AK DOC Today

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

Probation/Parole Staff Celebrates Proclamation at Picnic

On Thursday July 18th, the Anchorage Probation Office (APO) celebrated National Probation & Parole Officer Week during a staff building picnic at Sitka Park in Anchorage. Probation Officer (PO) III Rebecca Reed championed an effort to secure a proclamation by Governor Parnell in honor of the Department of Corrections probation and parole staff throughout the State of Alaska. A copy of the Governor’s proclamation was presented at the picnic and will soon hang in a place of honor at APO. Commissioner Schmidt, Deputy Commissioner Houston, Director Belden and Special Assistant to the Commissioner Schroeder were in attendance to celebrate with the Anchorage Probation Office staff. Certificates of appreciation, signed by Director Belden and Deputy Commissioner Taylor, were provided to all the probation officers; including line officers, supervisors, and the chief probation officer.

The picnic also included team building games such as a tug of war, three-legged foot race and an APO favorite, Chubby Bunny. PO Haskins and Director Belden won the foot race and PO Watanabe is the Chubby Bunny Champion.

Special recognition needs to be given to the staff who remained back at the office to maintain our services, PO III Reed for her drive/organizational skills, to and the Thayer Family PO Appreciation Fund for the food.

— PO V Keith Thayer

Corrections, Labor and Workforce Development Collaborate on Prisoner Hire at Kenai Canneries

Kenai Canneries

As of Friday, July 1st, 21 inmates from Wildwood have been hired by two local canneries to help with their fish processing. Staff at Pacific Star Seafoods and Great Pacific Seafoods met with Deputy Commissioner Ron Taylor, Director of Institutions Bryan Brandenburg and Wildwood Superintendent Bob Hibpshman in May to discuss this pilot program. After much conversation, a strict internal review process and a tentative July work schedule, the cannery administrators hired every inmate that was referred for employment.

One cannery administrator from Pacific Star Seafoods stated that she was initially very apprehensive about hiring inmates from a prison. She said she has now changed her mind and would hire another inmate crew whenever we referred them. She said the inmates were very respectful, hardworking and SOBER. She said she would like to keep a few on through the fall to assist with construction projects related to the 2014 season. She said she was so glad she had changed her mind about the program, as it has really turned out well. Great Pacific Seafoods foreman Nick Barrie raved about his inmate employees and said he too would hire every one we referred to them. He said that they had been so desperate for employees that they recruited through the Los Angeles Job Center and spent $30,000 getting people up here; but unfortunately many had already quit and went back to California. Other staff also stopped and remarked how much they appreciated the inmate workers. Mr. Barrie said “reliable”, that is what they are and that is big with us. The inmates are working 12-16 hours per day and do get overtime. Many inmates that I have spoken to realize that they are the ambassadors for this new program and want to do well. They also realize that if they do well, offers of employment after incarceration are likely. Most inmates will be working through Mid-August with these two canneries.

— Assistant Superintendent Shannon McCloud

A Week of Celebration and Recognition


What do you see in the future? What do those you supervise see? The views may be drastically different! You have the ability to Change Lives and help give others the ability to create a bright Future. The work of pretrial, probation and parole is not easy and it may be hard to stay positive in such a stressful profession, but thousands of you, every day, do just that. You know how important your work is to those on your caseloads as well as to your community. Maybe you don’t directly supervise a caseload, but every step in the juvenile and adult justice system is important. From making decisions, preparing pre-sentence investigation reports, maintaining data integrity and privacy, to technical and clerical support it all counts and makes a difference! APPA hopes you take some time now and especially during the week of July 21-27 to feel proud of the profession you’ve chosen and celebrate your accomplishments.

— Message from American Probation and Parole Association

Deploying Soldier Sends Zigmond to Prison

With his deployment days away, soldier Marcos Rico was searching for a home for his yellow Labrador Zigmond, or Ziggy. Learning of the Service Dog training program at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center, Rico contacted the department with the goal of donating Ziggy to the program. His hope was that Ziggy could be trained and then turned over to be of assistance to a wounded veteran or disabled child. After a few conversations, Ziggy was deemed a good fit for training and early this month he transferred to Hiland Mountain where his care and training has begun. Ziggy is AKC registered, weighs just about 70 lbs.

Officer Ceciliani Retires From SCCC After 29 Years


Correctional Officer II Cathie Ceciliani retired from Spring Creek Correctional Center on May 31, 2013, after 29 years of exemplary state service. Officer Ceciliani began her career with the Department of Transportation in 1984, where she oversaw the construction of the Spring Creek Correctional Center. Cathie began working at Spring Creek since 1988, and she retired as the facility’s highest seniority Correctional Officer. Officer Ceciliani provided Spring Creek with outstanding service over the years, and we wish her continued success and happiness in her retirement.

— Dean Marshall

Spring Creek Converts Unused Property Room to Vocational Training Area

Spring Creek Correctional Center’s old property room received a face lift and has become an extended vocational opportunity to the inmates, says Education CJP Gary Olsen. The goal was to offer a construction training center for inmates at SCCC. With the help of PCC Educational Coordinator Paul Kroenung and a small crew that were working in a Carpentry Apprenticeship program, work began. The area was transformed, a few books have been added and some tools have been pulled together. The project is nearing completion and expected to be up and running in a few more months. Inmates must complete the Core Curriculum first and will then have an opportunity to participate in a National Center for Construction Education and Research or (NCCER) certified program either in carpentry, electrical or plumbing. NCCER is a not-for-profit education foundation that developed standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. According to CJP Olsen, the construction field is one field that has fewer felony barriers for the inmate to overcome.

Correctional Officer Marolf named SCCC Employee of the Year


From left: Superintendent Dean Marshall, Director Bryan Brandenburg, Deputy Commissioner Leslie Houston, Employee of the Year Fred Marolf, Deputy Commissioner Ron Taylor and Commissioner Joe Schmidt

Correctional Officer II Fred Marolf was honored as Spring Creek Correctional Center’s 2013 Employee of the Year. Officer Marolf began his career with the Department in April, 2005. He has served as a Field Training Officer and a TAC Team Leader at SCCC. A no-host luncheon was at the Peking Restaurant, in Seward.

Officer Marolf has successfully mentored numerous new hires at SCCC and has trained many highly effective and productive officers. Marolf’s attention to detail has proven to be a vital asset in his training approach. From his early days as a CO Marolf earned the reputation of being a highly skilled “shakedown artist.” “If you needed something found or something was suspected being in a cell, you sent Fred to find it and he usually did,” said Assistant Superintendent Bobby Lockeby. Marolf has been an active member of the tac-team for many years and can be counted on to be there when issues needed to be resolved. “Marolf has earned the respect of not only his peers but from prisoners as well. Fred’s sense of humor, although rather dry, lightens and lifts those around him,” Lockeby added “He holds the line on the departments’ mission of maintaining a firm, fair and consistent approach in dealing with prisoners.” Officer Marolf is married and has two children and is a grandparent.

PCC Minimum Conducts Potlatch, Raises Totem Pole

The Annual PCC Potlatch was held in June and proved a huge success with Commissioner Joe Schmidt and family and over 100 prisoners and their families and guests participating. Prisoner Terry Simpson designed, carved and donated a “People Can Change” Totem Pole, which now watches over the Minimum facility with pride. The PCC Native Culture Council and several volunteers constructed and donated many customized gifts such as paddles, a doll house, small dog sleds, cribbage boards, chess board, t-shirts, hats, etc. for the raffle and complimentary gifts for the visitors. Superintendent Anderson and Assistant Superintendent Houser would like to send a special thanks to the Commissioner and his family, Good News Blues Band, Poly Sway Dancers, Miracle Dancers, Mount Susitna Drummers, Guest Speaker Matt McWaters, PCC’s Native Culture Council, PCC Staff and all the prisoners who volunteered and donated their time and effort to make the day memorable and successful.

— Tomi Anderson