Alaska Justice Forum 10(4), Winter 1994


"Legal Interpreting in Alaska" by Phyllis Morrow

Since the enactment in 1978 of the federal Court Interpreters Act (Public Law No. 95-539), there has been an increasing reliance on interpreters in bilingual settings throughout the United States. Although the act applied only to federal courts, it has also stimulated a greater use of interpreters in state and municipal courts. The use of competent court-appointed interpreters can be critical to the conduct of fair legal proceedings. This article examines some of the salient issues surrounding language, interaction, and legal interpretation in Alaska situations. Associated stories describe policies on interpretation in federal and state courts in Alaska and examples of errors in translation between Yup'ik and English in actual courtroom situations.

"Violence Against Women (A BJS Report)" by the Bureau of Justice Statistics

More than 2.5 million women in the United States experience violence annually, according to this National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) report, which is based upon a nationally representative survey of 400,000 American women. Although women are significantly less likely to become victims of violent crime than men, they are more vulnerable to particular types of perpetrators, including intimates such as husbands or boyfriends.

"Alternative Punishments: A Judicial Council Seminar" by Teresa W. Carns

More frequently than in the past, an observer of sentencings in Alaska courtrooms hears a judge impose a combination of penalties, rather than a simple sentence to "Three months, two suspended, on probation for two years." The reasons for choosing alternative punishments vary, ranging from an effort to rehabilitate the offender to a decision to hold the offender accountable, recompense the victim, or respond to overcrowding in the local jail. This article describes the proceedings of a half-day seminar on alternative sanctions held for Alaska justice professionals in February 1994.

"Video Receives Recognition"

"Domestic Violence and Law Enforcement," an educational video program produced and written by Antonia Moras, was a finalist in the New York Film Festivals 1993 International Non-Broadcast Media Competition.