AK DOC Today
News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections
A puppy donated by a breeder in Illinois is on its way to Hiland Mountain Correctional Center where it will be the newest Service Dog In Training. The puppy donation is fruit borne of an informal meeting between staff of HMCC, organizers of Arctic Paws for Service, and Sr. Paulina Quinn of Pathways to Hope. The puppy will come to Alaska from Dwight Correctional Center, where a Service Dog Training program is in place. The puppy is a Labrador. “He has white on his front and probably this is why he was not kept for show,” said Sr. Paulina in an email. “He has spunk when he plays. He hadn’t been on a leash before but handled everything. He lights up when he sees other dogs. He is quiet, just taking everything in without showing fear.” The puppy is expected in Alaska before April 15.
On March 24, Probation officers from Anchorage Probation Enhanced Supervision Unit went to the residence of one of their offenders. The offender was not at home, but was seen walking down the street. He entered the residence and denied the officers access. After several minutes and a request for assistance from APD and the canine unit, the offender opened his apartment door and walked out to the probation officers. He was restrained and returned to the residence for a probation search. The search was initiated and cocaine was found in a kitchen drawer. The search was terminated and APD returned with a search warrant. The search continued and $30,000 cash and cocaine were found. The offender was remanded and the case was forwarded for new criminal offenses through either the state or federal court.
Approximately 18 months ago, officers of the same Enhanced Supervision Unit were instrumental in another drug bust and through the Asset Forfeiture program with the US Government, the Division of Probation and Parole just received $40,000 as their share of the forfeited money and assets. The Division Director and Supervisor of the ESU are currently in negotiations for how the money should or will be spent.
A meeting on the topic of training service dogs in a prison setting was held at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center on March 22. Much of the focus was on meeting folks involved in a new organization established to increase the availability of service dogs for Alaskans who could benefit from their assistance. HMCC has a remarkable home-grown program in place which has trained 5 service dogs so far, all of whom have been given to wounded soldiers. The meeting provided an opportunity for HMCC staff to meet Sr. Paulina Quinn, who has established service dog training programs in prisons across the nation.
Some 30 staff from the department’s central office and Spring Creek Correctional Center helped lead a large turnout for Thursday’s ‘Choose Respect’ rally and march in Seward on Thursday, March 31. Presenters included Division Directors Donna White (Probation and Parole) and Garland Armstrong (Institutions), Superintendent Craig Turnbull, and Lt. Bob Lockeby. About 100 residents turned out for the event, designed to bring attention to Alaska’s high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault.