Browsing University of Alaska Anchorage by Subject "minors"
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Disproportionate Minority Contact in AnchorageThis slide show presentation presents recently collected data on disproportionate contact with the juvenile justice system of minority youth in Anchorage, Alaska. The data examine minority contact with local law enforcement and juvenile justice authorities at McLaughlin Youth Center. Disproportionate minority contact (DMC) occurs when the rate of referral for minority youth exceeds the rate of referral for white youth. DMC occurs for almost all non-white minority groups in Anchorage; it is more prevalent for Pacific, Native, and Black youth, both males and females, and more prevalent for referrals for probation/conduct violations, especially for females.
Effect of Alaska Fiscal Options On Children and FamiliesAlaska’s state government faces an unprecedented challenge, with the need to close an estimated $3 billion gap between projected revenues and expenditures in fiscal year 2017. Total unrestricted state General Fund revenue in fiscal year 2016 (the 12 months ending June 30, 2016) was $1.3 billion, or about $1,800 per resident. That was barely more than the state dispenses annually to Alaska school districts, to support public education (Alaska Office of Management and Budget, Enacted Fiscal Summary). Despite low oil prices and declining production, petroleum revenues still accounted for 72 percent of these funds (Alaska Revenue Sources Book, Fall 2016, Alaska Department of Revenue, Tax Division). Alaska is the only state that does not have either state income or sales taxes. It is clear that Alaskans will soon have to accept some form of broad-based revenue measure to enable continued funding of basic public services. A 2016 analysis by ISER researchers discussed the potential effects on Alaska’s economy and households of various options to reduce expenditures and increase revenues.1 That study examined how the effects of revenue measures varied for Alaska households with different levels of income. These same revenue measures and expenditure cuts are also likely to have a much bigger effect on some households than others, depending on the presence and number of children in the family. This study extends the previous analysis by specifically examining how different options would be likely to affect families and children. Many large expenditures in the state budget can easily be identified as specifically benefiting children. These include state-funded programs such as the Alaska Public School Foundation program and the Division of Juvenile Justice and Office of Children’s Services, for example, as well as joint federal-state programs such as Medicaid and Denali Kidcare. Less obvious are the effects on children of potential measures to fund these and other state expenditures. This study focuses on describing and quantifying the effects of alternative state revenue options on Alaska families and children. In addition to considering how the revenue measures might affect families with children compared to households without children, we also consider how the burden of each measure might differ for rural and urban families.
Growing up Anchorage 2015: Anchorage Youth and Young Adult Behavioral Health and Wellness AssessmentThis report presents results of a community assessment to evaluate behavioral health indicators and related demographic, social, economic, and environmental factors pertaining to youth and young adults aged 9–24 in Anchorage, Alaska, focusing on three major areas: substance use, mental health, and suicide. The Anchorage Collaborative Coalitions (ACC), made up of four organizations (Healthy Voices, Healthy Choices; Anchorage Youth Development Coalition; Spirit of Youth; and Alaska Injury Prevention Center), contracted with the University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Human Development (CHD) to do a community assessment on substance use, mental health and suicide. The population for this assessment was youth and young adults in the Municipality of Anchorage. The assessment was completed in two phases. Phase I was a review of existing data from national, state, and local sources (referred to as “secondary data” in the complete report). Phase II focused on the collection and analysis of new data from surveys and focus groups (referred to as “primary data” in the complete report). One goal of the assessment was to engage coalition and community members in the process. Coalition and community partners assisted throughout the process by helping define the gaps in existing data, helping define the areas of interest, and helping identify the focus of new data collection. They attended trainings on data collection and analysis, participated in community discussions about the findings, and participated in focus group data collection and analysis. Alaska’s youth and young adults are impacted by substance use, mental health, and suicide in significant ways. These behavioral health concerns are often interconnected and can have severe consequences. Substance use can lead to problems with school, the law and to youth taking risks that can lead to serious injury or death. Substance use in adolescence can put youth at higher risk for major life impairments and chronic conditions, including severe mental illness. Poor mental health in youth and young adults can lead to poorer physical health in adulthood, higher rates of chronic illnesses, and earlier death. Mental health and substance use disorders are likely the third leading cause of suicide deaths. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control ranked Alaska as the second highest state in the nation for per capita suicide deaths. Family members and friends of people who die by suicide experience feelings of guilt, anger, abandonment, and shock. Also, these friends and family members are often at a higher risk for committing suicide in the future.
The Legalities of Caring for Homeless YouthHomelessness is an ever-present social and economic issue worldwide that affects the healthcare field. The United States Housing and Urban Development (U.S. HUD) (2015) reported that there were 578,424 homeless people in the United States during the 2014 Point in Time count. Almost one quarter of that number was children under the age of 18 and 10% were ages 18-24 years (National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH), 2015). Alaska has a higher rate of homelessness at 24.3 per 10,000 people compared to the national average of 18.3 per 10,000 people (NAEH, 2015). Although there is a decreasing rate of homelessness in the United States, Alaska has experienced an increase of 1.73% from 2012-2013 and a 4.06% increase from 2013-2014 (NAEH, 2013 & 2014). Homeless youth were reported to be 10.9% of the Alaskan homeless population (NAEH, 2015). The purpose of this project was to educate Alaskan healthcare providers on the legalities of caring for homeless youth. A webinar, with continuing education units, was developed and made available online to Alaskan healthcare providers. The focus of the educational presentation was on common situations healthcare providers are confronted with when seeing homeless youth in a clinic and if parental or guardian consent should be obtained. Evaluation was conducted via pre and post webinar testing to measure knowledge change. The pre and post webinar testing showed that all participants had an increase in knowledge and interpretation of healthcare situations that involved the minor consent law.