AK DOC Today

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

Spring Creek VoTec Cabinet Donated to Seward High School

Spring Creek Correctional Center has developed a strong partnership with the Seward Community. Over the past few months the inmates have been able to donate to Seward High School through fundraisers and hobby craft donations. The Booster club spearheaded by SCCC’s very own Sgt. Brian Morris approached the Vocation Department with a request to build a cabinet for the Athletic Department. SCCC’s newly graduated NCCER Carpentry Level One students built a 60″ x48″ x 24″ cabinet to meet the needs of Seward HS. The cabinet will be put to immediate use for the high school Annual Seward Seahawk Classic! Merchandise will be sold to help support the Athletic Department for years to come. SCCC would like to thank the Seward Booster Club and SCCC Administration for making this all possible. “Measure twice cut once.”

Carved Baleen Donated to Veterans Museum

Stephen “Sonny” Foster is an Inupiaq Native from White Mountain, Alaska. He has two relatives who were in the ATG that he remembers -his great grandfather Alex Ashenfelter and son Roy Ashenfelter. The tribe they are from call themselves the “Fish River Tribe” more than likely because they lived along the Fish River or they named the river after the tribe, no one really knows but it is fitting for them and have carried the name on proudly.

As a child he was introduced to the Native Art of carving and scrimshaw from his elders. They carved to decorate their homes in the winter months. Everyday household items were carved as well as small trinkets that adorned their parkas and sleds. Carving of animals is believed to embody the spirit of the animal. Only in the recent past has Sonny begun to use Baleen as a medium to express his artistic talents. He has previously only used pencil and paper.

Currently he is using the art of scrimshaw as a way to create pieces to honor and memorialize the people of Alaska. The scrimshaw was traditionally done with a sharpened piece of bone from the front shin of either caribou or moose as it is the hardest bone in order to support the animals’ antlers and head. And, since the invention on nails, his people have used sharpened instruments to crate art. His technique of layering dots to create the image he desires is unique and is amazing in its precision.

Sonny says he “really enjoyed doing this piece of art for the ATG and gained happiness through knowing it will bring countless smiles to peoples’ faces when they see it.”

Spring Creek DSST Exams

Spring Creek inmates stand with certificates recognizing their achievement in passing DSST exams. DSST exams are credit-by-examination tests that can be used by non-traditional students as a means of earning college credits. T.I.M.E, an inmate-led club at Spring Creek overseen by President Jerry Douglas OB# 331809, has recently begun sponsoring the exam fee for inmates who wish to take the exam. Additionally, T.I.M.E , has begun amassing a library of text books, allowing inmates to study for and take the exams, who would otherwise not be able to afford it. Education Coordinators at SCCC oversee the library and proctor exams for inmates when they are ready to test. Of the four inmates who have tested, all have passed their exams. To commemorate this achievement and give the students a tangible representation of their accomplishment, I/M Jerry Douglas and I/M Mike Lawson #226446, also a member of T.I.M.E, designed certificates that could be awarded to students after they pass an exam. In the photographs: I/M Keane Crawford # 452346, I/M Jerry Douglas #331809, I/M Michael Adams #420987, and I/M Benjamin Rucker #514531 all hold their certificates.

Spring Creek Share Campaign Silent Auction

Spring Creek Correctional Center held its annual Alaska Share silent auction on November 18th and 19th. Each year, the silent auction has gotten better and better, and this year was no exception . All of the items up for bid were donated by generous staff members and local businesses. Among the many amazing items up for bid this year was a Resurrection Bay Tour with lunch on Fox Island for two people, donated by Kenai Fjord Tours. Pilot and Mental Health Clinician III, Dennis Perry donated an hour long flight-seeing tour on his Cessna 180 float plane. Robert Pack, a CO II at SCCC, donated three halibut fishing trips on his boat. Other items up for bid included beautiful handmade crafts and jams, clothing, knitwear, quilts, and a two night stay in a fully equipped cabin with a hot tub. SCCC would like to thank everyone who donated or bid on items at this year’s silent auction. Because of you, the auction was a huge success, generating over $4300 for the Alaska Share charitable giving campaign!

Auction Items on Display

Items Up For Bid at the Spring Creek 2015 Alaska Share Silent Auction

Spring Creek Awarded by White House

Spring Creek was happy to support the White House Communications Agency during the presidential visit to the City of Seward and the surrounding area by providing needed support for securing sensitive equipment and a vehicle that was used throughout the week immediately preceding and during President Obama’s visit. The President came to Seward to view significant glacier formations in and around the city and in Resurrection Bay as part of his efforts in highlighting the impact of climate change. As Spring Creek Correctional Center has the most secure area for storage in the community this was the ideal location to store and monitor the sensitive items with 24/7 surveillance. As Spring Creek Correctional Center and the Seward Police Department have an excellent working relationship it was an easy assist for the police department and all was secure and readily available when White House Communications Agency staffers came to the facility to obtain their equipment throughout the week.

-Clare Sullivan, Correctional Superintendent

For Angelica: SCCC Inmate Artisans’ Creations To Help Fund Girl’s Healing

Photo of SCCC inmate artisans

From L-R, standing: Randall Smith, David Forster, Anthony Garcia, Kirby Anthoney, seated, Noel Fears, Stephen Foster, Ralph Adams and Leslie Simpson

What can touch the heart more than the plight of a child who has suffered a terrible accident on Christmas Day? On December 25th, 11-year old Angelica lost her legs and her life changed forever. Though the members of SCCC’s Hobby Shop were working at full time to fulfill donation requests for two upcoming local auctions, they stopped everything to help this little girl from Anchor Point. “They had three days to pull it off. And they did. Beautifully,” said SCCC Superintendent Clare Sullivan.

Among the items donated to a fundraising auction for Angelica (held at the Chapman Elementary School in Anchor Point on Sunday, January 18) include: ulu earrings made of mammoth and fossilized walrus tusk by Randall Smith, Tlingit-style salmon symbol in acrylic on canvas by David Forster, totem, eagle paddle with inlays of fossilized walrus ivory, mammoth ivory and abalone, hand-carved by Anthony Garcia, jewelry box with swivel lid and basket, both made from mixed exotic wood by Kirby Anthoney, covered-wagon lamp with clock, made of feathered maple and Alaskan birch, by Kirby Anthoney; “Wolf,” airbrush acrylic on Bristol board, by Noel Fears, four polished baleen bracelets (one with scrimshawed wolves) by Stephen Foster, baleen paddle with scrimshawed sea otter by Stephen Foster; baleen ulu scrimshawed with two figures by Stephen Foster, scrimshaw portrait on baleen and baleen hanging with scrimshawed native drummers by Stephen Foster, beaded cross pendants, beaded-heart with tassel key chains, and beaded earrings, by Ralph Adams; humming bird box, hand carved, by Leslie Simpson, “Medicine Man’ bust, hand carved by Leslie Simpson.

Estimated total retail value: $6,000.

Spring Creek Holds Silent Auction Fundraiser For SHARE

On November 5th and 6th, Spring Creek Correctional Center held a silent auction to benefit the Alaska SHARE charitable giving program. SCCC employees donated a wide variety of items to the auction, ranging from baked goods to hand-knit hats and much more. Owing to both the high quality of auction items and the enthusiasm of bidders, the silent auction was a huge success, raising $1,353 for charity. The annual SCCC pie throwing event followed on November 19 with an additional $310 raised for SHARE. Our sincerest thanks are offered to everyone who participated in these events.

Spring Creek Culinary Apprentice Class Caters Prisoner Banquet

Spring Creek Correctional Center recently conducted a banquet for prisoners and their families. It was a huge success as the Culinary Apprenticeship Program created a wonderful assortment of foods with a regional flair ranging from Filipino to traditional American style foods. Program participants and prisoner volunteers helped organize and prepare this event for over 250 people. It was a was a real testament to the efforts of the apprenticeship students and prisoner volunteers who helped with preparing the food, set up and logistics to run this event in concert with the kitchen staff. Of note is Kitchen Steward Robert Saxon whose talent focused on organizing not only this banquet but previous banquets and moving the apprenticeship program forward. He also orchestrated the highly successful “Iron Chef” competition among the culinary students to challenge the skills they learn in the program. The Spring Creek Program currently has 10 prisoners enrolled and it has graduated numerous prisoners with an AvTec Culinary Certificate over the past several years. This is a particularly noteworthy effort as Spring Creek continues to move forward in one of the facility’s missions of promoting rehabilitative programming for its population of long term sentenced felons.

Employee of the Year Honored at Spring Creek

Photo of Amy Komarek and son with Superintendent Clare Sullivan and Director Bryan Brandenburg

Amy Komarek and son with Superintendent Clare Sullivan and Director Bryan Brandenburg

On Friday, June 20, 2014, the Employee Assistance Program at Spring Creek Correctional Center held a luncheon at Peking Restaurant to honor Employee of the Year, Amy Komarek. In attendance were Director Bryan Brandenburg, Criminal Justice Planner Johnnie Wallace and Chaplaincy Program Coordinator Jim Duncan, who graciously drove down to Seward to attend. The luncheon had a large turn-out, with many in attendance bringing their children, lending to a festive family-friendly atmosphere. Director Brandenburg and Superintendent Sullivan both addressed the audience with rousing speeches and Mary Sandy of the Employee Assistance Program presented Amy with her awards.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at Spring Creek Correctional Center (SCCC) would like to thank everyone who donated gifts this year: Alaska Sealife Center, American Legion Post 5, Apollo Restaurant, Bear Lake Lodgings B&B, Inc., City Express, Petro 49 Inc., Hotel Seward/Gene’s Place, Kenai Fjords Tours, Peking Restaurant, Resurrect Art Coffee House Gallery, Seward Chamber of Commerce, Seward Volunteer Fire Department, Sip N Spin, Stylin’ Stitches, and The Sea Bean Cafe.

— Assistant Superintendent Bobby Lockeby

Spring Creek Honors 25-Year-Plus Veteran Employees

Photo of GCCC SPOT graduates

Electrician Journey Tom Sawyer, Maintenance Foreman Byron Loomis, Correctional Officer III Terry Quiring, Correctional Officer III Carey Quiring. Not pictured: Office Assistant II Patti Johnson and Correctional Officer II Ferdinand Braun

Spring Creek Correctional Center offers its thanks and gratitude to the six dedicated individuals who have been here since the doors opened, or in a few cases, even before they were built. Maintenance Foreman, Byron Loomis, and Electrician Journey, Tom Sawyer, were both integral to the construction of the facility, Loomis as labor foreman and Sawyer as an electrician. They became full time employees of SCCC after construction was finished, and the facility opened in 1988. Braun, Johnson, and the Quirings all started work that same year. Terry Quiring and Carey Quiring (then Fillingim) met at the prison and married in 1994. Thank you for your years of continued service!

— Assistant Superintendent Bobby Lockeby