Alaska Justice Forum _
Alaska Justice Forum 19(2), Summer 2002
A discussion of COPS-community-oriented policing services-in Alaska, including a list of COPS funding recipients, by community and department, for 1994-2002. Since the establishment of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) in late 1994, Alaska has received over $41 million in grant funds from the federal government for policing in communities throughout the state, with over 90 Alaska police agencies, communities, and tribal groups receiving COPS funds.
Despite the enormous growth in the U.S. prison population, particularly in the number of women incarcerated, very little is known about children, either in the country as a whole or in Alaska, who now have at least one parent in jail. While there are some national estimates of the number of prisoners who are parents of minor children, in Alaska the Department of Corrections has no firm figures. If Alaska figures parallel available national estimates, several thousand children currently have at least one parent in the state's prisons.
In 2001, Alaska continued to have a rate of incarceration lower than the national rate, but the state's correctional population grew much more than that of the country as a whole, and Alaska had one of the highest percentages among the states of prisoners held in private facilities. Overall, the nation's prison population grew 1.1 percent in 2001, less than the average annual growth of 3.8 percent since the end of 1995. Alaska, however, experienced an 8.9 percent increase in its prison population.
Alan McKelvie joins the Justice Center as director of the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center. Brad Myrstol has joined the Justice Center as a research associate. Marie Brunner has assumed the position of office manager for the Justice Center.