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News, Events and Activities from Across the Alaska Department of Corrections

Wednesday Apr 09, 2014

Goose Creek Conducts Inaugural SPOT Graduation

Photo of GCCC SPOT graduates

The Goose Creek Correctional Center held its first SPOT Dog graduation ceremony Friday, April 4th.  The following dogs, graduates of the program, will be available for adoption:

  • Sadie is a German Shepherd mix.  Her winter coat is brownish; as summer approached her coat shows more shepherd characteristics. Sadie is very curious about what is going on around her and loves to run.  Sadie loves to play keep away with the ball.  Sadie is very gentle and lovable. Sadie has learned how to sit, lay down and shake.  She has also learned the command “no.” She is kennel trained and house broken. Sadie has learned to be more confident and has become much more comfortable around people than she was when she arrived.
  • Faith has learned to heel, fetch, lay down, wait, and has developed patience and temperance.  She has learned to walk by the handler’s side when off leash. Faith has also learned her name. Faith is a brindle boxer mix that is brown and black with white on her face. She is well muscled with a good coat and healthy skin.  She is very playful.
  • Carley has learned a lot of patience and many commands.  She gets her leash when she wants to go out.  She has learned that she does not have to eat her food immediately when it is given to her.  She also has learned to be comfortable in her kennel. She can sit and stay, lay down, and heel.  She can also do tricks with treats by leaving them on her paws and not taking them until told to do so. Carley can also shake hands. Carley is a 9-month-old golden retriever and black lab mix.  She has a very black, thick, and shiny coat.  She loves to play fetch and soccer.  She also loves baths. Carley is a wonderful dog.
  • Tank has learned to sit, lay down, stay, come, shake, fetch and walk on a leash.  Tank has also learned to sit and wait for the release command before eating. Tank is a brown brindle and white malamute-pitbull mix. He loves to play and is full of energy.
  • Annabell has learned basic obedience such as sit, stay, lay down, kennel up, stay, heel etc.  Annabell can also do tricks such as hold a treat on her nose until she is told she can have it.  Annabell also responds to hand signals. Annabell is a three year old yellow lab mix that weighs about 60 pounds and is very energetic and friendly.  Annabell is a very well behaved dog.
  • Mac (who has been adopted) has learned the basics such as sit, stay, kennel up, wait at doors, how to play fetch and drop toys.  Mac also has learned how to walk on a leash without pulling.  Mac can roll over and leave treats. Mac is an 80-pound black lab and will make a great pet.

Interested in adopting?

Friday Apr 04, 2014

Juneau Central Office Marks End of Era

Monday marks the beginning of the physical move of the Juneau Central Office from Douglas to a temporary location at the Bill Ray Center, which is located near the Federal Building in downtown Juneau. For the past few weeks, JCO staff have been separating that which is needed from that which is not. Furniture has been marked for storage, surplus or relocation. The move was needed in order to vacate the Douglas State Office Building for a 15-month, $18 million renovation which is set to begin around the end of April. In all, 43 DOC staff members will move. DOC moved into its current location in 1995. One of their first tasks was to scan thousands of pages of documents, allowing the original pages to be recycled or shredded.

Department of Corrections Champions Message: Choose Respect

Beginning in 2009, the Governor has championed ‘ending the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault’ in Alaska, through a series of marches, rallies and community events focused on the theme: ‘Choose Respect.’  This year five from our department were asked by the Governor to lead these events around the state. Commissioner Joe Schmidt and Deputy Commissioner Leslie Houston led ‘Choose Respect’ events in Kiana and Kotzebue, while Deputy Directors Sherrie Daigle and Lee Sherman led events in Angoon and Hooper Bay, respectively. Inmate Health Care Director Laura Brooks  led the Choose Respect event in Galena.  Events included marches, community potluck lunches and events for youth and children.

Friday Mar 28, 2014

Spring Creek Names Amy Komarek Employee of the Year

Photo of SCCC 2013 Employee of the Year Amy Komarek

SCCC 2013 EOY Amy Kromarek

Spring Creek Correctional Center is proud to announce that Amy Komarek has been named Employee of the Year for 2013. A graduate of Southern Illinois University, Amy currently hold the title of Administrative Assistant I at SCCC, where she is known for her professionalism and cheerful manner. “Amy Komarek is the kind of ‘go to gal’ that will get things done in a cheerful and compassionate manner,” said Superintendent Clare Sullivan. “ Often times she has to work with difficult and sensitive personnel matters and her attitude is of service for each employee. We’re all fortunate to have such consummate professional who looks to provide the best quality human resource management and services for all at SCCC.” L. Dean Marshall, Superintendent of YKCC, who served as Acting Superintendent at Spring Creek for nearly a year said “Amy maintains a courteous and pleasant demeanor, while juggling a significant workload. She has done a phenomenal job with recruitment and assisting the many out of state applicants with their transition to the Seward community and to the DOC family. She is an awesome person, and it has been a pleasure to work with her!”

Goose Creek Graduates 31 in Construction Core Course

Photo of first GCCC NCCER graduating class

GCCC NCCER graduating class

On March 7th, 2014, Goose Creek Correctional Center (G.C.C.C.) graduated its first NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) Core class. There were 31 inmates who earned their credentials. Present was Superintendent John Conant, NCCER training sponsor from the Construction Education Foundation Mandy Beaulieu, Criminal Justice Planner for Education Gary Olsen, probation and correctional officers and the vocational staff. The Core Course is the gateway training for graduates to obtain basic construction knowledge and safety concepts. Once they have graduated this course, it opens up opportunities to take specific trade training. During the ceremony Mr. Conant spoke to the assembly about his experiences with construction and his support for training in the construction field.

There are two N.C.C.E.R. trade specific programs in progress at G.C.C.C. - Electrical and HVAC/R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration). They are mostly populated with inmates who had already earned their N.C.C.E.R Core credentials elsewhere. More programs are scheduled to begin shortly. NCCER meets and/or exceeds most U.S. Department of Labor training requirements. It is used in various apprenticeship training programs, in technical colleges, and vocational schools. It is a standard for many large national companies and industrial education programs. The credentials are nationally portable and verifiable. The G.C.C.C. education/vocational department has been busy with many short-term and intermediate training projects in other disciplines but this represents the first long term, nationally credentialed construction training curriculum to be implemented at this facility . Construction is an important industry to Alaska and many employment opportunities are available when an offender re-enters the community. Evidence based practices prove education and training are likely to reduce recidivism. The N.C.C.E.R. curriculum at Goose Creek also enhances the Department’s mission and vision of providing reformative programs.

— Voc Ed Coordinator Tim Flannery

Wednesday Mar 26, 2014

Nighswonger Named Lemon Creek Employee of the Year

Photo of LCCC 2014 Employee of the Year Zane Nighswonger

LCCC EOY Officer Zane Nighswonger

The 2014 Lemon Creek Correctional Center Employee of the Year is Correctional Officer Zane Nighswonger. Officer Nighswonger was selected by a diverse group of Lemon Creek Correctional peers, from a large group of nominees for this honor. Officer Nighswonger has worked at Lemon Creek Correctional Center for approximately 2 ½ years, and has shown a positive team oriented work ethic. He is always available to assist other staff and get the job done. Officer Nighswonger has over the last year shown through his personnel efforts and example a new meaning of dedication for all of us. His professional demeanor and abilities as a Correctional Officer reflects positively on him, and the Department of Corrections. Correctional Officer Nighswonger’s selection as Lemon Creek Correctional Center’s 2014 employee of the Year is one we can all be proud of. Please join me in congratulating Zane Nighswonger in this honor.

— Superintendent Scott Wellard