AK DOC Today

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

GCCC CO makes drug bust during visitation

Friday evening, an officer at the Goose Creek Correctional Center noticed a visitor passing contraband to an inmate during visitation. The officer responded quickly and took possession of 10 half strips of Suboxone, which were wrapped in a band aid.

Every time an officer intercepts contraband, they’re making the facility safer for other inmates and for staff. Their work is crucial to the safety at our facilities. We thank them for their hard work and dedication to public service.

The Department of Corrections’ Professional Conduct Unit is investigating the incident.

#SaferAlaska #MyAKGov

Meet Pretrial’s new director

This is Jason Whetsell. He’s the new Pretrial Enforcement Division (PED) Director. He’s planning on using his 20-plus years of Alaska law enforcement experience to lead PED and help grow the young division.

Here’s a few things off of this lifelong Alaskan’s resume:

  • 22 years as a police officer, and most of that time with the Anchorage Police Department.
  • SWAT team member
  • K9 handler and instructor
  • Field training officer
  • Interim chief of police for the Cordova Police Department (the town he was born and raised in).
  • Investigator with DOC’s Professional Conduct Unit

See what he had to say about his new role in this interview with KTVA reporter Daniella Rivera: http://www.ktva.com/story/38722705/meet-the-pretrial-enforcement-divisions-new-director

Geri Miller-Fox, who stood up the young division, will be helping Whetsell transition into the position. Her last day will be Sept. 7. In an email announcing her resignation to DOC personnel in early-July, she said: As some of you may know, I have been working on a Ph.D. for the past few years.  My coursework is completed, and the time has now come for me to focus on writing a dissertation.  A dissertation is the equivalent of writing a book, and as you can imagine, it will consume most of my time. For this reason, I’ve made the bittersweet decision to stepdown.”

We’re so grateful for the work Mrs. Miller-Fox did in her time with the Alaska Department of Corrections, and we wish her nothing but the best as she continues to accomplish her academic goals and on all of other future endeavors. Her passion for public service is truly inspiring.


Spring Creek inmate wins shoes with essay about running

Meet Delano Hall. He’s part of Spring Creek’s new running club. Last month, he and other members of the group had an opportunity to win a new pair of sneakers, thanks to the generous donation of Altra Running.

To win them, the guys had to write an essay about what running means to them. The essays were made anonymous and voted on by DOC staff and Altra Running’s Michael McKnight. Mr. Hall wrote the winning piece.

CO Justin Ennis, the club’s organizer, said: “Our shoes from Altra came in today (Monday) and even though I wasn’t getting them it was like Christmas morning for me too!  I instantly took care of the procedural work to issue him the shoes and got him called over.  He is now the proud recipient of a pair of bad mamajamas!”

He continued and said, “Seeing those shoes out and about on our compound is going to further catapult the popularity and participation of our group- we are up to an average of 20 prisoners per session and that doesn’t include other staff and five dogs that are out there pounding the pavement as well.”

Read Mr. Hall’s winning piece and check out his new kicks, below.

Gov. Walker signs proclamation for Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision week

This week, we’re celebrating so many dedicated officers on the DOC team. It’s National Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision week‼️It’s a week to reflect on the important role these officers play in our communities.

Take a look at the Executive Proclamation signed by Alaska Governor Bill Walker in honor of #PPPSWeek.

#SaferAlaska #StrongerAlaska #MyAKGov

Superintendent, law enforcement officers support Special Olympic athletes at national games

“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

This is the motto of Special Olympics athletes.

Earlier this month athletes, volunteers and supporters from around the nation came together during the first-ever live televised Special Olympics USA games, in Seattle, WA.

Ketchikan Superintendent Jessica Mathews had the honor of participating in the games beside other members of our state and national law enforcement agencies. Officer Fraize, with the Anchorage Police Department, carried the torch through Washington with other law enforcement officers and six athletes, while Superintendent Mathews participated as one of four Advanced Teams that offered logistic support for the Law Enforcement torch bearers carrying the flame of hope.

Congratulations to every athlete that participated. Your hard work, dedication, and bravery continues to inspire us.

DOC releases June drug seizure report

Our dedicated officers work daily to keep drugs out of our facilities. When drugs are discovered, they’re turned over to our Professional Conduct Unit (PCU) for further investigation.

PCU builds cases and works with other law enforcement entities — like the FBI – Federal Bureau of InvestigationDrug Enforcement Administration – DEA, and Alaska State Troopers (Official) — to go after drug traffickers.

Thank you to our dedicated employees for their work helping to build a Safer Alaska.


Tickets on sale: ‘Breaking the Cycle’ and discussion w/ Commissioner Williams about what Alaska can learn from Norway

Tickets are on sale for the screening of the hour-long documentary, “Breaking the Cycle” and a community conversation with Commissioner Dean Williams about what Alaska can learn from the Norway model.

In  the film, the Warden of Halden, Norway’s most humane prison, tours the U.S. prison system to urge a new approach emphasizing on rehabilitation. The documentary tells the story about Jan Strømnes, the deputy warden in the world’s most humane maximum-security prison, Halden Prison in Norway. Strømnes goes on a mission to change one of the most notorious prisons in the world – Attica Correctional Facility in New York State.

Buy tickets, here: https://ticketing.us.veezi.com/purchase/3683?siteToken=suuxCH9wIUGD05u30RvJ%2Fw%3D%3D . 


Community in Unity: Recovery in Incarceration

Addiction often fuels crime. So, how can we prevent some of that criminal activity? By helping people receive treatment. By default, the Alaska Department of Corrections is the largest substance abuse treatment provider in the state.

A couple of weeks ago, Goose Creek inmates in recovery sat down with community to share their stories, ask and answer questions, and to discuss solutions.

Listen to the conversation, here.

WATCH: DOC tests virtual reality as inmate training tool

“Alaska has one of the highest recidivism rates in the country, with more than two-thirds of inmates who leave prison returning within three years. It’s an ongoing problem the Alaska Dept. of Corrections has long sought to solve. Now, the DOC is partnering with the University of Colorado to try something new — training inmates in the skills they’ll need to succeed in life outside of prison using virtual reality,” KTVA 11 News reported Monday.

Watch the story, here.

Spring Creek staff participate in Seward’s Independence Day celebration

We want to offer a special thanks to the Seward United Methodist Church for allowing our folks from the Spring Creek Correctional Center space to set up a booth on your lawn during Seward’s wonderful Fourth of July celebration.

Spring Creek staff used the opportunity to educate the public about projects and programs happening inside the walls, and to sell arts and crafts created by SCCC inmates. The inmates graciously agreed to contribute 35% of the proceeds from any arts and craft sales to the institution’s Special Pet Obedience Training (SPOT) program.

In the SPOT program, inmates care for, train, and rehabilitate dogs in-need, and then adopt them out to community members. With the money earned at this event, staff will be able to buy supplies, like dog food and training treats.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth, including Alaska Governor Bill Walker. We appreciate your support.