AK DOC Today

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

Commissioner Taylor Joins in Celebration of Years of Service Recognition

The Juneau Central Office for the Department of Corrections celebrated four employees’ years of service awards recognized by the State of Alaska. Commissioner Ron Taylor, along with Deputy Commissioner’s Diane Casto and Remond Henderson as well as the Director of Administrative Services, April Wilkerson, all were present to honor their employees and thank them for many years of dedicated hard work for the State of Alaska.

Who Pays?

The Alaska Department of Corrections is working hard to reduce recidivism. Working with community resources to successfully prevent former inmates from re-offending after being released. This article presents the challenges of an inmate losing connections with family, employment, health services, housing, and education among others. The reduction or loss of theses social factors contribute to the unstable reentry of former inmates back in to society. “Who Pays?” presents data from across the whole nation as well as the stories of formerly incarcerated individuals and sums up with recommendations of reforming current trends of repeat criminals. This report aims to shed light on the detrimental effects of incarceration on the punished criminal as well as the ripple effects to the communities of these individuals. Reports such as these help to present evidence-based reform tactics to be considered in projects such as the Alaska Department of Corrections Recidivism Reduction Plan.

Alaska Dispatch Job Fair

On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, The Alaska Dispatch News held a job fair at the Alaska Airlines Center located on the UAA campus in Anchorage. Department of Corrections had a booth staffed with professionals from the medical division, probation/parole division and training division.

Partnering with UAA provided an opportunity for our department to seek out a very diverse pool of potential applicants. While working at the booth our employees represented DOC as very knowledgeable professionals that take pride in their career choices. Foot traffic in the arena provided great opportunity for exposure and allowed our representatives to provide information about positions currently available within our department and explain how to apply through Workplace Alaska.

It is the volunteer participants that make these events so successful and help foster a positive image of Corrections with our community.

DOC Welcomes Canine Marley to the Drug Detection Team

Congratulations to Prisoner Transportation Officer Lynn Hays and Drug Detection Dog Marley on their successful certification as the Alaska Department of Corrections first certified Drug Detection Team! They successfully completed an intensive AST Academy and were certified with the AST teams at the end of the course. Our team is now available to conduct official drug searches at our Facilities, Field Offices, Community Residential Centers, Prisoner Work sites or any other DOC area.

Canine Marley is trained to search areas. He will not be used to search people. Security staff will have to be present with the team for all searches. Marley is trained to sit, when he detects drugs! An onsite Correctional Officer or Probation Officer will conduct an actual search, secure the evidence, initiate the chain of custody and write the reports for possible disciplinary and/or criminal proceedings.

The addition of this team to our department brings a real boost to our capabilities in the area of drug suppression in our facilities and field offices. Lieutenant Jimmie Wallace is the supervisor and coordinator for all Detection Team duties. Again, a well-deserved congratulation to Officer Hays and Canine Marley!

July 2015 HMCC Graduation

Congratulations to the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center GED/Vocation Graduates. This HMCC Graduation Vocation Programs included: Plumbing, Electrical, and Carpentry/Scaffolding courses awarded by Ilisagvik College. Certificates for six Apprenticeships and ten Pre-Apprenticeships were awarded through the US Department of Labor and the Alaska Vocational Technical Education Center (AVTEC). Hiland Mountain also celebrated the completion of six GED exams; the HMCC GED program is measured by the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) and the GED Ready Practice Tests.

FAIRBANKS ELECTRONIC MONITORING 1ST ANNUAL CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT

Despite rain, wind, and the occasional swarm of hungry yellow jackets, the Fairbanks Electronic Monitoring unit and LSSAT Aftercare Group held its first Annual Corn Hole (bag toss) Tournament and Barbeque on August 5, 2015 at the Chena Wayside Campground.

Spearheaded by EM supervisor Ron Winkelman and Probation Officer Zoe Sutton, the community activity was enthusiastically supported by DOC staff, LSSAT aftercare group attendees and electronic monitoring inmates alike. The tournament was the third such activity in which EM inmates who exhibited excellent performance while on EM had an opportunity to enjoy some downtime in the community all while being supervised by DOC staff. Inmates and DOC staff provided food and drinks as well as the necessary equipment to hold the tournament.
In a dramatic turn of events, the EM team consisting of Joe Barnes and Joe Larson came charging out of the “loser’s bracket” to topple the undefeated duo of PO Winkelman and PO Sutton to take the title of corn hole champions.

At the conclusion of the evening, PO Winkelman and PO Sutton arrested a known absconder with a probation warrant who, unbeknownst to him, just happened to be wandering by the DOC sponsored event.

Prior activities hosted by the EM unit included glow putt golf and bowling; and just like the corn hole tournament, provided an opportunity for staff and returning citizens to connect on a more realistic level in the community rather than just through the typical office contact.

Spring Creek Awarded by White House

Spring Creek was happy to support the White House Communications Agency during the presidential visit to the City of Seward and the surrounding area by providing needed support for securing sensitive equipment and a vehicle that was used throughout the week immediately preceding and during President Obama’s visit. The President came to Seward to view significant glacier formations in and around the city and in Resurrection Bay as part of his efforts in highlighting the impact of climate change. As Spring Creek Correctional Center has the most secure area for storage in the community this was the ideal location to store and monitor the sensitive items with 24/7 surveillance. As Spring Creek Correctional Center and the Seward Police Department have an excellent working relationship it was an easy assist for the police department and all was secure and readily available when White House Communications Agency staffers came to the facility to obtain their equipment throughout the week.

-Clare Sullivan, Correctional Superintendent

2015 RSAT Graduation

Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) is one of the many rehabilitative programs currently offered at PCC. The dedicated RSAT staff provides services to 60 inmates at any given time. In addition to the basic RSAT program, PCC’s RSAT program includes 16 mentors, a pre-treatment and graduate program.

PCC Medium will soon be launching a new Dual Diagnosis program for those who have mental health needs as well as substance abuse treatment needs. PCC will soon be offering Intensive Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment (IOPSAT) formerly known as LSSAT, for those who have outpatient level needs.

The RSAT program is a unique integrated program that previously used the Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT) model. They are currently in the process of transitioning their program to the Hazeldon curriculum to offer an even more dynamic approach to meeting treatment needs. This integrated approach includes placing more senior clients in roles with responsibility such as senior resident, group facilitator, and/or mentorship positions in order to help build personal pride and accountability as well as problem solving and leadership skills.

After completing the RSAT program many inmates choose to stay and participate in either the graduate program or give back to the therapeutic community by working as a mentor or facilitator.

RSAT helps inmates to address many of the rehabilitative needs identified in their Offender Management Plans (OMP). It also helps to prepare them for a more successful transition to the community.

RSAT graduations are big events that occur on a quarterly basis and an enjoyed by all staff whether or not they are involved in the RSAT program. Our most recent graduation presented 22 graduates; however, a total of 45 prisoners were successful, many of whom had already received a furlough or electronic monitoring placement. Graduations are a time to celebrate successes and encourage continued healthy practices.

RSAT Staff:
Mr. Daniel Davis Program Director
Ms. Valerie Demientieff Primary Counselor
Mr. Sean Culp Primary Counselor
Ms. Kerri Pittman Primary Counselor
Ms. Echo Wyche Primary Counselor
Ms. Amanda Semenza Floor Counselor

-RSAT Program Overview: Composed by POII Jessica Smith