AK DOC Today

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

Spring Creek Marks 10 years of Youthful Offenders Program

2011 marked the 10th anniversary of Spring Creek Correctional Center’s Youthful Offender Program and the 10th graduating class from Spring Creek High School. To date, over 400 inmates have participated in YOP, with 163 high school and 19 GED graduates.

This year’s graduation also marked the retirement of Spring Creek High School Principal Wayne Young. Principal Young was instrumental in the design of the YOP, working with DOC to build an individually structured, holistic program giving youthful offenders an opportunity to rehabilitate within a secure environment. Program objectives include high school completion for inmates up to 22 years of age, vocational certification, correspondence college courses, substance abuse and anger management education and/or treatment.

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New Principal Monica Hinders joined YOP in June. A former teacher, school counselor and district-wide assessment coordinator, Principal Hinders was most recently a PO II at Spring Creek and brings a solid understanding of DOC practices to her enthusiasm and experience as an educator.

Information on the YOP, along with inmate waiver, transfer and enrollment in Spring Creek High School is available electronically. Please contact Spring Creek PO III Clif Simons if you believe inmates at your facility may benefit and wish to participate.

Inmate work service crew spruces up Clare House

A volunteer community work service crew of eight inmates from Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River spent a day cleaning and beautifying the front, side and back yards at Clare House in Anchorage. Clare House is an emergency homeless shelter for women with children and expectant mothers. The HMCC Inmate Council and Native Culture Clubs purchased tools, soil, seed, and plants for the spring cleanup project. In all, inmates raised and donated $1694.00 plus labor.

Officer Torrey named SCCC 2011 Employee of the Year

Correctional Officer Erich Torrey has been named Employee of the Year at Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward. Officer Torrey began his career at SCCC in November 2002. He was the institutional training officer in 2007 and was promoted to sergeant in 2008. Officer Torrey has been the SCCC Employee of the Month twice: in November 2008 and in July 2010.

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In 2008, Officer Torrey reorganized his unit and made numerous improvements and innovation to the manner in which training was presented and conducted. He constantly looks for ways to improve the operation of the institution. In 2010 Officer Torrey served as Sgt. for APS and all three houses. The demands of supervising the entire population and staff is a full-time job for three sergeants, but due to circumstances rose to the occasion and single-handedly managed inmates and staff. “Officer Torrey works extremely well with peers, supervisors and management. Completes all tasks assigned and constantly looks for ways to improve the operation of the institution,” said Superintendent Turnbull.

Volunteer inmate walkathon raises over $1,500 for Haiti relief

This is a note from chaplain Brenda Nagunst to the inmates who participated in a walk-a-thon to raise funds for Haiti:

First of all I want to thank each of you for your support for providing clean drinking water for the people of Haiti. A lady battling cancer walked over two miles, another in recovery walked nearly three miles. A woman who was 8.5 months pregnant walked over 2.5 miles. A woman who had been in a wheelchair not long ago walked 4 miles. I was very blessed by the amount of participation of the women in this institution for this cause. Here are the statistics for the walk:

Total laps walked – 5,353
Total walkers – 274
Total Raised – just over $1,500

Officer Lynn Hays named Denali Award winner for Crisis Response

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On November 22, 2010 Officer Hays left home to begin his work day. There were many accidents that morning due to a steady freezing rain that left roadways treacherous and ice-covered. Monitoring the radio, Officer Hays became aware of an accident close to his location where a pregnant woman was trapped in her vehicle. With the nearest emergency responder 45 minutes away, Officer Hays radioed that he was two minutes from the location and was responding. Upon arrival, Officer Hays assessed a three-vehicle accident and located the trapped individual. After assessing the woman’s condition Officer Hays communicated with responders and attempted to alert oncoming traffic. With road conditions extremely icy, an additional five vehicles crashed around him. Officer Hays then closed the section of road stopping traffic and likely preventing additional collisions and perhaps injuries. Officer Hays flagged a tow-truck and directed the operator to begin to clear some of the crashed vehicles. State Troopers responded, but were quickly called away by another emergency at a nearby location. Officer Hays remained on the scene, collecting pertinent information and electing to re-open the road when a sanding truck arrived. Prison Transportation Officer Hays demonstrated his willingness to assist and protect the public in a challenging situation.

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Officer Lynn Hays began his career with the Department of Corrections in 1996, and joined the Central Transportation Unit in 2005. He is known for his professionalism in the most difficult of circumstances.

Lemon Creek COs receive Denali Award for action in a crisis

Correctional Officers Keith Aki, Josh Price and Lisa Cook (Sgt. Bonn’s Shift) received a Denali Award honorable mention in the crisis responder team category on May 12 at Centennial Hall in Juneau.

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On September 7, 2010, While performing routine duties at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau, Correctional Officer Keith Aki noticed a suicide attempt in progress in the Admission and Orientation Unit. He called for assistance and responded to the prisoner, who had attempted to hang himself in a shower stall. Officers Josh Price and Lisa Cook responded immediately and helped lower the inmate to the floor. The prisoner had no pulse and was unresponsive. The three officers administered CPR and by the time Juneau Fire and Rescue responded the inmate had a strong pulse and subsequently made a full recovery.

Officer Aki is a Prison Transportation Officer, Field Training Officer and an instructor in firearms and defensive tactics. Officer Price is a Correctional Officer in charge of the Maximum Security Unit for his shift. Officer Cook began her career in 2009. In two short years she has established herself as professional with a strong ability to maintain control of her surroundings in a difficult situation.

Central Transportation Unit receives Denali Award honorable mention

The Central Transportation Unit received an honorable mention Denali Award in the category of crisis responder — team. The award was presented to Officers Kelly Daniels, Lynn Hays and Robert Pack by Governor Sean Parnell and Commissioner Joe Schmidt at Centennial Hall in Juneau on May 12.

In November Officers Kelly Daniels and Lynn Hays were transporting nine prisoners to Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward. While in route they were flagged down by an injured motorist, and then observed that two vehicles had been in a head-on collision. While Officer Hays radioed for help, Officer Daniels addressed the needs of the wounded and set flares to warn approaching traffic. Officer Pack, who was off duty at the time, came upon the scene and quickly put his EMT training to work as he provided assistance to the motorist trapped in a vehicle. When emergency responders were on the scene, he, with his fellow officers, helped extract the injured motorist and then provide traffic control.

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Officer Daniels began his career with the Department of Corrections in 1997, transferring to the Central Transportation Unit in 2003. He is the unit’s most senior member and a current firearms instructor. Officer Hays began his career as a Correctional Officer at Spring Creek Correctional Center in 1996, and has worked at the 6th Avenue Jail and Mat-Su Pretrial Facility until joining the Central Transportation Unit in 2005. Officer Pack began his career with the department in 2003 and was certified as a Transportation Officer in 2006. He has previously volunteered as an EMT.

Officer Daniels is a licensed pilot and enjoys time spent on his boat and at his cabin. Officer Hays owns a semi-truck and is looking for a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am to restore. Officer Pack owns a chicken ranch in Seward and enjoys fresh eggs.

Re-entry Task Force presents 5-year plan

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Deputy Commissioner Carmen Gutierrez, Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew and a former inmate who asked that his full name not be used addressed the media at a roll-out of the Prisoner Re-entry Task Force Five-Year Plan May 5 at the Mountain View Diner in Anchorage. Anchorage reporters had on opportunity to learn of the plan’s goals, key of which is to reduce recidivism. The former inmate, going by the first name Andrew, explained some of the challenges he faced as an ex-offender in returning to the workplace. He credited an employer who was willing to overlook has past actions and provide him with a family-wage job. One of the task force goals is to identify impediments to successful re-entry into the community.

Annual Plant Sale at Hiland Mountain is May 18-21

2011 HMCC Greenhouse Plant Sale Flyer

The greenhouse plant sale is an annual tradition at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River. This year’s offering of custom flower baskets and other plants for the garden will be Wednesday, May 18, 9 am-6 pm, and Thursday through Saturday, May 19-21, 10 am-6 pm. The sale will be in the correctional center’s parking lot, 9101 Hesterberg Road, Eagle River. Follow the signs