AK DOC Today

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

Hiland Mountain Inmate Crafters Give Back to Community

In 2013 Hiland Mountain Correctional Center has, for the sixth year, teamed up with the Palmer Police Department for their annual giveback program for the Christmas season. This program helps the elderly that reside in the valley. The Police Department, with help from other sponsors provide food, assistance with rent and heating costs, as well as Christmas gifts. The Police department delivers these items and spends time with the individuals, giving them a special holiday to remember. Hiland Mountain Correctional Center and the Prisoners in the Hobby Craft Shop spend hours to make homemade items such as quilts, hats, and scarfs in hopes to make someone’s holiday season special. These crafts are gifts from the heart, and have special meaning to the ones who make them as well as those who receive them. The supplies needed for this project come from donated fabric as well as materials purchased by Native Culture Club. The women here at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center have donated approximately 90 quilts, 30 hats, 30 scarfs to this program. These items will be delivered December 19 to the Palmer Police Department.

Hiland Mountain Inmates Raise $3,000 for Group Home Gifts

In 2013 Hiland Mountain Correctional Center has teamed up with Catholic Social Services for their annual giveback program for Christmas, an outreach to the community to give back and help make the holiday season special for those in need. Catholic Social Services has a group of four boys who live with them; Catholic Social Services is their guardian. Without this guardianship these boys would be essentially homeless.
They have a “mother” who lives with them 24/7, who the agency calls a coaching parent. She is personally involved in all the day to day details of their lives. Due to confidentiality, Catholic Social Services only gave us a list consisting of the first letter of each boy’s name and their age. The list also included the boys list of gifts that they wanted for Christmas.

Hiland Mountain Correctional Center and the Prisoner Clubs purchased items for this group which consisted of the following:

  • gifts purchased for the dayroom for all to share were an Xbox One game console with three (3) games.
  • The house mother received a basket full of bath gifts, a quilt, and a $200 gift certificate. (this gift is for the boys to give to the house mother as a thank you for all she does).
  • The first boy R-18 received the following: quilt, Kindle Fire, headphones, $100 Amazon card for the kindle, Century movie tickets, Two Hoodie sweatshirts, Two Sweatpants.
  • The second boy A-16 received the following: Quilt, Snowboarding Jacket, hat and gloves, $100 iTunes card, Century movie tickets, Two Hoodie sweatshirts, two Sweatpants.
  • The third boy D-17 received the following: quilt, soccer ball, running shoes, running shorts / shirt, $100 I tunes card, Century movie tickets, two Hoodie sweatshirts, two Sweatpants.
  • The fourth boy K-16 received the following: quilt, Kindle Fire, Headphones, $100 Amazon card for the kindle, Century movie tickets, two Hoodie sweatshirts, two sweatpants.

These items will be delivered to Catholic Social Services on December 19, 2013. The total spend on this giveback is approximately $3,000.

Champion Dog Mushers Visit Hiland Mountain

Iditarod Musher and 2013 runner-up Aliy Zirkle and 2013 Yukon Quest winner Allen Moore stopped at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center to speak with prisoners and thank them for their “dropped dog” care offered each Iditarod season. The Two Rivers, Alaska mushers made a trip to Hiland Mountain to talk to the women about their Race experiences, their kennel, their dogs and their partnership. “They both wanted to give back to the women who take care of the Iditarod dogs that are dropped from the race and placed at Hiland every year until the teams can return them to their kennels,” said HMCC Superintendent Mike Gilligan. “The Hiland women loved the presentation, the interaction and the experience. It was a very positive event for everyone.”

Deploying Soldier Sends Zigmond to Prison

With his deployment days away, soldier Marcos Rico was searching for a home for his yellow Labrador Zigmond, or Ziggy. Learning of the Service Dog training program at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center, Rico contacted the department with the goal of donating Ziggy to the program. His hope was that Ziggy could be trained and then turned over to be of assistance to a wounded veteran or disabled child. After a few conversations, Ziggy was deemed a good fit for training and early this month he transferred to Hiland Mountain where his care and training has begun. Ziggy is AKC registered, weighs just about 70 lbs.

Hiland Mountain Inmates Help with Trail Clean-Up

KCC inmates fold 3000 origami cranes

A team of six prisoners from Hiland Mountain Correctional Center provided community work service, providing assistance to the Eagle River Parks and Recreation Department. The inmates provided help with clean up at the Beach Lake Chalet and trail system, according to HMCC Superintendent Michael Gilligan. The HMCC prisoners will be providing assistance over the course of six days.

Annual Plant and Craft Sale Underway at Hiland Mountain

The 2013 Spring Plant Sale has begun at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center. The sale, which is open to the public from 9 am-6 pm, continues through Friday, May 24th. Offered are a large selection of custom flower baskets, hanging baskets, free standing deck planters and flower pouches with a variety of plants and foliage. In addition, an assortment of perennials, houseplants and vegetable starts are on sale. Organizers have added a selection of craft items such as quilts and knitted items, plus beaded jewelry, birdhouses, benches, plant stands and other rustic yard items. Hiland Mountain is located in Eagle River; follow signs at the turn off to the Eagle River campground.

Download flyer here.

HMCC Inmate Clubs Donate $4,000 to Kids Mission

At HMCC, the Inmate Council and Native Culture Council donated $4,000 in food items to Catholic Social Services Kids Mission as part of the HMCC Give Back Program. This donation comes on top of holiday season give-back projects which included: approximately 1,000 scarves made from donated materials to Homeless Connect, $5,000 for Adopt-a-Village, $6,000 for Adopt-a-Family; $3,500 in homemade items for Santa Cop; $140 and 50 scarves for Special Olympics.

HMCC Inmates Successfully Complete Plumbing Core Curriculum

HMCC Inmates

HMCC plumbing trainees learn core curriculum

Hiland Mountain Correctional Center offers many non- traditional trades college credit for the women here in the correctional facility. The women went through the course of requirements of Core Curriculum, Plumbing Level 1 and Level 2 with our newly-bought NCCER textbooks. During this standardized training process there were variety of hands-on tools provided for repairing big chillers, installing domestic and chilled water piping, placing fixtures and faucets, fitting, PVC pipe joining copper piping, and even corrugated stainless steel and understanding a layout of blue prints.

The women have received 16 college credits with Ilisagvik College in Barrow through the Tech Prep agreement, paid for through the CTE (Career Technician Education) Grant through our Education Coordinator Karen Jenkins. Thank you to DOC for allowing non-traditional college courses to be an opportunity for us and for seeing hope in our future to have a successful job upon release.

— report written by Denni Starr, Inmate Computer Lab Aide, HMCC