Alaska Justice Forum 26(1), Spring 2009

Alaska Justice Forum 26(1), Spring 2009

"Anchorage Wellness Court: Challenges" by Ronald S. Everett

This article examines the Anchorage Wellness Court (AWC), which deals with misdemeanor alcohol offenders, including those who drive under the influence (DUI); discusses the concepts of therapeutic jurisprudence and problem-solving courts; and examines the challenges to the longstanding need and demonstrated potential for success of the AWC program. The author discusses societal views of DUI drivers and explores the broader issue of "impaired" drivers: those, for example, who drive while talking on cell phones. Four recommendations are given for the AWC: to reorient and/or clarify policy goals regarding drunk drivers; to develop alternative treatment programs and expand the number of available treatment providers; to establish a 5-year follow-up program with potential for expunging arrest and conviction records and other incentives; and to develop proactive, rather than reactive, polices of prevention to confront alcohol-impaired drivers and the underlying problem of alcohol abuse and addiction. A sidebar highlights sanctions for DUIs under Alaska Statute Section 28.35.030 and Anchorage Municipal Code 9.28.020.

"Justice System Operating Expenditures"

This article looks at changes in justice system operating expenditures for the period FY 2000-2010, and total operating expenditures for all state agencies for the same period. FY09 final budget for the State of Alaska includes $229 million in stimulus funds, a portion of which have been applied for by the Department of Public Safety, including the Alaska State Troopers. Total Alaska justice system operating expenditures grew by 68 percent from FY 2000-2010 while the total state operating budget for all agencies grew by 75 percent

"Criminal Justice Working Group Update" by Teresa White Carns

Coordinated and staffed by the Alaska Judicial Council, the Criminal Justice Working Group (CJWG) is made up of representatives from the executive branch justice agencies and other justice system agencies and organizations in Alaska. The CWCG has focused on two main aspects of the criminal justice system: crime prevention and reduction of recidivism; and efficiencies in the system. This article outlines the CJWG's recent work and accomplishments.

"Therapeutic Jurisprudence"

This article discusses therapeutic jurisprudence and describes therapeutic and problem-solving courts and their common elements. Therapeutic courts currently operating in the Alaska Court System - including addictions (drug and alcohol), mental health, and other therapeutic courts - are described, as well as other programs in Alaska that have been developed to address particular issues falling under the rubric of therapeutic jurisprudence, including community justice centers. Includes a brief bibliography.

"Justice Center Appointments"

Announcing the appointment of Dr. André Rosay as Director of the Justice Center; Dr. Brad Myrstol as Assistant Professor; and Khristy Parker and Jennifer McMullen as research assistants.

"Dr. Trostle Retires"

Announcing the retirement of Dr. Lawrence Trostle, an 18-year faculty member, from the Justice Center.