AK DOC Today

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

A Message from Commissioner Joe Schmidt: Today Alaska is Housing Its Own Prisoners

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Goose Creek Correctional Center

In June 2009, after a brief groundbreaking ceremony, construction began on 435,000-square foot, $240 million Goose Creek Correctional Center. Four years and three months later close to 1,200 of the facility’s 1,536 beds are filled. Thanks to dedicated teamwork on the part of correctional facilities statewide and the hard work of Superintendent Amy Rabeau and her staff, a successful ramp-up of Goose Creek Correctional Center has occurred. Challenges arose and were addressed effectively with no single event causing a delay.

In 2006 there were close to 1,000 Alaska prisoners housed out-of-state. Today Alaska is housing its own prisoners while the 300-350 employees hired to maintain their incarceration are Alaskans. This successful ramp-up presented the challenge of airlifting and ground-transporting close to 1,100 prisoners from Hudson, Colorado to a range of correctional facilities in Alaska, from Seward to Point Mackenzie. This occurred without a hitch, and included the transfer of prisoner property as well as state-owned equipment and records. Likewise recruitment efforts provided record numbers of qualified applicants. Today, 277 Alaskans are employed at Goose Creek in a variety of functions from security to education, medical, food service, maintenance and administration.
In returning its prisoners to Alaska, the department will be in a better position to promote successful reentry while providing secure confinement/. Prisoners will be, in many cases, more connected to family and support systems. Over 200 prisoners at Goose Creek are already participating in education and vocational programming and an intensive substance abuse treatment program.

— Commissioner Joe Schmidt

Goose Creek Correctional Center Earns BUILDINGS Magazine’s ABBY Award

ABBY Award

The Department of Corrections is proud to announce that BUILDINGS magazine has selected the Goose Creek Correction Center as a 2013 ABBY Award winner. The project, which earned a Merit Award (2nd) for New Construction, exemplifies innovative performance standards in commercial building design and operation. Now in its 8th year, the America’s Best Buildings of the Year (ABBY) Awards highlight projects that set a new benchmark for facility managers to emulate. Goose Creek Correctional Center is part of an elite group of nine buildings that will be showcased in the magazine’s October 2013 issue. Submitted profiles were evaluated by the BUILDINGS editorial staff for the latest innovations in areas such as energy efficiency, sustainability, forward-looking design, purposeful renovation, and streamlined management. “Goose Creek demonstrates how smart building controls and software can streamline energy efficiency, sustainability, and O&M practices,” says Jennie Morton, associate editor for BUILDINGS magazine.

Goose Creek honored by Design-Build Institute

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Goose Creek Correctional Center, just prior to opening.

Goose Creek Correctional Center has been honored with a national award by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). The prestigious award is one of the highest recognitions of achievement in the design-build industry. The award is based on:

  • The integrated cooperative relationships developed between the Department of Corrections, Neeser Construction, Inc. (the design-build contractor), the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska Planning and Architecture, Steve Fishback, Architect, RISE Alaska, and Neeser’s design team.
  • Cooperative cost control efforts
  • Quality, Functionality and Aesthetics of the facility,
  • Long-term energy efficiency,
  • Achievement of the proposed project schedule,
  • Incorporation of innovative systems.

The project and all of its participating entities will be recognized at the DBIA National Design Build Conference and Expo on November 8 in New Orleans.

DOC Leadership Conducts Tour of Goose Creek Correctional Facility for Legislators, Staff

Commissioner Joe Schmidt and his leadership team conducted a tour of Goose Creek Correctional Facility on a sunny and warm Tuesday, Oct. 4. The facility will hold 1,500-plus mostly medium security inmates in ten 128-bed mods. Other beds are set aside for medical, punitive and administrative segregation and a transition unit. Here are some photos from the facility taken during the tour:

Security Training completed at Goose Creek Correctional Center

Goose Creek Correctional Center, in cooperation with contractors and instructors of the Neeser Construction Company, recently completed an intense two-week training course designed to prepare future uniformed and maintenance staff to operate and maintain the institution’s state of the art security electronics systems.

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Staff members engaged in classes related to the institution’s surveillance and computer-aided dispatch and communications systems. Staff completing the classes and the final two-day “Stress Test” included:

  • from Goose Creek: Cory Pianko, Assistant Superintendent, and John Yost, Maintenance Superintendent;
  • from Anvil Mountain CC: Lieutenant Lucy Dittmar of A.M.C.C;
  • from Palmer Correctional Centers and Point Mackenzie Correctional Farm: Sergeant Scott Glover, Sergeant John Conant, and Correctional Officer II Greg Steele, Correctional Officer II Jared Pyle, Correctional Officer II Mark Sehl, Correctional Officer II Thomas Leonard, Correctional Officer II Thomas Leonard and Correctional Officer II Freeman Howes.
  • From Anchorage Correctional Complex: Correctional Officer II Lee Pritchett and Correctional Officer II Michael Lovelace.
  • From Spring Creek Correctional Center: Correctional Officer II Brandon Fischer, Correctional Officer II Justin Harrell.
  • from Hiland Mountain Correctional Center: Correctional Officer II Suzie Pyle.
  • Maintenance Specialist Michael Harbaugh and Maintenance Lead Michael Erb

Mr. Pianko and Mr. Yost sincerely thank the Superintendents of the above listed institutions for allowing their staff to attend this vital training and testing of all facets of Goose Creek’s security electronics and future security operations; without the dedication, professionalism and commitment of the above listed staff this crucial mission could not have been completed.

Glimpse of Goose Creek provided to legislators, staff

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With the 27th Alaska Legislature just a few weeks from beginning its work in Juneau, DOC Commissioner Joe Schmidt and Admin Services Director Leslie Houston hosted a tour of the construction site. Joining the tour were Rep. Lindsey Holmes and staff members for Senators Linda Menard and Charlie Huggins. Since that date the Commissioner and Director have focused on preparations for budget hearings and other committee appearances at the Alaska State Capital.

Commissioners check in on Goose Creek construction progress

The Commissioners of Corrections and Labor-Workforce Development spent a good part of a morning touring the Goose Creek Correctional Center construction site at Point Mackenzie. The tour was an opportunity for Joe Schmidt and ‘Click’ Bishop to receive a full update on construction progress from the main contractors. The commissioners found all main buildings fully enclosed and heated.