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2 Alaska Just. F. 1 (1978)

handle is hein.journals/aljufor2 and id is 1 raw text is: Alaa
Fii14 111...



New Interrogations & Confessions Series
An Anchorage Dispute Center
Ketchikan Youth Advocate Program
Citizens Project Looks at Justice System

Volume 2 Number 1 January, 1978

Dispute Center WiIll Be New Approach To Violence

Ketchikan Youth
Advocate Pro -
gram Offers Fast
By Lt. Ben L. Neff
Ketchikan Police Department
Phyllis Bardonski
Division of Social Services
Until recently, Ketchikan, like many
communities in Alaska, did not have an
effective system for responding approp-
riately to youth -in crises, especially in
those cases occurring after the close of
the business day. Historically, law en-
forcement personnel have carried the bur-
den of this responsibility to the extent
their operational resources permitted. Be-
cause police and troopers did not have
immediate access to alternative place-
ment facilities when they were confront-
ed with other emergencies, status offen-
ders were frequently detained for such of-
fenses as Minor in Possession of Alco-
hol by Consumption, Curfew, Wayward &
Disobedient, and Truancy. A detention
home was the most convenient place to
hold a youngster if the police were un-
able to locate family members. More
importantly, there were no effective
means for dealing with chronic status
For a community its size (accord-
ing to the 1974 Census, it is an island
community of 6,000 serving a total popu-
lation of 17,912), Ketchikan has a wide
range of services available to deal with
status offenders during the daytime
hours. These services include social vel-
fare agencies such as Social Services,
Youth Advocate Program, Mental Health,
(Continued on Page 2)

A Report From The Alaska
Judicial Council

A husband periodically gets drunk and
threatens his wife and children. One
night, when his threats are particularly
vehement, his wife attempts to defend
herself with a kitchen knife. The hus-
band seizes the knife throws it away and
beats her severely with his hands.

A young woman is badly beaten up by
her drunken ex-boyfriend. When the
police arrive, she tells them that this is
a  regular  occurrence. However, she
refuses to press charges against her at-
tacker, insisting, I only want him
to leave me alone.

A landlord goes to his tenant's residence
to demand payment for two months
back rent. The tenant refuses, claiming
that the landlord has failed adequately to
maintain the apartment. The landlord
assaults and seriously injures the tenant.
The above histories were taken by researchers for the Alaska Judicial Council
from actual reported cases in the files of the Anchorage Police Department over the
past year. According to a recent Judical Council report, violent incidents like these
are very often direct outgrowths of conflicts between relatives, friends, lovers, and
other people who are in a continuing personal relationship with each other. The sig-
nificance of these personal or domestic incidents to the general Anchorage crime
scene is apparent from the following facts contained in the report:
* Half of all assault and battery incident reports involved people in the same
 In 90 percent of the assault and battery incidents the aggressor and the victim
were previously acquainted.
* In 70 percent of the assault and battery, domestic disturbance and disorderly
conduct incidents the victim was a woman.
A substantial percentage of these reported cases never result in any arrest and even
fewer culminate in prosecution. According to Michael L. Rubinstein, Executive Di-
rector of the Alaska Judicial Council, this is because a police officer in Alaska cannot
legally arrest someone for a misdemeanor unless he actually observes the crime in pro-
gress, unless a citizen is willing to sign a formal complaint. Frequently, precisely be-
cause the disputants have a personal relationship with each other, the injured party
simply refuses to press charges.
(Continued on Paqe 6)

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