AK DOC Today

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

Juneau Central Office marks Tim Lyden retirement

Standards Administrator Tim Lyden is retiring after 15 years of service with the Department of Corrections. Lyden was honored at a pot-luck lunch April 20 at the Juneau Central Office. Lyden began his career with the department in 1997 as Education Coordinator at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau. He was promoted to his current position in 2003. Lyden was responsible for prisoner grievance appeals and reporting, was ADA compliance administrator and provided research and policy reviews. Lyden, who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, was instrumental in bringing Microsoft training and testing to inmate students. Prior to joining the department, he was an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska Southeast. Lyden and his wife, who have two adult children, will be relocating to Oregon.

Correctional Officer Kitter Employee of the Quarter at Mat-Su Pretrial


CO II Doreen Kitter is presented with the first-ever Employee of the Quarter award for Mat-Su Pretrial by Lt. Tim Routen. Officer Kitter was nominated by her peers for her calm demeanor and quick response in emergency situations. She was also commended for her professionalism and positive attitude, with the public, co-workers and inmates. Officer Kitter’s excellent work ethic contributes to a safer and more pleasant and less stressful environment in which to work.

Director Houston in Unalaska for ‘Choose Respect’ Rally

Sponsored by Unalaskans Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence, the Choose Respect event in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor was held on March 31 at Unalaska High School. The rally was combined with an Annual Soup-a-Thon where community members bring crock pots filled with delicious soups and the soups are judged by a panel in each category: Exotic, Vegetarian, Seafood, Chowders and Stews, Chilis, and Youth Open Category. The winning soup chefs are presented with a $50 gift certificate. In addition to the Soup-off, the event is a fundraiser for the local shelter with donated items for silent and live auctions as well as door prize drawings. The shelter raised $14,000 in funds. Director of Administrative Services Leslie Houston attended as representative of the Administration.

Director Ron Taylor addresses ‘Choose Respect’ Rally in Nenana

Ron Taylor, Director of the Division of Probation and Parole, along with Gail Brimner with the department’s Victim Services Unit attended the ‘Choose Respect’ rally on Thursday March 29 in Nenana. About 400 of the community’s 600 residents took part, with Director Taylor addressing the gathering. Hosting the event was 18-year-old Brianna Ketzler who obtained a grant for blue t-shirts to distribute to participating students and community members. The community hosted a pot-luck after the event.

Kodiak Probation Officer works with local police K9 ‘Max’

In cases where offenders have search conditions that include a search for controlled substances, Kodiak Probation Officer Jill Bunting sometimes requests the assistance of the Kodiak Police Department K-9 Unit (which consists of Officer Mike Barnett and Max the K-9). Utilizing the K-9 for searches for controlled substances greatly reduces the amount of time that it takes to search.

“It makes us much more efficient with our use of time,” said Bunting. “Typically we meet at the station to discuss the offender, the location, the residence itself, the vehicles, and the other subjects who reside at that location. After the planning has been done and we report to the offender’s residence, Officer Barnett interviews the offender about some safety issues that could affect Max (harmful products he might encounter for instance). When the residence has been cleared of any safety issues, Officer Barnett works with Max while I interview the offender.”

The K-9 Unit is used to conduct searches of residences, vehicles, and outbuildings. Once the established areas have been searched by Max, if he has indicated on anything, then Officer Barnett and PO III Bunting hand search the areas of indication in order to locate any controlled substances.

“There have been instances where door panels have been removed from vehicles and the controlled substances were located behind them. Max is extremely agile, able to get atop tables and other structures with ease,” Bunting said. “Having the benefit of only hand searching the areas where we know, based upon Max’s indication, that there are in fact controlled substances, allows us more time to conduct home visits and accomplish other work as we do not have to spend time hand searching the entire location.”

Max is a Belgian Malinois.