AK DOC Today

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

Listen: What role is DOC play in the criminal justice system?

Commissioner Williams joined Justice Alaska co-hosts Senior Judge Elaine Andrews and Shelly Wozniak, to take a look at life “behind the walls” of Alaska’s prisons.

Click the link below to learn more about what role the correctional system plays in the criminal justice system, what DOC is doing to lower the recidivism rate, and much more.

Take a listen: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2018/05/11/commissioner-dean-williams-on-alaska-department-of-corrections/

‘Cultivating a Positive Future’ at PMCF

Take a look at the new sign at the Point Mackenzie Correctional Farm. The sign was custom made by inmates, who even chose the slogan — “Cultivating a Positive Future.”

To pick the slogan, inmates got to submit suggestions and then vote.

The hand carved wooden bear was completed right before the Palmer Correctional Center shutdown and has now found it’s place at the farm.

Meet the GCCC Employee of the Year

Officer Angela Lincoln started her career with the State of Alaska Department of Corrections on May 15, 2014 at Goose Creek Correctional Center. She was voted employee of the month by her peers for her vigilance of constantly being watchful of potential dangers and threats within her area of work. Her dedication to DOC and to the facility she works at has not gone unnoticed — from arriving on time everyday, to finishing the tasks presented to her, to giving 110 percent every time.

Please join us in congratulating Correctional Officer Lincoln as the facilities employee of the year.

Sobering Center’s first months show success in alcohol treatment

“Alaska Department of Corrections Commissioner Dean Williams toured the center Tuesday morning and said he was incredibly pleased with the effort he’s seen on this project. 

‘I’m super excited about this place because this is about the best story there is about how a community has come together,’ Williams said. ‘This is the best thing that has happened in this particular effort in my two years as commissioner.’

Before Fairbanks had such a facility, emergency responders would often take intoxicated people to Fairbanks Correctional Center or to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, neither of which are designed to be sobering centers,'” the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Read more: http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/sobering-center-s-first-months-show-success-in-alcohol-treatment/article_053aa166-5362-11e8-b378-0788cbc1eb99.html

Governor Walker sings proclamations recognizing COs and Nurses

This week is a big week for DOC, its National Correctional Officers Week and National Nurses Week. Both roles are critical to the daily functions of each of our facilities and to public safety.

Yesterday, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed proclamations that recognize the hard work these men and women do day in and day out.

Thank you to all of our COs and nurses. The work you do does not go unnoticed. We’re thankful for your dedication to serving Alaskans.

Spring Creek CO receives DOC Life Saving Award

Today, we’re recognizing a Spring Creek correctional officer recently awarded a life saving award for his work.

Here are the details of his well-deserved recognition:

TO: Correctional Officer II Darren Withrow
FOR: Exceptionally Meritorious Service while attempting to save the life of a prisoner during a suicide attempt at Spring Creek Correctional Center on 08/21/2017. Officer Withrow’s rapid response and dedication to duty was evidenced when a prisoner was found hanging and unresponsive in his cell. Multiple correctional officers and staff responded to the module to render aid to the prisoner. During this time, it was found that Officer Darren Withrow, demonstrated efficient and purposeful attempts to save the prisoner’s life. Officer Withrow cut the prisoner down, quickly removed the ligature from his neck, and began to take complete charge of the situation by coordinating the life-saving efforts. Officer Withrow called for emergency medical responders, continued to perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation, oversaw the application of the automated external defibrillator, and the extraction of the prisoner. The expedient work and direction by Officer Withrow with responding staff is evidenced by the fact it was only six minutes from the time the prisoner was discovered, to the time he was transported out to an ambulance. Through the coordinated efforts and direction of Officer Withrow, expedient efforts were demonstrated in attempting to save a prisoner’s life. Correctional Officer II Withrow’s outstanding performance of duty is in keeping with the finest traditions of the Alaska Department of Corrections and reflects great credit upon himself, the Department and the State of Alaska.

Watch Ofc. Withrow receive his award: https://www.facebook.com/AlaskaDOC/videos/2062020617392822/


Inmates prepare for work at Kenai cannery

“Since Wildwood began allowing selected groups of inmate volunteers to hold jobs at Kenai’s fish processors in 2012, the inmates have been bused daily between the prison and their workplaces. When the work-release inmates go to work at the canneries this year, they’ll be living under electronic monitoring in dormitories on-site. Room and board costs will be paid from their wages.

Inmates in the last year of their sentence can apply to work 12-14 hour shifts at the canneries. Those who pass a screening test earn minimum wage plus overtime. The program had 20 participants its first year, and has had up to 50 participants since, said Wildwood Superintendent Shannon McCloud,” the Peninsula Clarion reported.

Read more: http://peninsulaclarion.com/news/2018-05-03/worker-inmates-be-housed-kenai-cannery

Officers confiscate 100-plus Tramadol pills at Mat-Su Pretrial

Thanks to the due diligence of correctional officers at Mat-Su Pretrial, 157 Tramadol pills were collected as evidence last Thursday. The officers discovered the pills during a shakedown of a housing unit. Alaska State Troopers took possession the pills.

Discoveries like this one are critical to ensuring the safety of staff and other inmates. We thank our officers for their hard work and dedication to serving Alaskans.

This incident is currently under investigation by DOC’s Professional Conduct Unit (PCU). When illicit drugs are discovered in one of our facilities, PCU works with other law enforcement agencies to build cases that go after drug traffickers.

Hiland inmate pleads guilty to charges for distributing fentanyl

U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that an Anchorage woman, who is an inmate at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center (HMCC), pleaded guilty to distributing fentanyl to other inmates while in prison.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted the investigation, with assistance from DOC’s Professional Conduct Unit, which led to the charges in this case.


Kodiak event celebrates reentry successes

On March 16, 2018 PO III Jill Bunting and the Kodiak Area Mentor Program (KAMP) teamed up to hold the Second Annual Reentry Recognition Kodiak event at the Roy H. Madsen Justice Center in Kodiak, Alaska.

This year’s program started with Department of Corrections recognizing Threshold Recycling for their partnership in employing one of the speakers as an intern at their facility. Threshold Recycling has been a partner with Department of Corrections for decades as a community work service location. Last year Threshold took their involvement to the next level by employing one of the speakers as an intern and subsequently as a paid employee. Through this work experience, the individual was able to obtain full time employment at a local business. This individual had not previously worked for many years and at the time she started probation, she was not confident in her ability to obtain and maintain employment at all. Through the partnership with Threshold, this individual has returned to the workforce which has enriched her life financially and socially.

Thank you, Threshold Recycling!

Two local employers were also recognized for their partnership in reentry efforts. However, they humbly wished to remain anonymous, expressing the desire to continue to assist this population with no recognition.

Probation Officer Bunting presented their certificates of appreciation to Teresa Slaughter, Executive Director of Kodiak Area Mentor Program, to present to the employers privately.

Before the speakers took the podium, Probation Officer Bunting recognized Teresa Slaughter for her service as Kodiak Area Mentor Program founder and Executive Director. Teresa is leaving the island and her position will be taken over by Jonathan Strong.

Teresa, in partnership with Probation Officer Bunting, founded the Kodiak Area Mentor Program in May 2014. Since then the program has grown into a nonprofit networking organization that assists people through faith-based mentoring relationships in the Kodiak Jail, in the community, and through letter writing to individuals in prison.

Probation Officer Bunting began the next part of the program with an explanation of how this event to recognize reentry successes began in 2017 and how speakers are selected. The genesis of this event arose from a desire to recognize some individuals who, through their hard work and determination, have experienced successful completion of probation and far beyond that goal. This recognition has also proved valuable to the Court, law enforcement, the legal community and others who have interacted with these individuals and been a part of their journey. The qualifications to be a speaker at this event were: successful completion of probation, no criminal matters pending, employment, housing, transportation and living a changed life. Probation Officer Bunting emphasized that although public speaking is not comfortable for everyone, each of the speakers has an important message for the community and this is a skill that can help them communicate this. She explained that the speakers were invited months ago and coached by Kodiak Area Mentor Program mentors and other individuals to polish their speeches and make the most of the short time they had at the podium.

Four speakers told moving stories of how they worked to achieve sobriety and how their experiences have impacted their friends and families. Each speaker was given three minutes to address Judge Steve Cole and the members of the audience that packed the courtroom. They told their stories of recovery and victory over substance abuse. They recognized the people in their lives that helped them in their journey. Each speaker was presented with a Certificate of Achievement by Probation Officer Bunting.

Two of the four speakers have been participants in the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program (TBRA) while on probation supervision and through their success in that program they were able to qualify to receive other program assistance and have their own apartments.

After the speeches were presented the floor was turned over to Judge Cole who spoke to the audience and speakers about how moved he was at hearing each individual’s presentation.   Afterward, a reception was held with cookies, coffee and conversation where members of the audience could talk with the speakers individually and learn more about them.