AK DOC Today

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

State Fair focus of DOC recruitment effort

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The Alaska Department of Corrections has again focused on the Alaska State Fair as a venue for recruitment. The DOC Recruitment Team has taken the lead with a great deal of assistance and support from dedicated department volunteers. “Smiling, shaking hands, handing out pens and answering loads of questions about the Department, our hiring practices and the many facilities around the State, our Officers continued to build its positive relationship between the Department and the fair going public,” said Dan Traxinger, recruitment team leader and Training Academy director. The Recruitment Team will be present at an ambitious roster of public events this fall and into 2012.

Security Training completed at Goose Creek Correctional Center

Goose Creek Correctional Center, in cooperation with contractors and instructors of the Neeser Construction Company, recently completed an intense two-week training course designed to prepare future uniformed and maintenance staff to operate and maintain the institution’s state of the art security electronics systems.

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Staff members engaged in classes related to the institution’s surveillance and computer-aided dispatch and communications systems. Staff completing the classes and the final two-day “Stress Test” included:

  • from Goose Creek: Cory Pianko, Assistant Superintendent, and John Yost, Maintenance Superintendent;
  • from Anvil Mountain CC: Lieutenant Lucy Dittmar of A.M.C.C;
  • from Palmer Correctional Centers and Point Mackenzie Correctional Farm: Sergeant Scott Glover, Sergeant John Conant, and Correctional Officer II Greg Steele, Correctional Officer II Jared Pyle, Correctional Officer II Mark Sehl, Correctional Officer II Thomas Leonard, Correctional Officer II Thomas Leonard and Correctional Officer II Freeman Howes.
  • From Anchorage Correctional Complex: Correctional Officer II Lee Pritchett and Correctional Officer II Michael Lovelace.
  • From Spring Creek Correctional Center: Correctional Officer II Brandon Fischer, Correctional Officer II Justin Harrell.
  • from Hiland Mountain Correctional Center: Correctional Officer II Suzie Pyle.
  • Maintenance Specialist Michael Harbaugh and Maintenance Lead Michael Erb

Mr. Pianko and Mr. Yost sincerely thank the Superintendents of the above listed institutions for allowing their staff to attend this vital training and testing of all facets of Goose Creek’s security electronics and future security operations; without the dedication, professionalism and commitment of the above listed staff this crucial mission could not have been completed.

Construction Class a success at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center

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When an opportunity arose, AMCC Education Coordinator Howard Appel developed a construction class which as led to NCCER (National Center for Construction and Research) Core Curriculum certification, which will prove a bonus for inmate graduates seeking employment in the building trades upon their release. “From the demolition of the old Voc-Ed building, which had seen many years of use and harsh weather, to the construction of the new Voc-Ed building the participants have been highly motivated and fully engaged in the project,” said Superintendent Mike Dunham. The inmate trainees constructed a 20X24 foot wood-frame structure built to current building codes. The project was completed in two sections, the first being the framing.

Inmates boost work skills in Habitat for Humanity volunteer effort

A group of inmates from Hiland Mountain Correctional Center have been assisting the Habitat For Humanity Organization with seven building projects in Anchorage. A portion of the group is comprised of women who have completed the Constructions Trades curriculum through the HMCC Inmate Education program. Because of their hard work and enthusiasm, Habitat for Humanity has asked that this collaboration renew through the entire build season, which runs through March 2012. The slide show below shows the work in progress.

Kenai Probation Officers praised for critical support provided in Troopers’ bust of Oxy ring

The Alaska State Troopers offered kudos to the Kenai Probation Office for their assistance in support of a sweeping take-down of a large-scale Oxycontin ring operating on the Kenai Peninsula, with street sales placed at $1.2 million. Specifically cited were:

  • PO II Paul Scott
  • PO II Eric Einerson
  • PO II William Fenske
  • PO III Ruben Foster

The DPP Officers joined three arrest teams during a 12-hour period. “It became immediately obvious that without your assistance, the operation would have been much more difficult,” wrote Col. Keith Mallard of the Alaska State Troopers. “Because of your unique knowledge of local offenders and their associates, each time when we experienced what would normally have been a dead end, you or one of your officers would provide a new location to check. More often than not, the suspect was located because of this.

“Your performance on duty is in the finest tradition of the Department of Corrections and reflects the professional character of the officers of Adult Probations.”

New Probation Officer takes oath in Ketchikan

Probation Officer Kasey Lau was formally sworn in on July 27 at her new post in Ketchikan. She was given the oath by Ketchikan Superior Court Judge Trevor Stephens.

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PO I Lau graduated from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in social work and form Muskegon Community College in Muskegon, Michigan with an associate’s degree in science and arts with a major in criminal justice. Officer Lau’s prior experience includes managing a professional hospital security department for eight years, and helping with a community’s emergency management disaster preparedness events and training.

Officer Lau is new to Southeast Alaska having lived previously in Wasilla.

Spring Creek Marks 10 years of Youthful Offenders Program

2011 marked the 10th anniversary of Spring Creek Correctional Center’s Youthful Offender Program and the 10th graduating class from Spring Creek High School. To date, over 400 inmates have participated in YOP, with 163 high school and 19 GED graduates.

This year’s graduation also marked the retirement of Spring Creek High School Principal Wayne Young. Principal Young was instrumental in the design of the YOP, working with DOC to build an individually structured, holistic program giving youthful offenders an opportunity to rehabilitate within a secure environment. Program objectives include high school completion for inmates up to 22 years of age, vocational certification, correspondence college courses, substance abuse and anger management education and/or treatment.

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New Principal Monica Hinders joined YOP in June. A former teacher, school counselor and district-wide assessment coordinator, Principal Hinders was most recently a PO II at Spring Creek and brings a solid understanding of DOC practices to her enthusiasm and experience as an educator.

Information on the YOP, along with inmate waiver, transfer and enrollment in Spring Creek High School is available electronically. Please contact Spring Creek PO III Clif Simons if you believe inmates at your facility may benefit and wish to participate.