to be at UAA, the Justice Center,  and to live in Alaska.

Fall semester 2018, Dr. Augustyn is teaching Principles of Corrections (JUST 210) and Intro to Justice (JUST 110). She is also working with the Alaska Department of Corrections on a reentry project. You can reach Dr. Augustyn at or 786-4302.

Ingrid Diane Johnson, Ph.D.
Ingrid Diane Johnson, PhD, joins the UAA Justice Center this fall as an assistant professor. Raised in Delta Junction and Fairbanks in Interior Alaska, Dr. Johnson received her B.A. in Justice from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and completed both an M.A. and PhD in Criminal Justice at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. The focus of much of Dr. Johnson’s research is on help-seeking among survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence and sexual assault, and how formal and informal networks can improve those processes.

Although Dr. Johnson left Alaska to pursue graduate studies in criminal justice, she brought with her a long-term commitment to addressing crime and justice issues in Alaska. Her research while at Temple University included rural and urban differences in relation to criminal justice, and access to substance abuse treatment for individuals involved in the criminal justice system.  She is the co-author of “Rural Location and Relative Location: Adding Community Context to the Study of Sexual Assault Time Until Presentation for Medical Care,” which studied sexual assault cases in eight Alaska communities.

This fall 2018, Dr. Johnson will bring both her academic background and personal knowledge of rural Alaska, to Rural Justice (JUST 355). The course explores geographic, social and cultural characteristics of Alaska’s rural communities and how these factors can influence the prevalence and nature of crime and criminal justice. In addition, she is teaching Introduction to Research Methods (JUST 200).

Dr. Johnson is also working in partnership with the Alaska Department of Public Safety as the principal research investigator for the Alaska Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (AK-SAKI). You can reach Dr. Johnson at or 786-1126.

University of Alaska Anchorage
Yeungjeom Lee, PhD’s road to becoming an assistant professor at UAA’s Justice Center is the culmination of many years of determination to follow her passion to study criminology. Dr. Lee received both her B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Forensic Psychology in Korea and then traveled to the University of Florida in Gainesville (UF) where she completed a PhD in Criminology, Law & Society.

This fall 2018, Dr. Lee is teaching Crime and Delinquency (JUST 251) and Juvenile Justice and Delinquency (JUST 375). The subject matter fits well within her research areas that include juvenile delinquency, criminological theory, victimization, and psychopathy. During her master’s study in forensic psychology she developed, and published, a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder assessment scale for victims of intimate violence.  At the University of Florida’s PhD program she focused on various criminological theories, using advanced analytical techniques, while maintaining a life-course/developmental orientation. Her central focus being the basic question – why do some people commit crimes while others do not?

Dr. Lee’s recent or forthcoming publications appear in Criminal Justice and Behavior, Crime & Delinquency, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Deviant Behavior, American Journal of Criminal Justice, and Korean Journal of Forensic Psychology.

After a number of years working on her PhD in Florida, Dr. Lee is looking forward to living in Alaska where she will enjoy the beautiful nature of Alaska and be closer to her family in Korea .

You can reach Dr. Lee at or 786-1856.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Alumni spotlight: Yevgenii Kisarauskas. BA Justice 2013, MA Criminal Justice 2018, headed for a career in law enforcement

Yevgenii Kisarauskas, B.A. Justice 2013, B.A. Psychology 2016, M.A. Criminal Justice 2018, started out as an undergrad at Montana State University, but transferred to UAA after a year because they didn't have a criminal justice degree program. At UAA, he took a course in criminology from Dr. Troy Payne and really liked his teaching style. “His enthusiasm was contagious,” said Kisarauskas.  It was through Dr. Payne that Kisarauskas came to know about the excellent graduate Justice program at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Payne received his PhD from the University of Cincinnati (UC) in 2010. This summer, Kisarauskas received his M.A. in Criminal Justice from UC.
Yevgenii Kisarauskas

Kisarauskas, who was born in Russia in 1990 and emigrated to Alaska with his parents in 2000, wasn’t ready to finish his undergraduate education at UAA with a B.A. in Justice in 2013. He decided to turn a minor in psychology to a full degree and completed his second B.A. in 2016. After graduating, he took a year off from school to work as a substance abuse counselor in Sitka.

In fall 2017, Kisarauskas entered the University of Cincinnati master’s program with a full scholarship. He gives the UAA Justice Center program credit for providing great preparation for graduate work.  At UC, Kisarauskas excelled with a 4.0 GPA.
This fall, Kisarauskas is looking at positions in law enforcement on the west coast. His goal down the road is to work for the FBI or Federal Marshals’ office.  For now, though, he’s looking at sheriffs’ offices and police departments where he’ll begin the career in law enforcement that he’s always wanted.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Rural justice course investigates rural crime and criminal justice

What is justice for rural communities? Explore this question (and more) by registering for: Rural Justice (JUST A355), Fall 2018,  Tuesdays and Thursdays  1 to 2:15 PM. Prerequisites: JUST 110 and Junior or Senior standing (Exceptions made upon instructor approval). CRN: 77495. Fulfills Alaska Native-Themed GER. Contact Ingrid Johnson at or 907 786 1126 with questions.
Learn about geographic, social and cultural characteristics of Alaska's rural communities and how these factors can influence the prevalence and nature of crime and criminal justice in the fall 2018 course, Rural Justice (JUST A355). Students will have an opportunity to review competing theories of justice, as well as do a comparative analysis of rural crime and criminal justice in other countries, with emphasis given to other circumpolar nations. Registration restrictions apply. Contact Ingrid Johnson,, 786-1126, with questions.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

AJiC Fact Sheet presents data on drug-related cases filed in Alaska courts, FY 2008–2017

Drug Cases Filed across the Alaska Court System, FY 2008–2017
The 18-03 issue (August 2018) of the AJiC Fact Sheet, "Drug Cases Filed across the Alaska Court System, FY 2008–2017," presents data on drug-related court filings throughout the state of Alaska for fiscal years (FY) 2008 through 2017 and the 10-year trend of misdemeanor and felony drug case filings for Alaska and for the Anchorage, Palmer, Kenai and Fairbanks courts over the same period.

Overall, felony drug case filing rates remained stable or increased in all locations until FY15 or FY16, before decreasing dramatically from FY16 to FY17. The exception is the Fairbanks court, which maintained an overall decrease in felony drug case filing rates over the 10-year period. Misdemeanor drug case filing rates, regardless of whether they increased or decreased between FY 2008–2014, decreased in all locations from FY 2014–2016 before increasing from FY 2016–2017. The year with the lowest felony drug case filing rate, for all locations, was in FY17. The lowest misdemeanor drug case filing rate, for all locations, was in FY16. Data is drawn from annual reports of the Alaska Court System for the FY 2008 through 2017.

The fact sheet is by Daniel Reinhard, Research Professional, Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC). The AJiC Fact Sheet series addresses various crime and criminal justice topics.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Expanded Brownfields Program supports redevelopment in Alaska

Keku Cannery, Kake
Keku Cannery, Kake. Photo from Alaska
Department of Environmental Conservation.
This year, Congress expanded eligibility requirements and grant limits under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields Program. An article in the Summer 2018 Alaska Justice Forum looks at this EPA program that supports redevelopment of property which may have contaminants from prior use. Anchorage, Mat-Su Borough, and Kodiak Island Borough are current recipients of Brownfield funds.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Mat-Su leadership respond to Justice Center workload-based report showing need for more Troopers, ask voters to weigh in

Alaska State Troopers B Detachment Patrol Staffing Study and Description of Dispatched Police Incidents
Mat-Su Borough Assembly approved putting language on the October 2 ballot to let voters weigh in on whether they want additional law enforcement in Mat-Su. The ballot measure, proposed by Assembly member Jim Sykes, is in response to a Justice Center report showing the need for increased Trooper staffing. The workload-based staffing model for Alaska State Troopers B Detachment, developed in a report authored by Troy Payne, associate director of the Alaska Justice Information Center and Justice faculty, is featured in the April 2018 Alaska Justice Forum. Responses to the study have been the subject of  recent KTVA news and other media reports:

Fortson & Payne article shows importance of legal representation for both parents in custody proceedings

Dr. Ryan Fortson and Dr. Troy C. Payne's article, "Lawyering Up: The Effects of Legal Counsel on Outcomes of Custody Determinations," published in the Winter 2018 edition of the UC Davis Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy, is currently available through Westlaw or Lexis at 22 U.C. Davis J. Juv. L. & Pol'y 1.

Prof. Ryan Fortson
Prof. Troy C. Payne
Fortson and Payne, Justice Center faculty, provide an empirical approach for determining whether being represented by an attorney increases the likelihood of success in obtaining one’s desired outcome as expressed in the parent's initial custody request. Many existing studies look at final outcomes in relation to the legal representation status of an individual parent, ignoring the issue of whether the parent achieved his or her initial custody request, as well as the effect of the representation status of the other parent. After controlling for initial custody request and the legal representation status of both parents, Fortson and Payne find that having an attorney can increase the chances of a parent achieving his or her desired custody outcome, but only if that parent is represented and the other parent is not represented. These results can have a substantial impact on those advocating for the increased availability of free or low-cost legal services in child custody proceedings.

A link to the Winter 2018 edition of the UC Davis Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy will be posted when available.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

We're back at our Consortium Library location!

Moving boxes
After a summer spent in offices located off-campus to allow for renovation at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, Justice Center faculty and staff have returned to their offices in the Consortium Library, Suite 213. The Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) will also be moving back to the Consortium Library from its temporary summer home, but not until later in the fall. If you have any questions, please call 786-1810.