AK DOC Today

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

Op-ed: Kindness for children with an incarcerated parent

From the Juneau Empire: “Lemon Creek Correctional Center recently implemented a program called New Chapter, to support loving communication between incarcerated parents and their children. Incarcerated parents can record a video of themselves reading a book, poem or letter to send to their child. Because of the size of Alaska, children may be located too far from their incarcerated parent to be able to visit in person.”

Read more: https://www.juneauempire.com/life/kindness-for-children-with-an-incarcerated-parent/

Lemon Creek COs complete investigator course

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Congratulations to the 21 Lemon Creek Correctional officers who recently attended and became certified Institutional Investigators.

The two day, 16-hour Institutional Investigator class was designed to provide correctional officers investigative guidelines, knowledge, and skills in order to affect prosecutable criminal cases and to assist Alaska State Troopers and DOC Investigators to properly preserve, document, and investigate crimes within DOC institutions.

Besides a written examination, investigators had to develop a plan to properly preserve and document the scene, and properly seize all of the potential evidence.

Some of the feedback from the students included:

“Best class I have taken in 10 years.”

“Very engaging. Kept the topic interesting and the class never became boring.”

“Loved this class!”

“Very interactive. Working through the tough cases was very informative.”

Instructors will be continuing visiting institutions around the state in order to help even more officers learn investigative techniques.

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

KCC helps clean up the community

Ketchikan Correctional Center performed a valuable service project last week. Chaise Peters, Spencer Inkster and Daniel Mann helped Superintendent Mathews rid their area of an invasive weed named Tansy Ragwort. It is toxic and kills livestock and deer if eaten, it overtakes local flora and fauna and removes native plants and appearance.

This is an extremely hard to remove invasive species. But the team from KCC worked extremely hard, and removed weeds from several private properties, and the Alaska State Trooper post and Arrowhead fuel service.

 

 

Meet Pretrial’s new director

This is Jason Whetsell. He’s the new Pretrial Enforcement Division (PED) Director. He’s planning on using his 20-plus years of Alaska law enforcement experience to lead PED and help grow the young division.

Here’s a few things off of this lifelong Alaskan’s resume:

  • 22 years as a police officer, and most of that time with the Anchorage Police Department.
  • SWAT team member
  • K9 handler and instructor
  • Field training officer
  • Interim chief of police for the Cordova Police Department (the town he was born and raised in).
  • Investigator with DOC’s Professional Conduct Unit

See what he had to say about his new role in this interview with KTVA reporter Daniella Rivera: http://www.ktva.com/story/38722705/meet-the-pretrial-enforcement-divisions-new-director

Geri Miller-Fox, who stood up the young division, will be helping Whetsell transition into the position. Her last day will be Sept. 7. In an email announcing her resignation to DOC personnel in early-July, she said: As some of you may know, I have been working on a Ph.D. for the past few years.  My coursework is completed, and the time has now come for me to focus on writing a dissertation.  A dissertation is the equivalent of writing a book, and as you can imagine, it will consume most of my time. For this reason, I’ve made the bittersweet decision to stepdown.”

We’re so grateful for the work Mrs. Miller-Fox did in her time with the Alaska Department of Corrections, and we wish her nothing but the best as she continues to accomplish her academic goals and on all of other future endeavors. Her passion for public service is truly inspiring.

 

Upcoming DOC events

The Department of Corrections is hosting two upcoming educational events. These are both open to staff and the public. We hope you’ll join us.

June 14, 2018 on Facebook Live: In the latest installment of Chit-Chat w/ Commissioner Williams, we’ll be discussing the expanding cannery work-release program and taking a virtual tour of the facility. By tapping into one of Alaska’s resources, DOC will be able to teach job skills and provide employment opportunities to individuals nearing the end of their sentences.

Share the event or post questions on Facebook.

July 23, 2018 at Bear Tooth: The Department of Corrections presents a screening of the documentary, “Breaking the Cycle.” The hour-long film follows the warden of Halden — Norway’s most humane prison that’s showing promising results — tours the U.S. prison system to discuss the importance of rehabilitation in incarceration.

The screening will follow a discussion and Q & A with Commissioner Dean Williams, Wildwood Superintendent Shannon McCloud, and more.

Tickets are $4. They go on sale online and in the box office July 10, 2018. Buy them, here.

More: https://www.facebook.com/events/195405034616625/permalink/195409167949545/

See you there!

 

PED preparing to open Kenai office

“The Pretrial Enforcement Division of the state Department of Corrections began setting up shop in May, five months after offices opened in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Palmer. Along with the Kenai office, new offices are also opening in Bethel and Ketchikan,” the Peninsula Clarion reported.

Read more: http://www.peninsulaclarion.com/news/local/2018-06-01/criminal-justice-reform-comes-home-new-pretrial-enforcement-office-opens-kenai

From PED: Officers arrest defendant for VCOR, discover stolen weapon

Last week, Palmer Pretrial Enforcement Officers were contacted by a community member who said a pretrial defendant was threatening him. The officers encouraged the man to contact the Wasilla Police Department to file a formal report; meanwhile, DOC’s pretrial officers were able to follow-up with the defendant, per the defendant’s release conditions set by a judge.

When the pretrial officers arrived at the defendant’s home for field contact, they discovered a stolen pistol in the garage, and another loaded pistol in the defendant’s bedroom and several other deadly weapons. Per release conditions, the defendant was not allowed to possess any firearms.

The pretrial officers arrested the defendant for violating his release conditions, and the stolen weapon was handed over to Wasilla police.

In Alaska, pretrial defendants have always gotten out on bail. But with the creation of the Pretrial Enforcement Division, individuals released on bail are now being supervised by law enforcement. Thank you to the pretrial officers for their quick response and for helping to build a safer Alaska.

Officers support Special Olympics athletes in Torch Run

In 1981, the first Special Olympics Torch Run took place in Kansas. More than 30 years later, law enforcement officers from across the U.S. hit the road again this year to raise money for the nonprofit.

From Nome to Kodiak, the Alaska Law Enforcement Torch Run and Pledge Drive took place simultaneously in 14 Alaska communities to support more than 2,000 Special Olympics Alaska athletes.

And all of the money raised here stays right here in the Last Frontier.

Let’s hear it for all of the officers across the country who took time to participate and to support our neighbors!