AK DOC Today

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

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.

Dan’s 20

Dan Delapino

From left to right: Kathee Luth, Ronald Taylor, Daniel Delapino, Cris Sanders and Stephanie Reese

Daniel Delapino with the Interstate Compact Office was recognized for 20 years of State service. The last 14 years have been with the Department of Corrections working in the Interstate Compact office, as well as Anchorage Probation.

Pictured at the Interstate Office & Presentence Unit in Anchorage: Kathee Luth, Ronald Taylor, Daniel Delapino, Cris Sanders and Stephanie Reese. Shannon Watson was in attendance but not pictured.

Departments of Corrections, Labor and Workforce Development Nurture Cooperative Environment

The Department of Corrections and Department of Labor and Workforce Development have been increasing collaborative efforts, with the goal of easing released offenders back into the workplace and a more productive future. Here are some of the ways the two departments are working together:

The DOL’s Central Region Manager met with Deputy Commissioner Carmen Gutierrez, Director Ron Taylor, and two AmeriCorps representatives to discuss how AmeriCorps members might work within the regional job centers on job development and services for Prisoner Reentry.

Anchorage Business Connection staff met with the Alaska Prisoner Reentry Task Force at their Employment Workgroup Meeting. The meeting was chaired by Melissa Abrami, Project Coordinator and attendees included Beth Leschper (DOL-WD), Gary Olsen (DOC), John Hakala (Federal Apprenticeship), and Ruth Schoenleben (Nine Star). Participants were updated on the status of six strategies to improve access to employment for individuals with criminal records exiting correctional facilities.

Recently, Anchorage Business Connection staff conducted a Seafood Orientation at Goose Creek Correctional Center. This is part of an effort to assist inmates with employment in the seafood industry after incarceration. DOL-WD is training the DOC Education Coordinator to conduct the Seafood Orientations so she can provide them monthly to inmates nearing release.

God Behind Bars Collaborative Effort of Chaplaincy Office

God Behind Bars (GBB) is a program that began approximately three years ago in Nevada and has rapidly spread to prisons in Oklahoma, Colorado, and now in Alaska. The program consists of four parts. Part one is an HD presentation of a church service from Central Christian Church of Las Vegas NV. This church (seventh largest in USA) shares their service with over 30,000 people every week both in person, on line, and in campuses throughout the US and over 30 countries. Beginning September 28 the services are now shown at Hiland Mountain CC on Friday evenings to over 100 inmates each night. Central Christian Church has partnered with a local Anchorage church, Faith Christian Community and is sharing their services on a part time basis.

Part two of GBB is the introduction of Celebrate Recovery, a 12 step program similar to the AA 12-step program. Celebrate Recovery not only targets drug and alcohol addiction but is very successful in addressing all hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Celebrate Recovery is scheduled to begin at Hiland CC in November this year.

Part three of GBB centers around helping inmates gain job skills while still in prison to be useful in gaining employment once they are released. Partnering with existing programs will be the goal in this area since Alaska, unlike other states, already has many programs addressing this need.

Part four of GBB emphasizes the importance of helping inmates immediately upon their release. Partnering with the Alaska Prisoner Re-entry Task Force is paramount. As was true with part three, Alaska is ahead of other states and is fortunate to have this task force. GBB has already made this connection and will be bringing ideas that have worked in other states to the table.

One of the greatest attributes of this program is that it runs at no cost to the state. It is directed totally by volunteers and donations. It partners with local churches, Alaskan Correctional Ministries and other concerned individuals.