Alaska Justice Forum 15(1), Spring 1998


"Criminal Defense in Rural Alaska" by Rachel King

Based on the author's work as an assistant public defender from 1991 to 1994 in three jurisdictions in rural Alaska - Ketchikan, Kodiak, and Kotzebue - this article focuses on several structural aspects of the criminal justice system in rural Alaska which may contribute to the overrepresentation of Alaska Natives in the Alaska prison system. While some of the problems identified can affect non-Natives as well as Natives, this discussion focuses primarily on the situation of rural Alaska Natives.

"Juvenile Referrals: An In-Depth Look" by N.E. Schafer

The Justice Center recently completed the second phase of a study of racial disproportionality in juvenile referrals in Alaska. The first phase, discussed in a previous Alaska Justice Forum article, "Minorities Referred at Higher Rates: Analysis of DFYS Data" (Fall 1997), examined four years of referral data - over 28,000 referrals for over 14,000 juveniles. Phase II examines in detail a small sample of 112 individuals from the larger data set. This article looks at the 33 youth from the Phase II study who had five or more referrals, examining individual criminal histories and family backgrounds as revealed in the files.