AK DOC Today

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

SCCC Inmate Class Expands Crocheting Skills

SCCC Crocheting

I’m an Education Coordinator at Spring Creek and a knitter who’s recently discovered a passion for knitting lace. Knitting at lunch was fun but time flew by and it was over much too fast. So what started as an enterprise in my own criminal thinking – how can I get away with knitting at work – turned into something entirely different – a daily crochet class for General Population prisoners and conversation about children, respect, food, family, music and more. And like broccoli hidden in the macaroni and cheese, crochet time is also a lesson in anger management and impulse control, in goal setting and delayed gratification, in cross cultural communication and social skills. It’s a quietly subversive time with amazing and wonderful results. Hats, scarves, booties and blankets are made and creative muscles flexed as prisoners adapt patterns to their own designs. Correctional Officers do double takes as they walk by the classroom. Everyone knows someone who knows how to crochet, especially in the prisoner population where so many learned how in juvenile detention. And me, the knitter who discovered lace? Now I’m a crocheter too, grateful for the time and space we’ve created and constantly surprised by what happens.

— Nonna Shtipelman, Educational Coordinator, Spring Creek Correctional Center

HMCC Inmate Clubs Donate $4,000 to Kids Mission

At HMCC, the Inmate Council and Native Culture Council donated $4,000 in food items to Catholic Social Services Kids Mission as part of the HMCC Give Back Program. This donation comes on top of holiday season give-back projects which included: approximately 1,000 scarves made from donated materials to Homeless Connect, $5,000 for Adopt-a-Village, $6,000 for Adopt-a-Family; $3,500 in homemade items for Santa Cop; $140 and 50 scarves for Special Olympics.

HMCC Inmates Successfully Complete Plumbing Core Curriculum

HMCC Inmates

HMCC plumbing trainees learn core curriculum

Hiland Mountain Correctional Center offers many non- traditional trades college credit for the women here in the correctional facility. The women went through the course of requirements of Core Curriculum, Plumbing Level 1 and Level 2 with our newly-bought NCCER textbooks. During this standardized training process there were variety of hands-on tools provided for repairing big chillers, installing domestic and chilled water piping, placing fixtures and faucets, fitting, PVC pipe joining copper piping, and even corrugated stainless steel and understanding a layout of blue prints.

The women have received 16 college credits with Ilisagvik College in Barrow through the Tech Prep agreement, paid for through the CTE (Career Technician Education) Grant through our Education Coordinator Karen Jenkins. Thank you to DOC for allowing non-traditional college courses to be an opportunity for us and for seeing hope in our future to have a successful job upon release.

— report written by Denni Starr, Inmate Computer Lab Aide, HMCC

Department of Corrections represented at Juneau Job Fair

Juneau Recruitment 2013

Lt. Ken Hoff, left, and Chief Training Officer Dan Traxinger interact with jobseekers at the DOC recruitment booth at Juneau Job Fair Tuesday, March 12

Chief Training Officer Dan Traxinger and Lt. Ken Hoff took turns answering questions from the public on the topic of careers with the Department of Corrections. The DOC booth was one of many at the annual Juneau Job Fair at Centennial Hall.

Lemon Creek Hosts Annual Success Inside and Out Conference

In & Out 2013

Prisoners gather at concurrent sessions with community resource agencies during the annual Success Inside and Out Conference at Lemon Creek Correctional Center

Lemon Creek Correctional Center was the venue for the annual Success Inside and Out Conference Saturday, March 2. Moderator was judge Keith Levy and opening remarks were presented by area legislators Sen. Dennis Egan and Rep. Cathy Munoz. Retired Supreme Court Justice Walter Carpeneti also addressed the group. Probation Officer Brent Wilson moderated a panel of former inmates who shared their personal journeys after release. Concurrent sessions were held mixing inmate conference-goers with community resource agencies. Lunch consisted of pizza, sandwiches and cookies donated by local businesses. A popular segment was Dress for Success, a runway show where inmate volunteers presented fashions ideal for job interviews or for the first day on the job. Sharon Gaiptman was moderator. The conference closed with live music and guest speakers David Katzeek and Wade Bryson.