Alaska Justice Forum — A publication of the Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage

July 2018


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Environmental justice: Challenges of contaminated site cleanup in rural AK

Paula Williams and Pamela Cravez

Contaminated sites in Alaska, FY 2017. Source: Contaminated Sites Database, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

Efforts to clean up contaminated sites from military installations and other sources have been ongoing in Alaska since the 1980s. New sites continue to be identified and rural Alaska is disproportionately impacted. Read more

Long-term impacts of environmental contaminants are ‘generational game changer’

Annie Alowa at a contaminated site on St. Lawrence Island. Photo courtesy Alaska Community Action on Toxics.

While state and federal health studies recommend continued reliance upon traditional foods, St. Lawrence Island community members fear those foods may be contributing to elevated levels of PCBs and higher cancer rates. Read more

Expanded Brownfields Program supports redevelopment in Alaska

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 Brownfields Program. Brownfields funds support the redevelopment of property which may have contaminants from prior use. Anchorage, Mat-Su Borough, and Kodiak Island Borough are current recipients of these funds. Read more

Pamela Cravez, editor of the Alaska Justice ForumEnvironmental justice in Alaska

The mission of the Justice Center, which publishes the Alaska Justice Forum, is to lead Alaskans toward a safer, healthier and more just society. In this issue, we look at work being done to address a backlog of contaminated sites in Alaska and the disproportionate impact upon rural Alaska Native communities. Read more

Parole and Probation in Alaska, 2002–2016Parole and Probation in Alaska, 2002–2016

The most recent issue of the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) Fact Sheet presents data on the characteristics of offenders who came under the supervision of the Alaska Department of Corrections, Division of Probation and Parole between 2002 and 2016. The AJiC Fact Sheet series (formerly Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center Fact Sheet) addresses various crime and criminal justice topics. Read more

Summer 2018 print editionSummer 2018 print edition

The PDF of the print edition of the Alaska Justice Forum includes full references.  Read more




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The Alaska Justice Forum is a publication of the UAA Justice Center.

Leading Alaska toward a safer, healthier and more just society.

The Justice Center, established by the Alaska legislature in 1975, has a mandate to provide statewide justice-related education, research, and service. It is an interdisciplinary unit that provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional education; conducts research in areas of crime, law, and justice; and provides service to government units, justice agencies, and community organizations throughout urban and rural Alaska to promote a safe, healthy, and just society.

APRIL 2018


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High referral rate for VPSO-assisted sex assault cases

Brad A. Myrstol

Village Public Safety Officers (VPSOs). Courtesy Alaska State Troopers.

The likelihood that a sexual assault or sexual assault of a minor case will be accepted for prosecution in western Alaska is enhanced when VPSOs are first responders, according to new study. Read more

Alaska Victimization Survey: Aleutian/Pribilof Islands

Alaska Victimization Survey: Aleutian/Pribilof Islands. Out of every 100 adult women who reside in the Aleutian/Pribilof Island region: 43 experienced intimate partner violence (IPV); 24 experienced sexual violence; 45 experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence, or both. These lifetime estimates come from a 2014–2015 survey of adult women in the Aleutian/Pribilof Island region. Source: UAA Justice Center, Alaska Victimization Survey,

Results of the 2014–2015 Alaska Victimization Survey for the Aleutian/Pribilof Islands show 45% of adult women in the region have experienced intimate partner violence, sexual violence or both in their lifetime. Read more

Sexual Assault Kit Initiative: Alaska making progress

Pamela Cravez

State of Alaska Sexual Assault Evidence Kit

Victim-centered policies being developed by the Alaska Department of Public Safety for processing unsubmitted and untested sexual assault kits collected by Alaska State Troopers are one part of the state’s efforts to tackle more than 3,000 untested kits. Read more

Sequential Intercept Model: Framework for a ‘wicked problem

Pamela Cravez

Linear depiction of the Sequential Intercept Model. Source: Abrue, et al., 2017. Used by permission.

This model offers conceptual points at which a person with serious mental illness could be diverted from the criminal justice system and into community-based treatment. A recent book looks at the success of programs along the intercept continuum. Read more

Brad A. Myrstol, Justice Center DirectorMyrstol is new Justice Center director

Dr. Brad Myrstol, new Justice Center director, brings breadth of experience in Alaska justice issues and more than 14 years with the Justice Center to new position. Read more

Alaska State Troopers B Detachment is understaffed (infographic)Alaska State Troopers B Detachment Patrol Staffing Study

Troy C. Payne

The UAA Justice Center produced a workload-based staffing model for police patrol in the Alaska State Troopers B Detachment, studying a period for 2009–2015. Alaska State Troopers provide service in unincorporated areas of the state. B Detachment’s service area is a large part of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and portions of the Valdez-Cordova Census Area along the Richardson Highway, an area of about 20,000 square miles containing 2,250 miles of roadways. According to the study, Troopers in B Detachment are chronically over-utilized, which causes operational problems. The Department of Public Safety released a press release providing additional details from the study as well as a link to the study and infographic based on the study. Read more

Spring 2018 print editionSpring 2018 print edition

The PDF of the print edition of the Alaska Justice Forum includes full references.  Read more


January 2018



(Image) Benefit-CostEditor's note: Alaska's evidence-based investment

Evidence-based practices are being employed in Alaska to improve public safety and reduce criminal justice costs. Are they paying off?  Read more

Pretrial risk assessment tool developed for Alaska

Pamela Cravez

(Photo) Bail hearing

Beginning January 1, Alaska courts began receiving information from a pretrial risk assessment tool to assist in bail decisions. The goal is to improve public safety by reducing the number of defendants who fail to appear for trial or commit a new crime while out on bail. Read more

Advantages and limitations of new pretrial risk assessment tool

Geri Fox and Pamela Cravez

(Photo) Geri Fox and Pamela Cravez

Geri Fox, Director of the Alaska Department of Corrections’ Pretrial Enforcement Division, speaks with Alaska Justice Forum Editor Pamela Cravez about the advantages and limitations of Alaska’s new pretrial risk assessment tool.  See the video

Benefit vs. cost of Alaska criminal justice programs

Alaska Results First Initiative: Compile — Cost — Compare

The Alaska Justice Information Center’s Alaska Results First analysis shows the monetary return on the state’s investment in evidence-based criminal justice programs, provides tools for assessing how changing the cost structure and delivery method can impact the return on current programs, and can help estimate the benefit to cost ratio for prospective programs.  Read more

Expanded view of recidivism in Alaska

Araceli Valle

(Chart) Figure 1. Cumulative Recividism Rates in Alaska

As part of its Alaska Results First analysis, the Alaska Justice Information Center followed offenders for eight years after they’d been released from an Alaska Department of Corrections facility, expanding our understanding of recidivism patterns for a large group of offenders well beyond any prior study.   Read more

Motor Vehicle Theft Arrests Reported in Alaska, 1985–2015Motor vehicle theft arrests reported in Alaska, 1985–2015

Random Reamey

The most recent issue of the Alaska Justice Information Center (AJiC) Fact Sheet presents data on motor vehicle theft arrests reported in Alaska from 1986 to 2016. The AJiC Fact Sheet series (formerly Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center Fact Sheet) addresses various crime and criminal justice topics. Read more

Winter 2018 print editionWinter 2018 print edition

The PDF of the print edition of the Alaska Justice Forum includes full references.  Read more


October 2017


Is the rate of property crime increasing in Alaska?

Brad A. Myrstol and Pamela Cravez

Is the rate of property crime increasing in Alaska?

Is the rate of property crime increasing in Alaska?  Dr. Brad Myrstol developed a series of graphs using data from six Alaska jurisdictions to show it’s a complex question. See the video

Crime rates and Alaska criminal justice reform

Brad A. Myrstol and Pamela Cravez

Crime rates and Alaska criminal justice reform

Definitive conclusions about the impact of Senate Bill 91 on the rate of property crimes in Alaska are not possible for a number of reasons, including that the most current data cover less than six months following implementation of the first phase of the law.  Read more

How do you determine the right size of a police department? Don’t look to crime rates

Troy C. Payne

How do you determine the right size of a police department? Don’t look to crime rates

Studies have shown that changing the number of police officers has no effect on crime rates. This article explains why and describes alternative measures.  Read more

Crisis Intervention Teams Assist Law Enforcement

Pamela Cravez

(Photo) Retired Anchorage Police Officer and former CIT Coordinator Wendi Shackelford (L) and Anchorage Police Officer Ruth Adolf, current CIT coordinator.

CIT is a police-based, first responders’ pre-arrest jail diversion model for individuals with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder. A new CIT coalition is being developed in Mat-Su Borough. The online article includes additional information about specialized police responses.   Read more

When mental illness becomes a police matter

When mental illness becomes a police matter

Mental illness is not a police matter in and of itself and most people with mental illness (MI) are not involved in the criminal justice system. When police do interact with an individual with MI, care needs to be taken not to label the person as the problem but to focus on behavior that causes harm to self and others. Read more

(Photo) Pamela Cravez, editor of the Alaska Justice ForumEditor's Note

Pamela Cravez

In this issue we feature two stories that caution using crime rates as a single factor to determine policy. A story on Crisis Intervention Teams shows how specialized responses are helping law enforcement deal with calls from individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. As always, the Alaska Justice Forum online provides additional stories and features. Sign up!  Read more

Fall 2017 print editionFall 2017 print edition

The PDF of the print edition includes full references.  Read more


July 2017


Alaska Justice Forum redesign

Alaska Justice Forum 34(1), Summer 2017The Alaska Justice Forum, a publication of the Justice Center at UAA, has a new look and new web presence. We are phasing out hard copies and moving toward online delivery with more articles and updated stories. Sign up here.

(Photo) Vickie Wilson & Doris Poland

Older Women Face Abuse

André B. Rosay

This article examines psychological and physical abuse against women in Alaska who are aged 60 or older and compares these rates to national rates.  Read more

(Photo) L. Diane Casto & André RosayCasto and Rosay talk about elder abuse

L. Diane Casto, Executive Director of the Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, talks with André Rosay, Director of the Justice Center, about elder abuse in Alaska. See the video

(Photo) Alaska Psychiatric Institute, 1968Lack of Psychiatric Beds and Consequences

Pamela Cravez

Dr. Anne Zink, Medical Director at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center (MSRMC) and head of Mat-Su’s Emergency Department (ED), is seeing more and more psychiatric emergencies.  Read more

(Photo) Spirits of Alaska liquor store(Photo) Sharon ChamardCommunity Solves Liquor Store Problem

Sharon Chamard

This is the story of a successful community-based collaborative problem-solving process that serves as an example of the power that communities have to effect change, even in the face of sharp divisions.   Read more

(Photo) André B. RosayDirector's Farewell

André B. Rosay

Dr. André Rosay, Justice Center director since 2007, has been appointed associate dean for academic and student affairs in the College of Health. Dr. Rosay bids farewell to the Justice Center here.

(Photo) Pamela CravezEditor's Note

Pamela Cravez

For over 30 years, the Alaska Justice Forum has provided in depth research on justice topics. I am honored to take over as editor. I’ve spent the last 35 years working as a writer and editor.  Read more


Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 33

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 32

32(4), Winter 2016

Complete issue (PDF)

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 31

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 30

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 29

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 28

Note: The Winter/Spring 2012 double-issue, Alaska Justice Forum 28(4)–29(1), can be found above listed with Volume 29.

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 27

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 26

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 25

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 24

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 23

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 22

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 21

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 20

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 19

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 18

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 17

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 16

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 15

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 14

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 13

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 12

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 11

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 10

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 9

Alaska Justice Forum, Volume 8

  • Jail Monitoring by N.E. Schafer and Emily E. Read
  • Women in Prisons (A BJS Report)
  • Homicide in Alaska: 1965–1990
  • Center Holds Dicussion
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