News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections
Palmer Correctional Center is once again in the spirit of Christmas as toys, wooden cars, crocheted items, hams and turkeys were made or purchase for Holiday giving. This week, the Minimum Facility purchased $500 in toys from local vendors, and prisoners made 904 wooden cars to hand out. The Medium Facility contributed $534 to purchase turkeys and hams to donate to the food bank. Additionally, 175 prisoners in the crochet program made 3,394 hats, 215 blankets and 375 scarves to donate. Beneficiaries include Alaska Family Services, My House, Children’s Place, Giving Tree, Special Santa, Salvation Army, Palmer Food Bank, Wasilla Food Pantry, United Way of the Mat-Su Borough, Providence Children’s Hospital, AWAIC, Claire House, Akeela House, Mekinnel House, Stepping Stone, Mother Lawrence, and the Smiles for a Child program.
— Assistant Superintendent Earl Houser
These beautiful hats and mittens sums it up for 2014 at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center. These will be donated and used for Christmas gifts in the Nome and Kotzebue region to certain organizations for woman and children in need. Our female inmates, Evelyn Johnson, Lily Tom, Ella Wilson, and Linda Savetilik either learned a new trade or taught others how to crochet.
Thirty three Ketchikan Christmases have come and gone since the very first year Clover Pass Community Church hosted the “The Singing Christmas Tree.” Since that time, the community at Clover Pass has worked to make each year’s presentation something the community looks forward to with anticipation. The Singing Christmas Tree performers also made a special appearance at Ketchikan Correctional Center on Saturday December 6th. Pastor James Duncan, the DOC Chaplain, attended along with local pastors Bill White and Michael Cooke and choir director Rob Holston. The program was well received and much appreciated. A big thank you to the volunteers that come to our facility year after year. Merry Christmas.
— Superintendent Jessica Mathews
For the past five years staff at Palmer Correctional Center and the Public Safety and Security Staff at King Career Center have worked together to provide new, wrapped gifts to the children of incarcerated parents at PCC. The program is called Smiles for a Child. Until December 20th, the students at King Career Center will be gathering donated toys through drop-boxes at the following locations in Anchorage: King Career Center (2650 East Northern Lights), Anchorage School District Administration Building (5530 East Northern Lights), Gensco Inc. (501 East 100th Ave.), Strands Salon (885 West Fireweed Lane), Allen & Petersen Cooking & Appliance (3002 Seward Highway), Back in Motion Chiropractic (4341 B Street) and VIBE Salon in Eagle River and Alaska Equine and Vet Center in Chugiak. If you’re in or near Palmer, you can drop off your donation at the Training Academy or you can email Teena Calkin at KCC at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will arrange to pick the toy up. Incarcerated parents at PCC can arrange for a toy to be delivered to their children through the program, said Assistant Superintendent Earl Houser, who coordinates the effort at PCC. However if an incarcerated parent has visiting privileges with his son or daughter, there is a special visitation on the December 20th where the gifts can be delivered in person. Last year close to 175 presents were donated, wrapped and delivered.
Palmer Correctional Center held a graduation for the new Alaska Progressive Prison Parenting Program on November 19, 2014. The goal of the program is to develop a healthy parent-child relationship between incarcerated parents and their children in the community. A special thanks is deserved for Susan Magestro, Criminologist and Interventionist. Ms. Magestro orchestrated this program in Alaska Prisons in order to approach family reunification and reintegration in a unique way. Children of incarcerated parents are six times more likely to end up in prison themselves. By developing a healthy relationship while incarcerated, parents can assist their children to not follow in their footsteps which leads to a safer and happier community for all Alaskans. Congratulations to all of the inmates who voluntarily engaged in this program and successfully graduated!
— Probation Officer III Emily Geiger
This year’s annual Hiland Mountain Women’s String Orchestra Holiday Concert, sponsored by Arts on the Edge, is Saturday, December 13 starting at 1:30 pm. Tickets, $30 each, must be purchased online. Here is the link (Alaska Center for the Performing Arts): http://alaskapac.centertix.net/eventperformances.asp?evt=1413. No tickets will be sold past noon Friday, December 12. This year’s featured guest artists are Low & Lower which consist of bassist Paul Sharpe and cellist Brooks Whitehouse. Sharpe grew up in Alaska and performs frequently with the Anchorage Symphony. The concert runs 30 minutes without intermission. Ticket holders should be at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center no later than 1 pm Saturday to pick up their tickets. No one under age 12 is admitted.