AK DOC Today

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

25 Graduate from Palmer Correctional Center RSAT Program

Photo of PCCC RSAT program graduates

L-R: front row: Charles Williams, Kirk Robb; middle row: Joseph Martin, Morgan Lake, David Anderson, Wayne Tichnell, Jerami Wolfe; back row: Tyrone Burkhead, Nicholas Pierce, Thomas Halton, Patrick Marrs. Staff: Assistant RSAT Program Coordinator Ms. Valerie Dementieff (left) and RSAT Program Coordinator Ms. Michele Dapuzzo (right)

In late August 2013 the Akeela Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program (RSAT) transferred from Goose Creek Correctional Center to Palmer Correctional Center. The 78-bed residential therapeutic community is currently managed by five Akeela staff members. Since their arrival at PCC the program has handed out certificates of completions to 25 graduates.

SCCC Echo Mod Holds Annual Talent Show

Photo of talent show

Photo of talent show

The inmates of Spring Creek Correctional Center’s mental health unit, Echo Mod, held their 2nd Annual Talent Show on December 19. The talent show was the idea of the Echo Mod inmates, and was organized by I/M Aaron Butler, and overseen by Mental Health Clinician III Dennis Perry, Mental Health Clinician II Sharon Smith, and Psychological Counselor Lisa Bildeaux. Featured acts included I/M Kenny Pruitt (harmonica), I/M Joel Brooks (guitar), I/M Steve Blevins (gift giving), I/M Randall Smith (original poetry), I/M Christopher Kevan (juggling), I/M Paul Logan (original song), I/M Mario Paridiso, I/M Carl Fleeman, and I/M Alex Eckhardt (Christmas carols and poem), and I/M Michael Kignak (artwork and harmonica). Inmates in Echo Mod must follow the rules, practice good decision making, and attend community meetings in order to earn certain privileges. Special events, such as the Annual Talent show are a powerful incentive for positive behavior, providing an attainable goal to work towards. Catering for the event was provided by inmates in the Culinary Arts Internship Program.

— Assistant Superintendent Bobby Lockeby

Hiland Mountain Inmate Crafters Give Back to Community

In 2013 Hiland Mountain Correctional Center has, for the sixth year, teamed up with the Palmer Police Department for their annual giveback program for the Christmas season. This program helps the elderly that reside in the valley. The Police Department, with help from other sponsors provide food, assistance with rent and heating costs, as well as Christmas gifts. The Police department delivers these items and spends time with the individuals, giving them a special holiday to remember. Hiland Mountain Correctional Center and the Prisoners in the Hobby Craft Shop spend hours to make homemade items such as quilts, hats, and scarfs in hopes to make someone’s holiday season special. These crafts are gifts from the heart, and have special meaning to the ones who make them as well as those who receive them. The supplies needed for this project come from donated fabric as well as materials purchased by Native Culture Club. The women here at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center have donated approximately 90 quilts, 30 hats, 30 scarfs to this program. These items will be delivered December 19 to the Palmer Police Department.

SCCC Staff Assist in Bear Cub Rescue

Photo of rescued bear cub

Bear Cub Bound for Sitka Home

Spring Creek recently welcomed some very unexpected visitors to the facility. It was only a few months ago, that a first year black bear cub captured the attention of people throughout the state, after wandering into the Spring Creek smoke shack. The cub, later named Smokey, had been orphaned along with her two siblings, and was hungry and weak. After much media attention, Fortress of the Bear, a nonprofit in Sitka, agreed to give the bear a home. However this was not the end of the story.

Employees at Spring Creek received a big surprise on the morning of December 10, when another baby black bear cub, almost certainly one of Smokey’s litter mates, was found in the same smoke shack where Smokey was rescued almost two months before. The little girl, only 17 pounds and with porcupine quills protruding from her snout, was severely malnourished and on the brink of starvation. Most black bear cubs her age would be well over 50 pounds, and her survival was not assured.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the dedicated employees of Spring Creek jumped to action, contacting Alaska Fish and Game, the Seward Animal Shelter, and Fortress of the Bear. After some light bear wrangling, the little girl was transferred to a kennel and transported to the Anchorage Zoo, where after a successful surgery to remove the porcupine quills, she made her final journey to be reunited with her sister in Sitka.

— Assistant Superintendent Bobby Lockeby

PCC Inmate Volunteers Create Wooden Toys for Charitable Donation

Photo of Palmer inmates with wooden cars

Left to Right: Lawrence Clark, Timothy Jean, Steven Reed, Edward Newman, Mike Zavacky, Jason Murray, Nathan Jackson and Michael Jester

The inmates at the Palmer Correctional Center Minimum Facility volunteered their time to construct wooden cars and trucks for donations to local charities. The wood to make the wooden cars and trucks was donated by local businesses. Approximately 700 wooden toys were made in the Inmate Hobby Wood shop by the minimum prisoners.

Spring Creek to Begin Certified Carpentry Program

Photo of Don Revels and inmate assistant Alan Burton

L-R Education Coordinator Don Revels, inmate assistant Alan Burton

Spring Creek Education Coordinator Donald Revels and inmate assistant Alan Burton are busy at work, preparing to roll out the new Vocational Education Program in January. The new program, operating with the vision of Criminal Justice Planner Gary Olsen and PO III Clif Simons, will teach inmates valuable skills with real world applications. The first certificate program will be unveiled within the coming weeks, giving inmates the chance to earn their NCCER Carpentry I certification. Such programs not only open up sustainable employment opportunities to inmates upon their release, they also foster a sense of accomplishment and provide motivation for positive change and behavior.

— Lt. Bobby Lockeby

Hiland Mountain Inmates Raise $3,000 for Group Home Gifts

In 2013 Hiland Mountain Correctional Center has teamed up with Catholic Social Services for their annual giveback program for Christmas, an outreach to the community to give back and help make the holiday season special for those in need. Catholic Social Services has a group of four boys who live with them; Catholic Social Services is their guardian. Without this guardianship these boys would be essentially homeless.
They have a “mother” who lives with them 24/7, who the agency calls a coaching parent. She is personally involved in all the day to day details of their lives. Due to confidentiality, Catholic Social Services only gave us a list consisting of the first letter of each boy’s name and their age. The list also included the boys list of gifts that they wanted for Christmas.

Hiland Mountain Correctional Center and the Prisoner Clubs purchased items for this group which consisted of the following:

  • gifts purchased for the dayroom for all to share were an Xbox One game console with three (3) games.
  • The house mother received a basket full of bath gifts, a quilt, and a $200 gift certificate. (this gift is for the boys to give to the house mother as a thank you for all she does).
  • The first boy R-18 received the following: quilt, Kindle Fire, headphones, $100 Amazon card for the kindle, Century movie tickets, Two Hoodie sweatshirts, Two Sweatpants.
  • The second boy A-16 received the following: Quilt, Snowboarding Jacket, hat and gloves, $100 iTunes card, Century movie tickets, Two Hoodie sweatshirts, two Sweatpants.
  • The third boy D-17 received the following: quilt, soccer ball, running shoes, running shorts / shirt, $100 I tunes card, Century movie tickets, two Hoodie sweatshirts, two Sweatpants.
  • The fourth boy K-16 received the following: quilt, Kindle Fire, Headphones, $100 Amazon card for the kindle, Century movie tickets, two Hoodie sweatshirts, two sweatpants.

These items will be delivered to Catholic Social Services on December 19, 2013. The total spend on this giveback is approximately $3,000.

Palmer Correctional Center Donates Toys for Local Charities

Palmer inmates pose for photo with donated toys

PSO Huppert, Sgt. Snowdeal, Mike Zavacky, Matthew McCoy, Joshua Mead, Charles Yingst, Timothy Jean, Ronny Lind, George Goenett, Talalelei Edwards and Ofc. Britton

The Palmer Correctional Facility Minimum Inmate Store and Native Culture Council joined again this year to facilitate inmate fund-raisers to benefit local charities. The fund-raisers consisted of the selling various foods to the minimum prisoners. This was matched by the Minimum Inmate Store for a total of $1,224, which was used to purchase toys for local Christmas Charities.