Alaska Justice Forum 22(4), Winter 2006

The Winter 2006 issue of the Alaska Justice Forum features articles on language interpretation in the Alaska justice system, results of a Justice Center report on sexual assaults in Anchorage from 2000 through 2003, changes in Alaska justice system operating expenses from FY 1990 to FY 2006, and a brief report on an evaluation of an ankle bracelet alcohol monitoring project in use in Alaska.

"Language Interpretation and the Justice System" by Antonia Moras

The problems raised by the absence of effective interpretation and translation in the courts, and in other criminal and civil justice situations, seem to be growing, both in Alaska and throughout the country. The problem is not limited to criminal cases: civil cases — child custody, domestic violence restraining order petitions, child-in-need-of-aid — also often require interpreters. The Alaska Supreme Court Fairness and Access Study, released in 1997, noted the widespread need for better interpretation services in Alaska courts and with other agencies. The court system is now leading efforts to establish a language interpretation center to forestall problems.

Sexual Assaults in Anchorage

Information from four years of police fles shows that the problem of sexual assault in Anchorage has discernible contours: most assaults take place indoors, between people who are not strangers to each other, with either or both parties having consumed alcohol. This article provides an overview of reported sexual assaults in the city from 2000 through 2003 using data from a recently-completed report which updates an earlier study released in 2003.

Alaska Justice System Operating Expenditures

This article briefly describes changes in Alaska justice system operating expenses from fiscal year 1990 to fiscal year 2006. During this time, expenditures have increased 69 percent. The rise was dominated by an increase in the budget of the Alaska Department of Corrections, which almost doubled between FY 1990 and FY 2006.

Justice Center Evaluates SCRAM

Two and a half years of data on the Secure Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) project show that the technology of ankle bracelet alcohol monitoring — which monitors wearers' alcohol consumption through transdermal analysis—can function effectively in Alaska.