AK DOC Today

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

Meet Assistant Superintendent Marianna Miranda : How the DOC crew got their start in public service

Did you miss our #tbt from last week on Facebook?  We introduced Assistant Superintendent Marianna Miranda from Spring Creek Correctional Center. She’s worked at the Seward prison since 1995, but before that she thought she might take a different path.

In 1986, she attended school in Hawaii studying Travel Industry Management.

“That is when I was introduced to all things Aloha and fell in love with the place, traditions, food and especially the people. Going to school in Hawaii was and is such a huge part of who I am still to this day. I thoroughly enjoyed college and my time there. I thought it was the most perfect place on earth and still do vacationing with my family there as much as possible,” she explained.

(She even married her husband on a Kona beach.)

When she returned home to Alaska, she worked in the travel industry in Anchorage. She says she “stumbled” into her law enforcement career while working at a hotel in Valdez. The chief of police had an opening for a dispatcher and convinced her to apply.

“The Valdez Police Department was such a positive and supportive bunch to work with that soon I had the confidence to apply and work as a jailer for the City of Seward’s Jail. While working for the Valdez Police Department I attended the Departments Correctional Academy.”

A few years later, she moved to Seward and worked at the local jail until she started her career at Spring Creek.

“The rest is as they say, history,” Marianna said. “I didn’t plan a career in corrections or law enforcement for that matter, but I’m proud to have been given the opportunity to work with so many talented and dedicated individuals along the way.”

Thank you for your dedication to Alaskans, Marianna. We’re grateful for everyday of your service to this department, this state, and your community.

Are you a DOC employee interested in sharing your public service story? If so, email public information officer Megan Edge at megan.edge@alaska.gov.

 

Spring Creek donates fire engine to honor Virginia Ingersoll

In honor of Virginia Gail Ingersoll, Spring Creek inmates created this replica of the Moose Pass Fire Department’s fire engine.

Ingersoll was the board president of the Moose Pass Fire Department, and volunteered there, as well. Ingersoll was a dedicated public servant and member her community. On May 2, she passed away.

She’ll forever be missed.

In Spring Creek running program, COs and inmates run side-by-side

“Early one morning in the yard at Spring Creek Correctional Center, an inmate approached Sgt. Justin Ennis. A group of fifteen men incarcerated at the institution had just completed an hour-long run around the yard, part of a program that gives inmates an opportunity to leave their cells early for a morning jog alongside correctional officers.”

Learn more in this story by the Seward Journal: https://www.sewardjournal.com/news/local/officers-inmates-run-side-by-side-at-spring-creek/article_7bea9ba0-a08c-11e8-b8c6-9b10dbb2edfe.html#utm_campaign=blox&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

Listen: Prison art market has its limits

“Spring Creek Correctional Center has a unique legal internal economy. The inmates run a prison store that sells food, hygiene items, and clothing. Profits from the store stay inside the facility and are divided up between nine different funds, including one that provides equipment for the hobby shop.”

Learn more about the hobby shop by listening to this story from the Solutions Desk at Alaska Public Media. Click, here: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2018/08/08/prison-art-market-has-its-limits/

Listen: Philanthropic horticulturists and other prison community leaders

“The flow of money inside Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward and the way it’s used to meet community needs is surprisingly similar to the world outside of the prison walls, even down to the donut sales to raise money for a good cause.

At the heart of that economy is the prison store, where inmates can buy everything from $1 frozen burrito to a $15 bag of coffee along with bars of soap and new underwear. Think of it as the one store in a small Alaska village.”

Learn more about the Spring Creek economy in this story from Alaska Public Media: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2018/08/01/philanthropic-horticulturists-and-other-prison-community-leaders/

 

 

 

Listen: When prisoners own the store, everyone profits

“But for the past three years, all of the profits from the store have been reinvested in the prison to buy things like equipment for the gym and hobby shop and microwaves for the housing areas. Inmates vote to donate some of the funds to charities outside of the prison, too.”

Learn about the unique prison co-op at Spring Creek, and the sense of purpose and pride it gives to the institutions residents by listening to this story from the Solutions Desk at Alaska Public Media.

More: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2018/07/25/when-prisoners-own-the-store-everyone-profits/

 

 

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.

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.

The Boots on the Ground BBQ

 

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On Wednesday, August 30, 2017 an event take place in Seward, Alaska that has not happened for a long time. Spring Creek Correctional Officers and Alaska Department of Corrections upper management had a chance to get together for some BBQ and conversation. Commissioner Dean Williams and Deputy Commissioner Clare Sullivan both attended a “Boots On The Ground” BBQ coordinated by officer liaison coordinator Aprelle McCarty.

 

The BBQ was held at the American Legion Post 5 in Seward, and graciously hosted by Michael Calhoon, who put together a pulled pork dinner, with baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad and chips.

 

The event began at 12 p.m., and it was estimated that about 50 officers took part, which is a great showing, considering some of those officers had to wake up early in order to attend before they went to work on nightshift. Other officers had to come down early from Anchorage, or the Soldotna and Kenai area, as they did not begin work until nightshift the next evening.

 

It was great seeing officers from all four shifts visiting and hanging out together, outside of the workplace. The atmosphere was relaxed and informal, which lent itself to some great conversations, ranging from work topics to Mr. Williams sharing about how he got lost leaving the White House. There would be a group of officers sitting with Mr. Williams, as well as another group sitting with Mrs. Sullivan. Sometimes there was laughter and sometimes there were questions about what the future might look like for DOC.

 

It was a successful day, and an excellent opportunity for upper management and some of those who work right in the midst of things to get to know a little bit more about each other, and work toward bringing unity and success to Alaska DOC.

 

Mr. Williams, Mrs. Sullivan, and a couple of officers ended up closing the place around 10:30 p.m. It was agreed that this was a successful event and that hopefully there will be another in the future. Mr. Williams said that he enjoyed it immensely and that it meant a lot to both of them to be able to spend this time with those officers that could attend. Officer McCarty was very grateful to Mr. Williams, Mrs. Sullivan, Mr. Calhoon, and those officers that came out to show support for the “Boots On The Ground” BBQ. She hopes this could help in the efforts to have everyone working together to make Alaska DOC and every institution, an awesome place to work.

A Little Help for Our Friends

First it was the snow. Literally tons of it. Remember January’s blizzard? And remember Seward’s state of emergency? Seward’s senior care facility of Mountain Haven sure does! Spotting the Bat Signal, Superintendent Lapinskas wasted no time sending out his team of community workers, under the supervision of Officer Estes. To begin the daunting task facing them, the prisoners first had to carve up the blizzard’s rooftop dump into 3 ½-foot blocks of snow. Then the shoveling began—and, to her credit, Officer Estes did not stand idly by. The crew was shown much appreciation for their two days of work. They were fed BBQ and pizza lunches and a thank you note, accompanied by home-made banana bread, was later sent to Spring Creek.

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In Alaska, there are about 30 seconds between the time the snow melts and the time of the complete take-over by the weeds and brush. Seward has had long-neglected spots badly in need of some clearing, so this time the entire crew of community-workers have been involved and they’ve gone out repeatedly. And this time they’ve been accompanied by Mr. Lapinskas himself, who has been working right alongside them. He and the prisoners have received a DOT safety briefing and DOT’s requests for help with certain areas around town. Their projects have included the weed-choked area around the cruise ship dock, the heavy brush along the pedestrian-underpass tunnel, and the growth along the sidewalk and the railroad tracks. Most recently, they cleared a scenic turnout on Nash Road, which once again is scenic with a view of Seward across the bay.

Referring specifically to the tunnel project and to the three stages of work performed by Spring Creek, followed by the city, and then the state, DOT manager Kevin Knotek has shown his appreciation in a letter of thanks: “All in all I feel it was an excellent example of interagency cooperation for the betterment of the community. It is my hope that increased policing will follow. Thank you SCCC for your efforts.” You’re very welcome, Seward.

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