Alaska Justice Forum 22(1), Spring 2005

The Spring 2005 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum features articles on youth violence in Anchorage, the Alaska Judicial Council's evaluation of three therapeutic courts, the relationship between drug use and arrest offenses in Anchorage, and Bureau of Justice Statistics figures on the high rates of criminal victimization experienced by Alaska Natives and Native Americans.

"Youth Violence in Anchorage" by André B. Rosay and Sharon Chamard

In the wake of several violent incidents in Anchorage in late 2003 involving juveniles with guns—some involving homicide—efforts were initiated to explore the issue of youth violence in Anchorage. This article presents statistics of youth violence to show how Anchorage compares to other cities, shows how Alaska today compares to 5 and 10 years ago, and examines community residents’ perceptions of youth violence. The data indicate that youth violence is Anchorage and in Alaska is comparable to national levels; that youth violence is declining, as it is nationally; and that overall Anchorage residents do not perceive youth violence to be a serious problem. A descriptive report based on data collected from case files of the Anchorage Police Department, to be released in late 2005, will provide in-depth information on suspects, victims, and incident characteristics, spatial patterning of youth violence and the social networks that may exist among young offenders and their victims.

"Therapeutic Justice in Action: An Evaluation of Three Therapeutic Courts" by Teresa W. Carns

Therapeutic justice courts represent a relatively new approach to dealing with chronic offenders whose criminal activity appeared to be primarily fueled by alcohol or drug abuse. This article reports on an Alaska Judicial Council evaluation of the three therapeutic courts in Alaska that handle felony cases: the Anchorage Felony Drug Court, the Anchorage Felony DUI Court, and the Bethel Therapeutic Court. Includes a brief bibliography.

"Drugs and Crime in Anchorage: A Note" by Robert H. Langworthy and Alan R. McKelvie

This article examines the relationship between drug use and offense charged through data collected in 2003 from 259 recent arrestees in Anchorage, Alaska using the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) protocol. The analysis is restricted to examining those ADAM participants who tested positive for marijuana and cocaine use. Includes a bibliography on findings from the Anchorage ADAM effort.

"Victimization of Native Americans"

Based on a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, this article presents statistics showing that Alaska Natives and American Indians experience criminal victimization at twice the reate of the general U.S. population.

"SAC Coordinates Data Sharing"

This brief article describes the effort by the Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) to improve access by researchers and administrators to data from various Alaska criminal justice agency data bases.