AK DOC Today

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

Commissioner Williams visits Southwest fish processing plant, explores possibilities

Earlier this week, Commissioner Dean Williams had the opportunity to visit a fish processing plant in Ekuk, just outside of Dillingham, with the facility’s owner, Jerry Hall, and PO Rexford Spofford. Commissioner Williams is exploring the idea of allowing inmates, near the end of their sentence, an opportunity to work at the camp during the fishing season.

Employment remains an important strategy to reduce the high recidivism rate of returning citizens.

DOC awarded Second Chance grant

The Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC) is pleased to announce that earlier this month we were awarded a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and Bureau of Justice Assistance that will help us better fight and lower the state’s recidivism rate.

As Alaska’s criminal justice reform efforts continue to expand, and the state combats growing crime rates and an opioid epidemic, the Second Chance Act Statewide Adult Recidivism Reduction Strategic Planning Program grant will enhance DOC’s ability to do our part in creating a stronger and safer Alaska.

This grant will give us a chance to realign and focus our recidivism reduction efforts with our many community partners, who are crucial to the reentry process and reform efforts, while also allowing us to research the drivers of recidivism, establish Alaska’s recidivism reduction goals, review the alignment of existing DOC programs and policies with evidence-based practices, and develop a strategic plan to reach our recidivism reduction goals.

After a year of strategic plan development, DOC will apply for the second phase of the grant, which could allot up to $3 million for the plan’s implementation.

Currently, about two-thirds of people released from incarceration return to prison. This statistic has impacts far and wide across Alaska. The work we’ll be able to start and enhance with this funding will help us further build a solid foundation for reentry services that will help slow down the seemingly ever-revolving door of incarceration.

DOC talks reentry at Bear Tooth

Corrections and criminal justice is a complex beast, sometimes hard to explain and hard to understand. So last week we did something a little bit different — we decided to host and start a community conversation about what it takes for someone to be successful in society after being released from prison.

In Alaska, two out of three individuals recidivate after release from incarceration. Collateral consequences are large and impact every community throughout the state. One successful reentrant empowers not only themselves, but also their children and families. Their success directly affects ours; when we help a transitioning individual, we are helping our neighbors, our local businesses and ultimately the place we all call home. This is a hand-up not a hand-out; they cannot do it alone.

We want to thank everyone from the community who attended. We hope this was just the start of a much larger conversation about reentry, and that it was just one of many conversations between DOC and the community.

A big shout of to our panelists; Professionals from Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc., Alaska Ironworkers, New Life Development-Anchorage, and Alaska Public Media, and the three reentrants who clawed their way through the criminal justice system. Thank you, your work and determination is inspiring.

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Pitfalls & Perseverance: The Journey of a Reentrant

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In Alaska, two out of three individuals recidivate after release from incarceration. Collateral consequences are large and impact every community throughout the state. One successful reentrant empowers not only themselves, but also their children and families. Their success directly affects ours; when we help a transitioning individual, we are helping our neighbors, our local businesses and ultimately the place we all call home. This is a hand-up not a hand-out; they cannot do it alone (it takes a village to raise a child).

So join us, on August 25. Everyone’s welcome and admission is free. 

National Reentry Week Spotlight: New Life Development

As we celebrate National Rentry Week, Alaska Department of Corrections wants to recognize one of our many awesome community partners who is making a difference!

New Life Development has transitional supportive housing programs and services for men, women, and women with children who have had involvement with the criminal justice system.

Thank you New Life Development for helping Alaskans be successful!

We appreciate you!

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National Reentry Week Spotlight: Cook Inlet Tribal Council Inc., Recovery & Re-Entry Services

As we celebrate National Rentry Week, Alaska Department of Corrections wants to recognize one of our many awesome community partners who is making an positive impact on inmates inside and out.

Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc’s Recovery & Re-Entry Services Team is dedicated to lowering recidivism numbers by making sure individuals getting out of prison have the resources they need.

Thank you Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc’s Recovery & Re-Entry Services for helping Alaskans be successful!

We appreciate you!

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National Reentry Week Spotlight: Partners Reentry Center

As we celebrate National Reentry Week, Alaska Department of Corrections wants to recognize one of our many awesome community partners.

Since 2013, Partners Reentry Center, located at 419 Barrow in Anchorage, has provided over 4,300 reentrants housing, employment and supportive services in an effort to reduce recidivism and enhance public safety in Alaska.

Thank you Partners Reentry Center for helping Alaskans be successful!

We appreciate you!

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Bethel Inmates Give Back To Community

Julius Pleasant takes a break from teaching an Anger Management class at the Geo Group Tundra Center that houses Alaska Department of Corrections inmates to share how justice involved individuals are giving back to the community of Bethel, AK and the surrounding villages.

Projects such as handmade kuspuks, blankets and afghans are distributed to village elders, Alzheimer’s patients, disabled veterans, and expectant mothers.

We are so proud of him for leading these efforts.

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Feed Me Hope Culinary Art School Graduation

This is Bill Bass, a Alaska Department of Corrections & Cordova Center resident who just graduated last night from the Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center Feed Me Hope Culinary Art School.

Bill was part of the first (12 week) class in this program that taught food preparation/cooking and also included life skills training. He had his first interview last week at a local restaurant.

Bill told us that the class gave him focus, but that more importantly these people became his family.

Six Alaska Department of Corrections residents at Cordova Center are being interviewed for the next class.

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