Palmer Judge Eric Smith delivered the keynote address to the 17-member graduating class of Probation Officer Academy No. 24 on Friday, March 1 at the DOC Training Academy in Palmer. “There was a healthy representation from both institutions and field offices around the state,” said Chief Training Officer Dan Traxinger. “This was a very positive group that exhibited the qualities we endeavor for our probation/parole officers and look forward to their impact within our Department and for our community as well.”
AK DOC Today
News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections
Procurement Specialist I Mindy Bugayong and Budget Analyst II Stacy Gullufsen were honored for 25 and 15 years of service, respectively, on March 1 at the Juneau Central Office. Deputy Commissioner Leslie Houston presented certificates and service pins. Mindy has served with the Department of Corrections for close to 10 years, previously she worked for the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. Stacy has been with the department for a year and a half. Previously she worked for the Department of Environmental Conservation.
A celebration luncheon for retiring Spring Creek Correctional Center Superintendent Craig Turnbull is scheduled for 11 am Thursday, Feb. 28th at Spring Creek. Everyone is welcome to attend and is invited to share memories and wish him well.
Craig began his career with the Alaska Department of Corrections on April 15, 1991 as a Correctional Officer I at Spring Creek Correctional Center (SCCC). Craig was promoted to Correctional Officer III on February 1, 1995 and selected as the SCCC Employee of the Year in 1997. He served as Shift Supervisor for both A and B Shifts throughout his time as Sergeant and was promoted to Assistant Superintendent on January 7, 2000. Craig was promoted to Superintendent on November 23, 2001.
As evidence of his strong support for programming, Craig was instrumental in bringing the Youthful Offender Program (YOP) to Spring Creek in 1991. This partnership between the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and the Department of Corrections served over 400 inmates, of which almost 170 earned high school diplomas and 20
GEDs. Now at Anchorage Jail, the YOP continues to build on the success gained at Spring Creek. Craig’s support for programming allows Education staff to do their jobs despite the many obstacles so often encountered in a prison setting. Craig’s support and strong belief that programming matters will be sorely missed.
Throughout his career at Spring Creek, Craig maintained a strong connection with the community of Seward. Leading by example, he encouraged staff and prisoner clubs alike to donate to and support through volunteer efforts the American Legion, Boy Scouts, Seward Fire Department, Seward Salmon Derby, Seward Mount Haven Elder Center, Seward Marathon Wrestling, Toys for Tots, and the Polar Bear Jump fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, amongst others.
Craig’s optimistic outlook and “can do” attitude are positive influences to all around him. His encouragement of good communication fosters an atmosphere of teamwork and respect across all Shifts and among Security and Support Staff as well. In a profession where your heart has no business being displayed upon your sleeve, Craig’s genuine care and support for staff, both in and out of uniform, is always evident. Making decisions for the “good of the order” takes a depth of understanding, an ability to weigh all options, and the strength of character to stand-up for the best – though not always easiest – solution. Craig’s heart, grounded in experience and knowledge, guided SCCC through many difficult decisions and we wish him well. We’ll miss you, Craig!
— Asst. Superintendent Bobby Lockeby
The Department of Corrections Training Academy hosted the inaugural Community Resource Collaboration Day. Representatives from community partners were invited to present and share their organization to the students attending the Probation Officer Academy. Also participating were working POs from local field offices and institutions.
“This collaborative effort with our Probation/Parole Officers and the resources in the community is integral in our mission of reformative programs and a process of supervised community reintegration to enhance the safety of our communities,” said Chief Training Officer Dan Traxinger. “I also recognize the hard work of PO III Johhnie Wallace to coordinate and supervise this event as part of the Basic Probation/Parole Officer Academy.”
Correctional Officer Zarak (Tony) C. Malacas has been promoted to Sergeant (CO III) at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Sgt. Malacas began his career at LCCC in March, 1997. “Tony has gained a reputation as positive, mentoring leader and will be a most welcome addition to the Shift Supervisor team at LCCC,” said Assistant Superintendent Bruce Busby.
Hiland Mountain Correctional Center will formally transfer its newest inmate-trained Service Dogs to wounded warriors on February 20th at 1 pm. Bella is a two-year old Black Labrador Retriever who was donated to HMCC as a puppy by a Mat-Su Valley breeder, Byers Peak Labradors. Maddie came to Hiland Mountain as an eight-week old puppy from the Mat-Su Animal Care Shelter. She was spotted by shelter staff for her intelligence and suitability to service dog training.
Bella will be paired with Aaron Willard, who lives in Fairbanks. In 2004 Willard received a commission from the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Wainwright with the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. He quickly deployed to Iraq, where he was wounded twice, most seriously on the night of October 30, 2006. That’s when Willard and his patrol were ambushed by an explosive projectile, small arms and machine gun fire. As a result of the attack Willard was severely injured and spent three years recovering at Fort Wainwright before medically retiring in August, 2009.
Sgt. John S. Revilak, who is being paired with Maddie, joined the Army in 2004. In June 2007 John, who had been assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, was deployed to Afghanistan. On October 11th, 2007 his platoon was ambushed with an IED disabling the lead vehicle of 1st Platoon. Immediately, enemy forces opened up with a volley of RPGs and small arms fire. Revilak’s vehicle caught fire, forcing those inside to exit under heavy enemy fire.
The intensity of the exploding IED resulted in John sustaining a traumatic brain injury which left him in constant pain. Despite that, John remained with his unit for another year until he was reassigned to the San Diego Naval Hospital. John medically retired in February, 2011.
Bella and Maddie are the sixth and seventh service dog trained by inmate volunteers at Hiland Mountain.
The Wildwood Correctional complex is proud to announce employees of the year, Officers Jim Kimes and Todd Reposa. Officer Kimes is a 12 year veteran of the Department, starting at SCCC in 2000 and transferring to Wildwood in 2007. Officer Reposa also began his career at SCCC in 2002, transferring in 2004 to Wildwood. They were selected for their “can do” attitude and exceptional work ethic. Superintendent Bob Hibpshman praises their positive attitudes and leadership roles within the facility. Congratulations to Officers Kimes and Reposa!
Probation Officer Barb Ramos started an Arts and Crafts program in the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center on January 9, 2013. There are currently 10 women in the program, which crochets hats and headbands. Four of the participants are pictured with Hats and Headbands made since the start of the program. Finished products will be donated to local non-profit agencies, including the Pre-Maternal Home, the Tundra Women’s Coalition, and local schools. This program will be expanded to the male population in the future.