Alaska Justice Forum 34(2), Fall2017

Alaska Justice Forum 34(2), Fall 2017. A publication of the Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage



Is the rate of property crime increasing in Alaska?

Brad A. Myrstol and Pamela Cravez

Larceny Thefts Known to Police: 1985–2016. This and five other graphs about Alaska property crime rates are dicussed in detail in the accompanying video and transcript.

Is the rate of property crime increasing in Alaska?  Dr. Brad Myrstol developed a series of graphs using data from six Alaska jurisdictions to show it’s a complex question, as described in our video.

Crime rates and Alaska criminal justice reform

Brad A. Myrstol and Pamela Cravez

Figure 1. Rate of reported shoplifting incidents, Anchorage, 1985–2016. This and three other graphs about Alaska crime rates are dicussed in detail in the accompanying article.

Definitive conclusions about the impact of Senate Bill 91 on the rate of property crimes in Alaska are not possible for a number of reasons, including that the most current data cover less than six months following implementation of the first phase of the law.

How do you determine the right size of a police department? Don’t look to crime rates

Troy C. Payne

Figure 1. Alaska violent crime rate per 100,000 residents and police officers per 1,000 residents: 1986–2015. This graph is discussed in the accompanying article.

Studies have shown that changing the number of police officers has no effect on crime rates. This article explains why and describes alternative measures.

Crisis Intervention Teams Assist Law Enforcement

Pamela Cravez

Retired Anchorage Police Officer and former CIT Coordinator Wendi Shackelford (left) with Anchorage Police Officer Ruth Adolf, current CIT coordinator.

CIT is a police-based, first responders’ pre-arrest jail diversion model for individuals with mental illness and/or substance abuse disorder. A new CIT coalition is being developed in Mat-Su Borough. The online article includes additional information about specialized police responses.

When mental illness becomes a police matter

Mental health. This graphic is a word cloud with associated with mental health and mental illness: awareness, wellness, therapy, benefits, risk, research, grief, stigma, worried, relationships, trauma, IQ, postpartum, suicide, crisis, psychology, self-harm, post-traumatic stress, depression, psychological, anorexia, clinical, bipolar, unhappy, stress, optimist, grieff, anxiety, phobia, genetic, attitude, emotions, drugs, treatment, cognitive.

Mental illness is not a police matter in and of itself and most people with mental illness (MI) are not involved in the criminal justice system. When police do interact with an individual with MI, care needs to be taken not to label the person as the problem but to focus on behavior that causes harm to self and others.

Pamela Cravez, editor of the Alaska Justice ForumEditor's Note

Pamela Cravez

In this issue we feature two stories that caution using crime rates as a single factor to determine policy. A story on Crisis Intervention Teams shows how specialized responses are helping law enforcement deal with calls from individuals with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. As always, the Alaska Justice Forum online provides additional stories and features. Sign up!

Alaska Justice Forum 34(2), Fall 2017 (thumbnail)Fall 2017 print edition

The PDF of the print edition includes full references.


PDF of Fall 2017 print edition