Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $164,237)
The State Justice Statistics (SJS) Program is designed to maintain and enhance each state's capacity to address criminal justice issues through collection and analysis of data. The SJS Program provides support to each state to coordinate and conduct statistical activities within the state, conduct research to estimate impacts of legislative and policy changes, and serve as a liaison in assisting BJS to gather data from respondent agencies within their states.
The Alaska Justice Statistical Analysis Center (AJSAC) is located within the Justice Center at the University of Alaska-Anchorage. The AJSAC has been tasked to assist Alaska criminal justice agencies and state and local governments and officials by maintaining data and researching available information bases. They also provide advice and service related to technical and procedural problems involving statistical analysis of justice data while developing methods and conducting statistical analyses. Lastly, the AJSAC responds to requests for justice information and provide Alaska representation to several programs and offices of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA).
Under this award, the AJSAC will use funds for both a core capacity and special emphasis project. Under the core capacity building area, the SAC will administer Phase III of their Alaska Police-Public Contact Survey. As recent events across the U.S. have illustrated, despite the importance of high-quality empirical data detailing the frequency, nature, and outcomes of policepublic encounters, there is a shortage of such information available to state and local policymakers/practitioners. Consequently, when incidents occur that prompt questions about policepublic contacts for example, inquiries pertaining to disproportionate minority contact/racial profiling and police use of force data capable of addressing questions about incidence, prevalence, and the outcomes of policecitizen encounters are rarely available.
The proposed project will build off of Phases I and II (already completed by the SAC), and will provide the AJSAC the ability to establish a sound, scientific foundation for a statewide police-public contact survey that would ensure that Alaska policymakers and law enforcement professionals would have ready access to this important information. Establishing a statewide policepublic contact survey data collection program will greatly enhance the AJSACs capacity to conduct studies of the quantity and quality of interactions between Alaska police and members of the public, and the AJSACs ability to directly contribute to the development of evidence-based policy and practice in this critically important criminal justice domain.
Under the special emphasis capacity area, the AJSAC will conduct a University of Alaska Student Sexual Violence Victimization Study. This study will assist the state with establishing and estimating a program of research to estimate the prevalence of sexual violence victimization among the states university student population, identify risk and protective factors for sexual violence victimization amongst the members of that population, and help improve statewide and university-specific prevention and intervention efforts. Additionally, the AJSAC plans to disseminate the information from this and future studies through an online mode designed from the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) model. This portal from data dissemination would establish an online library of Alaska-specific crime, victimization, and justice research for the purposes of research findings dissemination similar to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS).