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4 Alaska Just. F. 1 (1987-1988)

handle is hein.journals/aljufor4 and id is 1 raw text is: ALASKA JUSTICE FORUM
A  Publication of the                                               hJstice
Alaska Statistical Analysis Unit                                   Scan  o i
Spring 1987            UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA, ANCHORAGE             Vol. 4, No. 1

THE FORUM RETURNS

-John Angell
With this Spring 1987 issue, the
School of Justice at the University of
Alaska, Anchorage resumes publication
of the Alaska Justice Forum, after a
hiatus of seven years. The revived Forum
will, we hope, serve the same goals as
those of the original publication: to in-
crease understanding of crime and justice
system operations and to contribute to
the improvement of the administration of
justice in Alaska.
The School of Justice, which
houses both the Justice Center and
the Alaska Statistical Analysis Unit,
has statewide responsibility for aca-
demic and public education and re-
search in the areas of crime, law, law
enforcement, and the administration of
both civil and criminal justice. It is this
mission which the revived Forum will
advance through its presentation of
statistical data and its discussion of
research and developments in the field of
justice.
The original Forum, published
from 1977. to 1980, covered such land-
mark Alaska activities as the revision of
the Alaska criminal code, the implemen-
tation of the Department of Law policy
against plea bargaining, and the develop-
ment of a state master plan for Correc-
tions. The new Forum will continue this
tradition of broad coverage of Alaska
justice issues. It is based on a recognition
that the efficiency and effectiveness of
the justice system is dependent upon the
extent to which people in the system
have   information    about   operations
throughout   the  system. The    Forum
will assist not only in providing such
information, but also in providing the
most current justice data available and
references to additional sources of data
which may be useful to justice personnel.
Discussion of current justice issues
in Alaska will reflect the results of
research and analysis performed by the

arena for broad and
of justice issues.

John Angell, Dean
Justice Center and the Statistical Analysis
Unit and of national studies done through
the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S.
Department of Justice. In addition
to articles and research findings, the
Forum will include timely informa-
tion on training opportunities, meetings,
and publications in the field of justice.
Financial support for the Forum is
provided by the U.S. Department of
Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. It
will be published quarterly and will be
provided at no cost in single copies to
individuals, agencies, and organizations
with an interest in the administration of
justice in Alaska.
We look forward to serving Alaska
through the revival of the Alaska Justice
Forum, and we invite your contribu-
tions-articles, letters, suggestions, and
comments. We plan for this publication
truly to function as a forum: an Alaska

inclusive discussion

OBSCIS:
A Correctional
Management Tool
-Roger Endell
The Offender Based State Cor-
rectional Information System (OBSCIS)
is a computer-based data management
tool designed to serve the administrative
needs of correctional systems. Although
the system was developed under the Law
Enforcement Assistance Administration
(LEAA) in the late 1970s for general use
within corrections departments through-
out the United States, only a very few
states have successfully adopted it, and
even fewer have been able to realize any
of its potential as a management tool. In
1983 the Alaska Department of Correc-
tions became one of the first correctional
systems to adopt OBSCIS. Its experience
with the system may be instructive for
other states.
The implementation of OBSCIS in
Alaska accompanied the change in the
correctional system from the status of a
division within the Department of Health
and Social Services to that of a separate
department of state government.
This change in the status of Correc-
tions was precipitated by a rapid growth
in state correctional needs. The correc-
tional system in Alaska is a comprehen-
sive adult system which processes both
males and females, pre-trial and post-trial
detainees, and misdemeanants and felons.
In December 1980, 861 offenders were
incarcerated within the Alaska system; in
early 1987 there are over 2,000 within
the same system. This growth is the result
See OBSCIS, page 2

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