AK DOC Today
News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections
Palmer Correctional Center is once again in the spirit of Christmas as toys, wooden cars, crocheted items, hams and turkeys were made or purchase for Holiday giving. This week, the Minimum Facility purchased $500 in toys from local vendors, and prisoners made 904 wooden cars to hand out. The Medium Facility contributed $534 to purchase turkeys and hams to donate to the food bank. Additionally, 175 prisoners in the crochet program made 3,394 hats, 215 blankets and 375 scarves to donate. Beneficiaries include Alaska Family Services, My House, Children’s Place, Giving Tree, Special Santa, Salvation Army, Palmer Food Bank, Wasilla Food Pantry, United Way of the Mat-Su Borough, Providence Children’s Hospital, AWAIC, Claire House, Akeela House, Mekinnel House, Stepping Stone, Mother Lawrence, and the Smiles for a Child program.
— Assistant Superintendent Earl Houser
For the past five years staff at Palmer Correctional Center and the Public Safety and Security Staff at King Career Center have worked together to provide new, wrapped gifts to the children of incarcerated parents at PCC. The program is called Smiles for a Child. Until December 20th, the students at King Career Center will be gathering donated toys through drop-boxes at the following locations in Anchorage: King Career Center (2650 East Northern Lights), Anchorage School District Administration Building (5530 East Northern Lights), Gensco Inc. (501 East 100th Ave.), Strands Salon (885 West Fireweed Lane), Allen & Petersen Cooking & Appliance (3002 Seward Highway), Back in Motion Chiropractic (4341 B Street) and VIBE Salon in Eagle River and Alaska Equine and Vet Center in Chugiak. If you’re in or near Palmer, you can drop off your donation at the Training Academy or you can email Teena Calkin at KCC at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will arrange to pick the toy up. Incarcerated parents at PCC can arrange for a toy to be delivered to their children through the program, said Assistant Superintendent Earl Houser, who coordinates the effort at PCC. However if an incarcerated parent has visiting privileges with his son or daughter, there is a special visitation on the December 20th where the gifts can be delivered in person. Last year close to 175 presents were donated, wrapped and delivered.
Palmer Correctional Center held a graduation for the new Alaska Progressive Prison Parenting Program on November 19, 2014. The goal of the program is to develop a healthy parent-child relationship between incarcerated parents and their children in the community. A special thanks is deserved for Susan Magestro, Criminologist and Interventionist. Ms. Magestro orchestrated this program in Alaska Prisons in order to approach family reunification and reintegration in a unique way. Children of incarcerated parents are six times more likely to end up in prison themselves. By developing a healthy relationship while incarcerated, parents can assist their children to not follow in their footsteps which leads to a safer and happier community for all Alaskans. Congratulations to all of the inmates who voluntarily engaged in this program and successfully graduated!
— Probation Officer III Emily Geiger
The Akeela Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program (RSAT) held a graduation at the Palmer Correctional Center (PCC) medium facility October 30. PCC staff, friends, and family were in attendance to honor the graduation of thirty (30) inmates. Graduates included: (From left to right) Front Row: James Culp, Nikko Adams, William Welsh, Patrick Kinzy, Leslie Clark, Corey Thompson, Justin Snyder
Back Row: Kyle Starr, Justin Kennedy, Jacques Lisby, Brett White, Derrik Williams, Dean Ranstead, Robert McComas, Jason Gray, Aaron Thomas, Joseph Gray, Byron Peters, Kenneth Smith, John Hamilton, Timothy Russell, Shane Foley, Roger Boshears, Robert Sugar, Johnny Havird, Joseph Allen, Rick Burroughs.
Palmer Correctional Center staff joined together to raise a total of $846.56 for the 2014 SHARE Campaign. Office Assistants Renee Jensen and Tracy Ivory Grasty led the campaign by organizing multiple bake sales, a potato bake, a silent auction, and a pizza sale. The PCC staff generously donated their time and culinary skills for the bake sale. The potatoes were donated from the Point Mackenzie Correctional Farm. The PCC kitchen staff and inmates assisted in expertly preparing the spuds for consumption. Ms. Jensen and Ms. Grasty, along with Sgt. Robert Hall, donated multiple items for the silent auction. “PCC staff had a wonderful time outbidding each other on all of the excellent donations! A special thanks goes to Sgt. Hall for donating two handmade plaques depicting the teamwork and dedication that staff at PCC exemplifies,” said Superintendent Tomi Anderson. (The plaque can be seen in the accompanying photo.)
Nurse II Kim Hardin, CO II Mark Cornejo and Sgt. Kenneth Snowdeal have been named Palmer Correctional Center Employees of the Year. The three PCC staff members were honored at the annual Palmer Elks Lodge 1842 Law, Order and Safety Banquet. “The recognition is for their outstanding dedication,” said Superintendent Tomi Anderson. “Each award recipient exemplifies integrity, professionalism and a dedication to get the job done.”
Nurse Hardin began her career with the department in April 1996, transferring to PCC in November 2003. Nurse Hardin has been a valuable and respected staff member who mentors medical staff, promotes team work, and is a positive role model while assisting prisoners with their healthcare challenges, Anderson said. Sergeant Snowdeal began his career with the department in 2001, transferred to PCC in 2003 and promoted in 2012. Sergeant Snowdeal has taken on a leadership role; however, he is also PTO, FI, RO, PREA Coordinator, and volunteered to be the Acting Lieutenant during September 2013. Sergeant Snowdeal trained new recruits, assisted the Academy with training, and managed numerous prisoner community programs. Officer Cornejo began his career with the department in December 1998, and transferred to PCC in December 2007. Officer Cornejo has taken on a leadership role as an Acting Shift Sergeant numerous times while mentoring prisoners, training new recruits, promoting team work and assisting our various prisoner programs.
Assistant Superintendent Earl Houser reached his 20-year service mark with Department of Corrections. Earl Houser started his career with the Department as a Correctional Officer Recruit in Anchorage in 1994. He promoted to Sergeant at Spring Creek in 1998, and then to Assistant Superintendent at Spring Creek in 2002. He transferred to PCC that year and has since worked as acting Superintendent for Point Mackenzie in 2007 and 2008 and as the Assistant Superintendent for Point Mackenzie in 2013-14.
Sergeant James Williams reached his 30-year service mark with Department, and has spent 29 of those years here at PCC! He started his career with DOC in 1980 at Palmer Correctional Center. He transferred to the Correctional Center Annex in Anchorage in 1982 and returning to PCC in 1984. He left the state in 1985 and was re-hired in 1989 at PCC. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2013.
We here at Palmer Correctional Center appreciate the time and dedication both employees have provided to the State of Alaska, our Department, and to PCC. Both are always ready and willing to help other staff, offer a friendly smile, and to pass on their vast knowledge of the facility to other employees.
— Superintendent Tomi Anderson
Officer Louie Schick started his service with the State of Alaska on April 4, 1988, in Nome as a Maintenance Worker II with the Department of Military Affairs. Officer Schick stayed with the Department of Military Affairs for 8+ years. On December 29, 1997, Officer Schick was hired by the Department of Corrections as a Correctional Officer I at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center (AMCC). During his time at AMCC, Officer Schick promoted to a Correctional Officer II and was an Acting Correctional Officer III on numerous occasions. Since transferring to PCC, Officer Schick has worked at the medium and minimum facilities. We would like thank him for his service and continued dedication to the Department of Corrections and Palmer Correctional Center. Officer Schick is currently working on his 26th year with our Department at PCC!
— Superintendent Tomi Anderson
In late August 2013 the Akeela Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program (RSAT) transferred from Goose Creek Correctional Center to Palmer Correctional Center. The 78-bed residential therapeutic community is currently managed by five Akeela staff members. Since their arrival at PCC the program has handed out certificates of completions to 25 graduates.