AK DOC Today

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

Pretrial partners with Cordova and Eyak

The Cordova Police Department, the Native Village of Eyak and the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC) are officially collaborating to ensure public safety and enforcement of individuals who’ll be placed on pretrial supervision, following the launch of the department’s Pretrial Enforcement Division in January 2018.

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, DOC stood side-by-side city officials, and Eyak tribal leaders for the signing of the community’s jail contract. The contract is increasing by $19,401 to help supplement the Cordova Police Department in their efforts to assist DOC’s Pretrial Enforcement Division with assessments, the monitoring of individuals placed on pretrial supervision, and diversion programs.

“The agreement with Cordova is particularly exciting because the Pretrial Enforcement Division is partnering with the Cordova Police Department and the Native Village of Eyak,” Pretrial Enforcement Division Director Geri Fox said. “Defendants who are on pretrial release will now have someone from the Cordova Police Department staff who will check on the individual if they’re released on bail pending trial.”

Cordova will also be expanding substance abuse treatment options in the community and the Cordova Police Department will be partnering with treatment providers to help connect defendants to substance abuse treatment.

“This is a unique model that clearly puts the badge behind treatment,” Fox said. “The goal is to not only assist with early intervention, but then to also hold individuals accountable if they fail to follow through with the conditions of release ordered by the court.”

Communities everywhere reap greater benefits when state and local agencies can work together. For DOC and its pretrial division, partnering with law enforcement across Alaska was a natural and logical step. Partnerships with local law enforcement agencies will help identify and solve local challenges, as well as it will help ensure that this new criminal justice function supports the department’s public safety priorities, and helps build a stronger and safer Alaska.

Cordova is the second community to partner with the state in this effort, however others are expected to officially join in coming weeks. Conversations to explore possible partnerships with other Alaska communities are ongoing.

Mat-Su Pretrial staff honored at Palmer Elks Lodge banquet

On October 21, 2017, the following Mat-Su Pretrial (MSPT) staff were honored at the annual Palmer Elks Lodge Law, Order and Safety Banquet.

Officer Les McMichael was awarded MSPT Officer of the Year.

Les McMichael started with the Alaska Department of Corrections (DOC) in 1996 at the Spring Creek Correctional Center (SCCC). In 1999, he transferred to Cook Inlet Pretrial (CIPT). In 2008, he transferred to Mat-Su Pretrial.

Lt. Jan Jenski had this to say about Ofc. Les McMichael: “It is not the badges or the uniforms that maintain the stability in a facility such as MSPT, it is Officers like Les McMichael. Les has earned a reputation for being approachable, being kind and listening to people.”

SSgt. Ken Roediger was awarded MSPT Sergeant of the Year.

Ken Roediger started with DOC in 2004 at SCCC. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2014 at MSPT and became a shift supervisor.

SSgt. Roediger is an excellent leader, trainer and mentor. He treats the prisoners with respect.

One of his officers stated the following: “He is patient when it comes to everything that he does, from training Officers to dealing with inmates. The public, inmates and officers are safe when he is on shift.”

Nurse II Alex Miroshnick was awarded MSPT Medical Staff Member of the Year.

Alex started with DOC in 2000 at CIPT. He transferred to ACC in 2011 and ACO in 2013, where he worked for five months as a relief nurse.

In September 2013, Alex transferred to MSPT.

Alex is one of the most caring and compassionate people you can come across. He deals with emergencies with confidence and a calm demeanor. He treats the prisoner population with compassion, professionalism and consistency.

Each one of these staff members are an important part of the team here at MSPT. We are thankful we get to work with such talented and dedicated staff.

You are an asset to MSPT and the Department of Corrections. Thank you for all you do!

— Acting Superintendent Sheri Olsen

Fairbanks COs awarded first Commissioner’s Awards

Three Fairbanks correctional officers received the first ever Commissioner’s Awards last week.

On June 19, 2017, Staff Sergeant Mark Benoit, and Officers James Beaudreault and Daniel Welch worked together to coordinate surveillance efforts and report a suspicious vehicle and suspect on the Fairbanks Correctional Center’s premises to local law enforcement.

This information greatly assisted law enforcement’s pursuit of an armed suspect located in the wood line surrounding the facility.
Through the direction of Staff Sergeant Benoit to his officers and timely communication with local law enforcement the incident was brought to a safe conclusion.

Thank you for your dedicated service to this state.

 

Commissioner Williams visits Southwest fish processing plant, explores possibilities

Earlier this week, Commissioner Dean Williams had the opportunity to visit a fish processing plant in Ekuk, just outside of Dillingham, with the facility’s owner, Jerry Hall, and PO Rexford Spofford. Commissioner Williams is exploring the idea of allowing inmates, near the end of their sentence, an opportunity to work at the camp during the fishing season.

Employment remains an important strategy to reduce the high recidivism rate of returning citizens.

Can Alaska learn from Norway’s ‘radically humane’ prisons?

Commissioner Dean Williams recently visited Norway, with other Alaska leaders, to see what the Scandinavian country’s prison system does different. Read about a few of his takeaways, here: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/crime-courts/2017/10/10/can-alaska-learn-from-norways-radically-humane-prisons/

Ketchikan inmates learn about marine safety

Inmates at the Ketchikan Correctional Center recently took part in Alaska Marine Safety Education Association training, sponsored by the Department of Corrections. AMSEA instructor Dug Jensen was at the facility for the three-day class that certified the inmates to be marine safety drill instructors. Many of Ketchikan’s industries are water related and require marine safety instruction certification. Ketchikan Correctional Center is committed to providing inmates skills and certifications that can be used in the local job market as part of its reentry program.