AK DOC Today

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

Colleen Patrick-Riley Retires After 26 Years

Dan Fishel

Patrick-Riley, center is honored by Deputy Commissioners Ron Taylor, left, and Leslie Houston, right.

After 26 years with the State of Alaska – all served as a steadfast advocate for the mentally ill – Mental Health Clinician III Colleen Patrick-Riley will retire. Her last day with the department is October 31st. “She has worked long hours, participated in countless committees, work groups & boards,” said medical director Laura Brooks. “She has helped build programs, change policy and drive services that improve the outcomes of mentally ill offenders releasing from DOC custody. She is tireless, dedicated, creative, and as hard working as they come.”

Supervisors, Section Chiefs, Directors meet in Palmer for 3-Day Conference

Close to 90 Superintendents, Probation Supervisors, Section Chiefs, Directors and Command Staff met at the Palmer Academy large conference room October 8-10. Keynote speaker was Dianne Blumer, Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The group heard from presenters on leadership and children of incarcerated parents. Other topics included overviews of Administrative Services with a budget update, ACOMS, Institutional Health Care, Facilities, Threat Groups, PREA, evidence-based practices, policies and procedures, continuity of operations, and strategic planning.

Staff Trio Mark End of Summer with Klondike Trail of 98 International Road Relay Run

Team Picture

Lt. Ken Hoff (far right) stands for a team picture (The Metcalfes) prior to the Klondike Relay

Sherrie Daigle running the Klondike

Sherrie Daigle runs the 8th Stage, on the Klondike Highway in Yukon, Canada

Klondike starting line

Starting line of the Klondike Road Relay in Skagway, Alaska

Three Department of Corrections employees participated Sept. 6-7 in the annual Klondike Trail of 98 International Road relay, 110 miles from the starting line in downtown Skagway to the finish line in downtown Whitehorse, Yukon. Interestingly, all three DOC runners participated in the same leg: 12.4-mile Stage 8 (Emerald Lake). LCCC Lt. Ken Hoff completed the stage in 2:20.22 while Criminal Justice Planner Sherrie Daigle finished the stage in 2:21.34. Micro/Network Specialist Philip Rosen marked a time of 1:36.05 and finished 11th overall for the stage.

Inmate Artist Designs T-Shirts for Relay For Life Events

The Relay for Life T-Shirt project is an annual fund-raiser for cancer research and for victims of cancer in its various forms. The original designs of inmate artist John R Rice are posted here. “For me, this is partially about thinking outside the octagon; everything we do or do not do often has an immediate impact on our surroundings. We in prison are isolated from the world, but we can still make a difference,” said inmate Rice, regarding this project.

DOC Participates in Alaska Law Enforcement Torch Run

The Department of Corrections joined other agencies and citizens to participate in the Alaska Law Enforcement Torch Run, Pledge Drive and 5K Run and Walk in support of Special Olympics Alaska. This event, held on May 18th, is traditionally the largest simultaneous multi-community running event held in Alaska. This year’s goal was raising over $100,000 for Special Olympics Alaska. Communities holding events include: Anchorage, Barrow, Delta Junction, Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-Su, Seward, Sitka, and Valdez.

Orchestrated by the Alaska law enforcement community, the Torch Run is open to both law enforcement officers and the general public. Walkers, runners, joggers, strollers and roller bladers are welcome. This event supports training and competition programs for over 2,000 Alaskan athletes with intellectual disabilities.

This year was supposed to be the first annual bus pull, but due to snowy weather the bus pull didn’t occur. Instead many participants stopped in to inspect and tour the department’s new prisoner transport bus.

— Jimmie Wallace

Department Begins Use of State-of-the-Art Transport Buses

New DOC Buses

40-passenger bus

Goose Creek Correctional Center and the Central Transportation Unit has taken possession of four new transportation buses. For many years the Central Transportation Unit has used retrofitted school buses with installed cages to transport prisoners throughout the state. While still road worthy, those buses were reaching the end of their expected lifetimes,and were better suited to short trips.

The new buses were special ordered from International, and while they have the look of a traditional school bus, nothing about them is ordinary. Two are 40 passenger buses and the other two are 26 passenger. They have all of the equipment necessary for safe and secure transports; they come equipped with a segregation cell, back up cameras, individual compartment video cameras with microphone, ALMR radios, weapon storage containers, LED lighting, full one piece rubber floors for easy clean up, molded plastic chairs with drain holes and D-rings for shackling unruly inmates. There is storage in the rear compartment and under storage for property boxes. Every aspect of the new vehicles was carefully thought out by Deputy Director Lee Sherman with an eye to the future of inmate transports in Alaska.

At the time of publication, these vehicles will have been used on two airlifts, bringing inmates from the Anchorage Airport to Goose Creek, as well as trips to FCC and WWCC. They are also being used for trips between the Mat-Su Valley and Anchorage. The Officers who drive these on a daily basis have a lot of pride in this new equipment.

— Jimmie Wallace

Probation Officers Linda Gerber, Dean Fritz Mark Retirement

Probation Officers Linda Gerber and Dean Fritz have announced their retirement. PO Fritz began his career as a Juvenile Probation Officer in 1995, moving in 1996 to the Department of Corrections as an Adult Probation Officer at Palmer Correctional Center, where he later promoted to Probation Supervisor. Staff at PCC will mark Dean’s retirement on Thursday, April 25th at 11:30 am- 1 pm. PO Gerber also began as a Juvenile PO before moving to the Department of Corrections where she served at the Anchorage Probation Office, Hiland Mountain and most recently at the Colorado Unit. Linda’s retirement will be celebrated at ACC-East on Friday, April 26th, at 2 pm.

Department Recruitment Team gears up for 2013 effort

Governor Parnell with Sam Marsh and Rod Ramirez

Sergeants (Correctional Officer III) Sammy Marsh and Rod Ramirez appear with Governor Sean Parnell at the department’s recruitment booth at the AFN Convention in 2012. The Department of Corrections Recruitment Team has been a presence at job fairs around the state. In FY 2012, the team processed 74 percent of the department’s applications and background investigations. The recruitment team is based at the DOC Training Academy in Palmer.

2013 Governor’s Denali Peak Performance Award Nomination Period Has Begun

The nomination period for the 2013 Governor’s Denali Peak Performance Awards is now open. The last day nominations can be submitted is January 31, 2013. This is an exceptional opportunity to help build an atmosphere of recognition and appreciation for the hard work and outstanding performance of Peak Performers in the Department of Corrections.

Please consider nominating one of the many exceptional employees that work alongside you. Nominations may be made for any state employee.

Nominations are accepted in the following categories:

  • COWORKER RECOGNITION (Awarded to an individual who supports his or her coworkers, coaches or mentors peers, personifies the spirit of the division/office/section; serves as a model of excellence for coworkers on a daily basis.)
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE – TEAM (Awarded to a team (two or more) or individual who will be recognized for prompt, courteous service to the public that is well beyond the call of duty)
  • EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE – TEAM (Awarded to a team or individual that was critical in the achievement of a department objective such as improvement in productivity, cost savings, and was original and/or creative and/or used an innovative or novel approach to delivering this objective)
  • LEADERSHIP (Awarded to an individual who exhibited exceptional leadership in pursuit of a department objective.)
  • CRISIS RESPONDER – TEAM (Awarded to an individual or team who, by responding in a crisis, demonstrated effectiveness, determination and cooperation in the presence of an element of risk.)


You can review the criteria for each category HERE.

The Denali Awards web page is HERE.

Nominations must be made on the official nomination form for the appropriate award category. Each nomination should be submitted to your respective DIVISION DIRECTOR, unless you work at a correctional facility or probation field office, in which case your nomination should go to the SUPERINTENDENT or FIELD OFFICE SUPERVISOR. If you work for the Board of Parole, submit your nomination to the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

You can download an example of a completed nomination form HERE.

There’s a list of 2012 winners HERE.

To contact the Department Representative, CLICK HERE.

Download the Denali Awards poster for your office.