AK DOC Today

News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections

Commissioner Meets With Interior Alaska Native, Rural Leaders


Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt led a department team in a round-table discussion with Interior Alaska Native and Rural leaders in Fairbanks December 8th. The agenda included Goose Creek prison, probation and parole, recruitment, programming, reducing recidivism and the role of communities in supporting successful prisoner re-entry into the community. The meetings have become an annual event. This year the commissioner was joined by Attorney General John Burns and Public Safety Commissioner Joe Masters. The round-table was organized by Dorothy Shockley, staff to Sen. Albert Kookesh. Participating organizations included Steve Ginnis representing the Fairbanks Native Association, Jerry Isaac of Tanana Chiefs, Rev. Anna Frank of the Episcopal Diocese and Native Justice Advocate Shirley Lee.

WCC Inmates Crochet for Community Give-Back


After six weeks, ten inmates at Wildwood Correctional Center’s minimum camp have completed a crochet project with a goal of giving back to the community. In six weeks, the inmates have made over 90 hats and mittens to be donated to local elementary schools through a community organization. The program is modeled after one at the Palmer Correctional Center. Inmates complete three projects for charity and a fourth one can be sent home to their family. The crochet program started with 5 inmates and at the end of six weeks, at least ten inmates are being taught the basics of crocheting by an inmate teacher.

“We have some big ideas”, says Assistant Superintendent Shannon McCloud. “We answered a radio announcement from one of the local elementary schools for the need of warm weather gear and the inmates got busy and made 50 hats. I just dropped them off last week and they were very much appreciated. Next, we hope to donate to a Veteran’s organization and eventually make items for Hospice of Alaska. This is a way that we can have these guys give back to our communities.

The program is sustained by donated yarn, said superintendent Bob Hibpshman, who also sees the program as a way to keep inmates busy and out of trouble. “What a wonderful way to help these guys learn a new skill and help others in the process. One thing that is needed to make this program a success is yarn. We have been taking donations from the Salvation Army and private donors, we hope this program can continue and grow in the future.”