• The Aborigine in Comparative Law: Subnational Report on Alaska Natives

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1986-08)
      This paper describes the current state of aboriginal rights in Alaska and the impact of federal and state laws and policies on Alaska Native political and legal rights, tribal status, self-determination, and access to tribal lands. Topics covered include the legal determination of Alaska Native identity, the legal status of Alaska Native groups, Alaska Native land rights, sovereignty and self-government, subsistence, recognition of family and kinship structures, the criminal justice system in rural Alaska, customary versus formal legal process, and human rights and equality before the law.
    • Alaskan Bush Justice: Legal Centralism Confronts Social Science Research and Village Alaska [1982 revision]

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1982-09)
      This paper traces the history of the bush justice system in rural Alaska, describes the relationship between traditional Alaska Native dispute resolution mechanisms and the state criminal justice system, and analyzes bush justice research between 1970 and 1981 and its effects on state agency policies and changes in the rural justice system. Innovations by researchers were well-received by villagers and field-level professionals, but not by agency policymakers. Hence, most reforms made in the 1970s had vanished by the early 1980s. The author concludes that further reforms will be ineffective unless Alaska Natives are drawn into the decisionmaking process as co-equal players negotiating on legal process from positions of power.
    • Alaskan Bush Justice: Legal Centralism Confronts Social Science Research and Village Alaska [original paper]

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1981-09)
      This paper traces the history of the bush justice system in rural Alaska, describes the relationship between traditional Alaska Native dispute resolution mechanisms and the state criminal justice system, and analyzes bush justice research between 1970 and 1981 and its effects on state agency policies and changes in the rural justice system. Innovations by researchers were well-received by villagers and field-level professionals, but not by agency policymakers. Hence, most reforms made in the 1970s had vanished by the early 1980s. The author concludes that further reforms will be ineffective unless Alaska Natives are drawn into the decisionmaking process as co-equal players negotiating on legal process from positions of power.
    • An Analysis of Outpatient Accident Trends in Two Dry Eskimo Towns as a Measure of Alternative Police Responses to Drunken Behavior

      Conn, Stephen; Boedeker, Bonnie (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1983-03-24)
      Two rural Eskimo towns of approximately 3,000 persons each have banned the sale but not the use of alcoholic beverages in their communities. In the town of Bethel, police pick up intoxicated persons and transport them to a sleep-off and treatment center. In the town of Barrow, police take intoxicated persons into protective custody. Each town uses its police practice as an alternative to arrests for drunken behavior, decriminalized by the 1972 Alaska State Legislature. At least half of the adult population is picked up in each place. The authors seek to measure the impact of these differing approaches on violence related to alcohol use by employing Indian Health Service data in lieu of poorly maintained police data.
    • Avoidance of the Federal Acknowledgment Process: Two Hundred New Petitioners Waiting at the Door

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1988-11)
      Two hundred plus Native villages in Alaska may join the legion of Indian groups in the long line before the gates of the federal acknowledgment process established by Congress to alleviate and rationalize selection of those groups deserving of acknowledgment as Indian tribes. Such a possibility might well seem absurd to those who have studied the pre-contact or modern lifestyle of Alaska Indians, Inuit, Yup'ik and Aleut. Their significant commitment to subsistence, their political autonomy in pursuit of a modern Native land claims settlement, and their continuing residence in rural and traditional settings has long been a matter of both academic and political record. Yet for all of this, recent court opinions by the Alaska Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as a flurry of federal district court decisions, have questioned whether Alaska Native villages were and are historical tribes and whether Congress had recognized them. The State of Alaska has taken a uniformly hostile position to the proposition that Alaska Native Villages are self-governing tribal entities. The author explores the historical reasons leading to this situation and calls for the legal and historical research critical to the survival of the legal identities of tribal communities and their land base.
    • Bush Justice and Development in Alaska: Why Legal Process in Village Alaska Has Not Kept up with Changing Social Needs [original paper]

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1984-02-22)
      This paper analyzes the evolution of the working legal process in the predominantly Alaska Native villages of rural Alaska after Alaska statehood. Replacement of territorial government by highly centralized state justice agencies led to a weakening in the working relationship between formal law and extralegal mechanisms such as the village council. This change coincided with development and other changes which demanded more formal legal presence in villages rather than less. The paper reviews the fate of various bush justice reform efforts made by state agencies and efforts by villages to respond to justice needs. The author suggests that the inadequacy of legal process in village Alaska is not due primarily to language problems or Native confusion about Western law; rather, the "bush justice problem" is caused by a lack of resources, a lack of legal planning for development, and the state governmental system's lack of accountability to its rural constituency. The author recommends experimentation at village level, better planning, and greater autonomy for villages.
    • Bush Justice and Development in Alaska: Why Legal Process in Village Alaska Has Not Kept up with Changing Social Needs [revision]

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1984-06-28)
      This paper analyzes the evolution of the working legal process in the predominantly Alaska Native villages of rural Alaska after Alaska statehood. Replacement of territorial government by highly centralized state justice agencies led to a weakening in the working relationship between formal law and extralegal mechanisms such as the village council. This change coincided with development and other changes which demanded more formal legal presence in villages rather than less. The paper reviews the fate of various bush justice reform efforts made by state agencies and efforts by villages to respond to justice needs. The author suggests that the inadequacy of legal process in village Alaska is not due primarily to language problems or Native confusion about Western law; rather, the "bush justice problem" is caused by a lack of legal planning for development, the state governmental system's lack of accountability to its rural constituency, and a lack of control by villages over the mixture of formal law, extralegal authority and nonlegal social control appropriate to their needs, both present and future.
    • A Comparison by Race of Juvenile Referrals in Alaska

      Schafer, N. E. (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1998-03)
      A data set comprised of all juveniles referred to Alaska youth corrections in the fiscal years 1992–1996 shows disproportionate referral of Alaska Native and African American youth when compared to their proportions in the general population. Minorities also appear more likely than white youth to accumulate multiple referrals. Random samples selected within each racial group are used to seek extra-legal factors which may account for some of the disparity. Information on family and home life, school, personal problems, and the details of each referrals and each referral outcome were extrapolated from the files of the sample which included 39 white youth, 35 Alaska Native youth, and 37 African American youth. Special attention was paid to youth who accumulated multiple referrals.
    • Crime and the Justice System in Rural Alaskan Villages

      Angell, John E. (Criminal Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1979-03-15)
      Approximately 20 percent of Alaska's population live in small remote Native villages. Very little factual data regarding contemporary criminal justice operations has been compiled. For example, comprehensive data concerning present crime rates, policing methods, and local deviancy control mechanisms in rural Alaska simply do not exist. The research underlying this paper was an exploratory effort to begin the collection of crime and justice information which can be used in criminal justice policy development in rural areas of the state by the State of Alaska.
    • Disproportionate Detention of Minorities: A Case Study of One State's Compliance with the Mandates of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act

      Schafer, N. E.; Curtis, Richard W. (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1996-03)
      Pursuant to Section 223(a)(23) of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, states must examine whether minority youth are disproportionately detained in relation to their proportion in the general population. For a preliminary assessment of Alaska’s compliance, five and a half years of detention data (1990–June 1995) for the state of Alaska are analyzed to assess the detention of minority and non-minority youth. A number of factors are used to compare racial groups: type of offense, prior record, gender, age, length of detention, etc.
    • Disproportionate Minority Processing of Females: A Comparison of Native, Black and White Juveniles

      Schafer, N. E. (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1998-11)
      An examination of four years of statewide female juvenile referral data showed that Native girls are referred in disproportionate numbers and tend to have lengthier records. Underage drinking was one of the most frequent referral reasons. Because many of the Native females were from rural communities, the disproportionate referrals may be a factor of the smallness of the communities, in which misbehavior is more readily noticed. Examination of a subset of files for girls with multiple referrals showed that the actual behavior was often not particularly grave and that many of the girls with multiple referrals came from very unstable backgrounds.
    • The Extralegal Forum and Legal Power: The Dynamics of the Relationship — Other Pipelines

      Conn, Stephen (Institute of Social, Economic and Government Research, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, 1974-02-26)
      Diverse groups — e.g., Brazilian squatters, Navajos, village Eskimos and Indians — look to special forums to resolve disputes outside the formal legal system. These forums are employed because they accept disputes as defined by their clients and offer remedies based upon these conceptualizations. Formal agents of the law in their environments cannot do this. When these forums are extralegal (without formal legal authority to act) and are located in an environment where the formal legal process has the theoretical capacity to intervene in the disputes, they must tap into authentic lines of power to maintain their credibility with their constituents. Legal power is not usually formally delegated without defined limits upon its use. Because extralegal forums often must be free from the constraints of particular norms and processes, in order to correctly define and remedy disputes, extralegal forums seek borrowed power through special relationships with formal agents of legal power. Then they reapply it to meet the needs of their constituents. This paper describes the ways to study these relationships and their likely impact upon an informal forum. The author suggests a way of viewing extralegal dispute resolution in a given community against the larger matrix of relationships between the formal and informal legal process. He draws upon his field work in Brazilian squatter colonies, Navajo Indian communities, and rural Athabascan and Eskimo villages in Alaska.
    • From Land Rights to Sovereignty: Curious Parallels between Alaskan and Canadian Indigenous Peoples

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1989-11)
      Alaska Natives and Canadian aboriginal peoples have been late bloomers in securing land claims based on aboriginal title and its extinguishment. While the reasons for this delay relate to the discrete development of Indian policy in each country, both groups now find themselves seeking explicit governmental authority to regulate this domain. Despite the juridical premise that only those groups capable of controlling land have aboriginal claims to cede and/or extinguish, modern groups must secure federal confirmation of their sovereign powers. Barriers in each country are similar; so are the strategies employed.
    • The Interrelationship between Alaska State Law and the Social Systems of Modern Eskimo Villages in Alaska: History, Present and Future Considerations

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1985-08)
      Yup'ik and Inupiat villages in Alaska (the territory and the state) experienced a process of legal socialization that was strongly influenced by serious constraints in the allocation of resources. These constraints resulted in legal socialization into what was in essence a second legal state system and provided an opportunity for cultural autonomy by Eskimo villages, even though this de facto situation did not recognize these groups as sovereign tribes. The actual implementation of a single full-blown legal system in village Alaska in the mid-1970s has resulted in a loss of control and serious efforts by Alaska villages to reinstitute village law ways as tribal legal process.
    • Legal Culture Blindness and Canadian Indian Law

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1989-04)
      This paper explores the special problems that specialists in federal Indian law in the United States face when they attempt to understand the legal position of indigenous peoples in Canada, make comparisons and offer assistance and advice. Although the roots of Canadian Indian law in British Crown policy are similar to those of the United States, the evolution of United States and Canadian Indian law occurred in patterns which were as distinctly different as has been the evolution of each country. Although some comparisons can be made between the two patterns of legal development, especially in the realm of policy changes directed at indigenous populations, the core of each legal relationship is very different, especially as it relates to federalism, the constitutional process and role of the courts, and public land issues. Therefore, while models of Indian legal achievements in one country are often used to induce governmental change in the other, especially in Alaska among the United States and in Canada, generally, advocates and United States specialists must exercise extreme caution to avoid legal culture blindness based on a lack of appreciation of the very different historical development of each nation.
    • Merging Social Control and Criminal Law in Small Eskimo Villages in Alaska — Can It Be Done? The Portrait of the Inner Logic of Social Control Governing Drinking Behavior and Its Relationship to Criminal Law Process

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1985-04-04)
      The legal reaction by Yup'ik and Inupiat Eskimos in Alaska to drunken behavior has changed over time from one that penalizes drunkenness to one that seeks to prevent drinking. This new therapeutic approach interferes with any preemptive aggressive response by persons seeking to control an intoxicated person. Moreover, since the law perceives an intoxicated person as sick rather than bad, the traditional perception that an intoxicated person is not his normal self may be reinforced by the law. Indeed, a drunken person may act aggressively without fear of later community blame. The author concludes that the law should re-orient Native community members to understand that there is a connection between the sober and intoxicated self.
    • Policing the Arctic: The North Slope of Alaska

      Angell, John E.; Trostle, Lawrence C. (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1993-10)
      Geographic size and lack of roads, among other factors, contribute to unique difficulties in providing effective law enforcement and public safety services to residents of the North Slope Borough of Alaska. Despite comprehensive plans laid in the mid-1970s, the North Slope Borough has not been successful in implementing a broad, multicultural community public safety organizational design. The more traditional professional law enforcement agency which has evolved is perceived by some people as having community and employee relations problems. This paper provides a brief history of law enforcement on the North Slope and presents selected data from a 1993 survey of employees of the North Slope Borough Department of Public Safety (NSBDPS). The data support a hypothesis that indigenous personnel with strong roots in a minority community will be more committed to the community police organization than would be employees without such roots.
    • A Preliminary Examination of Minority Referrals to the Alaska Juvenile Justice System

      Schafer, N. E.; Curtis, Richard W.; Atwell, Cassie (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1997-10)
      The disproportionate processing of minorities in the justice system has been noted with growing concern nationally as well as at the state level. In Alaska, as in other states, the primary basis for concern is that minorities are overrepresented among the adult prison population. The realization that this disproportionality appears in other justice system venues has led nationally to a number of research initiatives with a focus on the overrepresentation of juveniles. This paper analyzes referral data from the Alaska Division of Family and Youth Services (DFYS) for 1992–1995 to provide a statistical overview of disproportionate minority contact in the Alaska juvenile justice system, providing comparative data for referrals of Alaska Native, African American, and white youth.
    • Pretrial Intervention and Chronic Offenders

      Schafer, N. E. (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1988-10-05)
      The Alaska Pretrial Intervention (PTI) program of the Alaska Department of Law operated in 13 locations throughout the state from 1983 to 1986, when economic pressures resulted in the program's termination. The program was intended to provide an alternative to full prosecution in cases where the offense behavior did not appear to warrant it. This paper analyzes recidivism in the PTI program through examination of chronic offenders, defined as PTI clients who were rearrested for the same charge as that for which they had initially been referred to the program.
    • Punishment in Pre-Colonial Indigenous Societies in North America [original paper]

      Conn, Stephen (Justice Center, University of Alaska Anchorage, 1987-05-25)
      Using northern Athabascan villages as examples, the author discusses how punishment in indigenous societies was traditionally interwoven with other societal functions. The influence of alcohol and the western legal process changed post-colonial societies and their methods of punishment because punishment decisions in indigenous societies were traditionally arrived at through group deliberation, whereas the western legal system works in a hierarchical fashion. The author concludes that imposition of western-style decision-making disrupted tradtional law ways in post-colonial society.