AK DOC Today

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

AMCC Sergeant Honored for 10 Years’ Service

Photo of Sgt Tidwell  with shift coworkers

Anvil Mountain Correctional Center’s Sgt. John Tidwell was recently honored for his 10 years of service with the Department of Corrections. Prior to AMCC, he served 8 years at Fairbanks Correctional Center where he started his career. Currently Sgt. Tidwell is Shift Supervisor; pictured with him is his shift that works day in and night out: Officers Dwayne Koweluk, Nicholas Gray, Adam Lust, and Doug Buchanan.

— Officer Jennifer Oconnor

Anvil Mountain Correctional Officer Honored for Five Years’ Service

Photo of CO Bonham with shift coworkers

Correctional Officer Gregory Bonham was honored for five years’ service at AMCC in Nome. Officer Bonham is from Michigan and holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. He has a strong passion for hunting and fishing and Alaska has just that. Prior to AMCC, he started a career with the Nome Police Department in 2005. NPD sent him to the Alaska State Trooper Academy where he got his certification to become a Police Officer for Nome. Officer Bonham switched agencies and started at AMCC in September 2009. He is pictured with his shift: Correctional Officers Sherry Gilbert, Gilbert Ozenna, and Simon Powell, and Sgt. Jennifer Shannon.

Fairbanks Probation Officers Bring Christmas to Child Victims of Domestic Violence

Photo of Fairbanks probation officers with wrapped presents for children

Fairbanks District Office staff involved with supervising the District’s domestic violence offender caseload worked together to make a better Christmas for young victims of domestic violence. In all, the effort provided assistance to families receiving services through the Interior Center for Non-Violent Living, the Fairbanks shelter for women in distress from domestic violence. The team consisting of Probation Officers Sheri White, James Johnson and Glenn Bacon, and Criminal Justice Technician Christopher Hampton, along with a significant donation from former Probation Officer Timothy “Stick” Stickel and his colleagues at the University of Alaska Fairbanks eLearning & Distance Education office raised money to purchase Christmas presents for children ranging in age from three months to sixteen years, representing nearly 100 families. PO White’s sister, Tammy Williams (In-Court Clerk for the Court System), and CJT Hampton’s wife Christie and daughter Hannah generously volunteered to help with shopping and wrapping. PO White, the lead domestic violence probation officer for Fairbanks, said, “We wanted to create another dimension to probation officer work in the community, and what better place to start than with child victims of domestic violence. We work daily with the staff at the women’s shelter for victim support services, and they are instrumental to the success of DOC’s Fairbanks domestic violence program. Our ability to partner with the University was an added bonus.”

Anchorage Probation Office Shares Holiday Spirit

The Anchorage Probation Office wanted to share the spirit of the Holidays with the rest of the Department through the DOC Blog. CJT Lori Taylor has long been the keeper of the Santa hats for the office. Additionally PO II Becky Tuominen (second from the left) won our first annual “ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.” We wish everyone a happy and safe Holiday season!

— PO V Keith Thayer

PCC Prisoners’ Crochet, Woodworking Skills Raise Christmas Spirit

Palmer Correctional Center is once again in the spirit of Christmas as toys, wooden cars, crocheted items, hams and turkeys were made or purchase for Holiday giving. This week, the Minimum Facility purchased $500 in toys from local vendors, and prisoners made 904 wooden cars to hand out. The Medium Facility contributed $534 to purchase turkeys and hams to donate to the food bank. Additionally, 175 prisoners in the crochet program made 3,394 hats, 215 blankets and 375 scarves to donate. Beneficiaries include Alaska Family Services, My House, Children’s Place, Giving Tree, Special Santa, Salvation Army, Palmer Food Bank, Wasilla Food Pantry, United Way of the Mat-Su Borough, Providence Children’s Hospital, AWAIC, Claire House, Akeela House, Mekinnel House, Stepping Stone, Mother Lawrence, and the Smiles for a Child program.

— Assistant Superintendent Earl Houser

Anvil Mountain Female Prisoners Donate Hand Made Items for Christmas Gifts

Photo of AMCC Prisoners with their handmade donations

These beautiful hats and mittens sums it up for 2014 at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center. These will be donated and used for Christmas gifts in the Nome and Kotzebue region to certain organizations for woman and children in need. Our female inmates, Evelyn Johnson, Lily Tom, Ella Wilson, and Linda Savetilik either learned a new trade or taught others how to crochet.

‘Singing Christmas Tree’ Comes to Ketchikan Correctional Center

Photo of Singing Christmas Tree performers

Singing Christmas Tree performers

Thirty three Ketchikan Christmases have come and gone since the very first year Clover Pass Community Church hosted the “The Singing Christmas Tree.” Since that time, the community at Clover Pass has worked to make each year’s presentation something the community looks forward to with anticipation. The Singing Christmas Tree performers also made a special appearance at Ketchikan Correctional Center on Saturday December 6th. Pastor James Duncan, the DOC Chaplain, attended along with local pastors Bill White and Michael Cooke and choir director Rob Holston. The program was well received and much appreciated. A big thank you to the volunteers that come to our facility year after year. Merry Christmas.

— Superintendent Jessica Mathews

PCC and King Career Center Collaborate to Bring ‘Smiles For A Child’

Photo of Smiles for a Child flyer

For the past five years staff at Palmer Correctional Center and the Public Safety and Security Staff at King Career Center have worked together to provide new, wrapped gifts to the children of incarcerated parents at PCC. The program is called Smiles for a Child.  Until December 20th, the students at King Career Center will be gathering donated toys through drop-boxes at the following locations in Anchorage: King Career Center (2650 East Northern Lights), Anchorage School District Administration Building (5530 East Northern Lights), Gensco Inc. (501 East 100th Ave.), Strands Salon (885 West Fireweed Lane), Allen & Petersen Cooking & Appliance (3002 Seward Highway), Back in Motion Chiropractic (4341 B Street) and VIBE Salon in Eagle River and Alaska Equine and Vet Center in Chugiak. If you’re in or near Palmer, you can drop off your donation at the Training Academy or you can email Teena Calkin at KCC at calkin_teena@asdk12.org and she will arrange to pick the toy up. Incarcerated parents at PCC can arrange for a toy to be delivered to their children through the program, said Assistant Superintendent Earl Houser, who coordinates the effort at PCC. However if an incarcerated parent has visiting privileges with his son or daughter, there is a special visitation on the December 20th where the gifts can be delivered in person. Last year close to 175 presents were donated, wrapped and delivered.