AK DOC Today

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

Juneau Central Office Hosts Administrative Officers and Assistants

Photo of DOC Administrative Services training class

The Juneau Central Office hosted close to 30 Administrative Officers and Administrative Assistants from across the Department this week. Institutions, Probation and Parole, the Academy and Statwide Services were represented at the three-day conference. Topics ranged from the new finance system, human resources and recruitment, procurement and budget. In addition, conference participants enjoyed a meet-and-greet with the JCO payroll and central office staff.

Gail Brimner Honored for 11 Years of Service to VINE

Photo of Gail Brimner receiving award from Joyce Karrfalt of Appriss, Inc.

Joyce Karrfalt of Appriss Inc. presents an Appreciation of Service Award to Gail Brimner, of the department’s Victim Services Unit.

In 2004, Gail Brimner began working in the DOC’s Victim Service Unit which sponsors the state’s Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) service.  VINE notifications have evolved through the years from letters and phone calls to now phone calls and email along with immediate access to offender information via the VINEMobile phone app.  The number of new registrants in the VINE service has grown from 760 in 2004 to almost 11,000 in 2013.  Through Gail’s dedication to crime victims across the state and also to the VINE service, Appriss awarded Gail with an Appreciation of Service award for the 11 years she has been involved with VINE.   Ms. Brimner states, “It was a surprise and honor to be recognized by Appriss for our 11 years of working together to support the goal of empowering victims.”

Superintendent Wellard Retires after 20 Years at Lemon Creek

G Scott Wellard is retiring October 31st capping a 20-year career with the Department of Corrections. Most of that time was served at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau. Wellard was hired as a CO I in October, 1994 and promoted to CO II 14 months later. In August, 1999 Wellard promoted to Sergeant, and in May, 2005 he was named Acting Superintendent. He dropped the “acting” title in October, 2005. Under Wellard’s stewardship, Lemon Creek began the successful Inside and Out Conferences, became the home of the state’s in-patient sex offender treatment program, opened a training facility / gun range, and converted a multi-purpose room to a 26-bed dorm. “I feel good about leaving (LCCC) in better condition than when I first started,” Wellard said.

Correctional Officer Academy #125 Graduates Class of 38

On September 26, 2014 38 Correctional Officers from institutions throughout the state gathered at the Palmer Municipal building to participate in graduation ceremonies for Class #125. The officers spent six weeks at the Department of Corrections Training Academy in Palmer attending classes designed to increase their knowledge concerning inmate management, facility operations, officer safety, substance abuse and treatment, identifying medical emergencies and policies and procedures. Graduation was packed with family, friends and coworkers. Class Valedictorian was Jeremy James from Anchorage Correctional Complex. With the support of their family, friends and co-workers their journey with the Department of Corrections is just beginning. We must remember with each graduating class there is hope that these students will become our future leaders. Thus we have the challenge not only to be co-workers but to become a mentor and set an example of what is good and right within each of us and our Organization. Congratulations Class #125.

— PO III Caroline Stevens

Palmer Correctional Center Celebrates Staff Milestones

Photo of Assistant Superintendent Houser and Sergeant  Williams

Assistant Superintendent Houser, right, and Sgt. Williams, left

Assistant Superintendent Earl Houser reached his 20-year service mark with Department of Corrections. Earl Houser started his career with the Department as a Correctional Officer Recruit in Anchorage in 1994. He promoted to Sergeant at Spring Creek in 1998, and then to Assistant Superintendent at Spring Creek in 2002. He transferred to PCC that year and has since worked as acting Superintendent for Point Mackenzie in 2007 and 2008 and as the Assistant Superintendent for Point Mackenzie in 2013-14.

Sergeant James Williams reached his 30-year service mark with Department, and has spent 29 of those years here at PCC! He started his career with DOC in 1980 at Palmer Correctional Center. He transferred to the Correctional Center Annex in Anchorage in 1982 and returning to PCC in 1984. He left the state in 1985 and was re-hired in 1989 at PCC. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2013.

We here at Palmer Correctional Center appreciate the time and dedication both employees have provided to the State of Alaska, our Department, and to PCC. Both are always ready and willing to help other staff, offer a friendly smile, and to pass on their vast knowledge of the facility to other employees.

— Superintendent Tomi Anderson

Baked Potato Bar Raises $320 for SHARE Campaign

Photo of loaded baked potato at Juneau Central Office's Potato Bar

Expertly topped baked potato enjoyed by staff at JCO

The Juneau Central Office raised $320 for the 2014 SHARE Campaign with a baked potato bar Thursday, Oct. 9th. The potatoes were provided, cleaned, and sorted by Goose Creek Correctional Center, from the Point Mackenzie Farm. Once brought to Juneau, the spuds were expertly baked in the commercial ovens at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. The fresh Alaska-grown spuds drew praise for their excellent taste! Three pans of potatoes were sold for eating on site to taking home for dinner or baked potato soup. Dianne Godkin organized condiments and assisted in transporting the potatoes to the fund-raiser and returning the pans to the LCCC kitchen. Trevor Cox, food service lead at LCCC, organized the preparation and baking. Their assistance is greatly appreciated.

The SHARE Campaign is the Alaska state employee’s charitable giving program. The campaign offers a variety of giving options as well as privacy and security. Donations are accepted in a variety of ways including via payroll deduction, check, cash, and credit card. Payroll deduction is the most popular method of giving for the simple reason that a small amount can be deducted from each pay period contributing to a much larger gift overall than many of us could afford upfront.

If you’d like to organize a baked potato bar at your location, contact Department of Corrections SHARE coordinator by replying to this email, or call 465-4640.

Anvil Mountain Inmate Volunteers Clean Section of Nome-Teller Highway

On the 4th of July holiday weekend, Correctional Officers Robert Grubb and Sherry Gilbert escorted minimum custody inmates on a road clean up. Anvil Mountain Correctional Center adopted four miles of the Nome-Teller Highway. Each year, an community work service inmate crew clear debris and trash from the roadside. The inmates enjoy being outside of the facility, and local motorists appreciate the effort and honk, offer a thumbs up or sometimes stop to thank staff and the inmates for their community service.

— CO II Jennifer O’Connor

Anvil Mountain Inmates Complete Small Engine Repair Class

At Nome’s Anvil Mountain Correctional Center, the education department offers various programs and courses with a goal of provides inmates with better lifestyle choices, new trades, and better education. Howard Appel, Education Coordinator, has over 20 years at the facility. One of the programs that is offered is Small Engines Repair, taught by Brian Marvin, who is a teacher at Nome-Beltz High School. The class gives inmates the opportunity for a new trade which can be beneficial toward their reintegration into society. This year, the class included five inmates who repaired a four wheeler that was pushed into the shop by inmates, repaired the engine and other issues found. After completion, the four wheeler was driven out under its own power by the instructor.

— CO II Jennifer O’Connor

Anvil Mountain Conducts ANSAT Treatment Program

Photo of ANSAT Graduating Class

ANSAT Graduating Class

The Alaska Native Substance Abuse Treatment (ANSAT) Program, consisting of 15, two-part lessons each focus on different Alaska Native Values, is continuing at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome. The program also includes eight Anger Management Modules and an Exam as well as Addiction/Health Education information, handouts and worksheets; and Relapse Prevention information, handouts and worksheets. ANSAT is a 5-week program, so participants will have a greater opportunity to graduate from the program before they are transferred or released from AMCC. There will only be 8 to 10 participants allowed in the program at one time. There will be two sessions a day, each session lasting 1 ½ hours, four days a week (Monday – Thursday). Kelly Strass, Nome ANSAT Program Coordinator, has been teaching in the institution for three years. On August 7th her most recent class graduated with 14 inmates.