AK DOC Today

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

2013 Governor’s Denali Peak Performance Award Nomination Period Has Begun

The nomination period for the 2013 Governor’s Denali Peak Performance Awards is now open. The last day nominations can be submitted is January 31, 2013. This is an exceptional opportunity to help build an atmosphere of recognition and appreciation for the hard work and outstanding performance of Peak Performers in the Department of Corrections.

Please consider nominating one of the many exceptional employees that work alongside you. Nominations may be made for any state employee.

Nominations are accepted in the following categories:

  • COWORKER RECOGNITION (Awarded to an individual who supports his or her coworkers, coaches or mentors peers, personifies the spirit of the division/office/section; serves as a model of excellence for coworkers on a daily basis.)
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE – TEAM (Awarded to a team (two or more) or individual who will be recognized for prompt, courteous service to the public that is well beyond the call of duty)
  • EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE – TEAM (Awarded to a team or individual that was critical in the achievement of a department objective such as improvement in productivity, cost savings, and was original and/or creative and/or used an innovative or novel approach to delivering this objective)
  • LEADERSHIP (Awarded to an individual who exhibited exceptional leadership in pursuit of a department objective.)
  • CRISIS RESPONDER – TEAM (Awarded to an individual or team who, by responding in a crisis, demonstrated effectiveness, determination and cooperation in the presence of an element of risk.)


You can review the criteria for each category HERE.

The Denali Awards web page is HERE.

Nominations must be made on the official nomination form for the appropriate award category. Each nomination should be submitted to your respective DIVISION DIRECTOR, unless you work at a correctional facility or probation field office, in which case your nomination should go to the SUPERINTENDENT or FIELD OFFICE SUPERVISOR. If you work for the Board of Parole, submit your nomination to the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

You can download an example of a completed nomination form HERE.

There’s a list of 2012 winners HERE.

To contact the Department Representative, CLICK HERE.

Download the Denali Awards poster for your office.

Wildwood Cell Dog Program A Boost for Milo and Honey

FCC CAP Graduates

Left to right — Jerremy Merrow with Milo and Rey Soto with Honey

In June, the Wildwood Correctional Center Minimum Camp began a Cell Dog program, modeled after the very successful SPOT program at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center. The first dog to come into the program was “Milo” an Australian Shepard; he’s remained the camp dog and there are no plans for him to be adopted. Woody ,another Australian Shepard was trained for about 90 days and was quickly adopted.

Layla, a Rottweiler-Husky mix was a mess when she came to the program. After four months, she calmed down and turned into a fantastic dog. As of last week, she has been given a new home, and her new owners have become quite attached to her. The newest challenge is “Honey” a golden lab mix. She has some medical issues but the inmates at the minimum camp have agreed to conduct a fundraiser to pay the cost to fix those problems.

“Overall the program is making good strides and the training is always ongoing,” said Assistant Superintendent Shannon McCloud. “An outside trainer comes once per week for individual instruction and the handlers are expected to train with their dogs every day. So far they have taught Milo (and Layla) to open doors and to turn out the lights.
Our mission at this time is basic obedience, but the future for this program in unlimited.”

Six Graduate from CAP at Fairbanks

FCC CAP Graduates

From L-R: David Johnson, Joseph Barnes, Jacques Lisbey, Patrick Peryea, and Jeffery Sessoms

Six inmates successfully completed the Criminal Attitudes Program at Fairbanks Correctional Center. The six received their certificates on December 27th. “The Criminal Attitudes Program (CAP) program is a comprehensive cognitive-behavioral program that focuses specifically on the attitudes, values, beliefs, and rationalizations conducive to criminality. It is designed to specifically target criminal cognitions rather than process based factors. The program consists of 22 two hour group sessions for a total of 44 hours of intervention,” said class facilitator and Education Coordinator Fred Quaile.

Juneau Central Office Decorates Doors for the Holidays



Each year during the Christmas holiday season, the Department of Fish & Game organizes a door decorating contest in the Douglas Office Building. While the weather outside delivered storm, rain, snow, wind, fog and ice, DOC staff delivered warmth and cheer in the form of highly-decorated doorways. Rich Clime was honored for a one-man display of cheer. The Commissioner’s Office door was also honored for its corrections theme. All participants received certificates of achievement!

Chaplain Installation Held at Spring Creek

Chaplain Installation

Left: James Duncan, statewide Chaplaincy Coordinator; center, Seward Mayor Dave Seaward; right: David Arestad, SCCC Chaplain

Assistant Superintendent David Lockeby presided at the Chaplain Installation held Thursday, December 13. Here is the text of his address to those assembled for the ceremony:
“The Chaplaincy Program began at SCCC many years ago when Chaplain David Walker began as a volunteer. After a couple of years Alaska Correctional Ministries offered Chaplain Walker a full time position as Chaplain at SCCC. Chaplain Walker retired in 2002 and the program was continued by Chaplain Robert Thomas and Assistant Chaplain David Arestad. In 2006 the Chaplaincy Program at SCCC was no longer a paid position and we began relying on volunteers to help support the religious needs of the prisoners. Chaplain Arestad along with Chaplain Taylor volunteered and would come a couple times a week. We are very pleased that once again we will be having a full time Chaplain position and that this position is being filled by Chaplain Arestad. Together with the religious volunteers, Chaplain Arestad will be continuing a wonderful program that provides religious services to the many prisoners interested and in need.”

Sophie to Go to New Owner, Begin Career as Service Dog



Sophie, who has been in service dog training by inmates and staff for well over a year at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River will be transferred to wounded soldier Captain Christopher Harrington at 11:30 am Friday, December 14, at HMCC.

Captain Harrington, originally from Antioch, California, enlisted in the Army in 1991 and completed nine years of enlisted active duty, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant, before receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant from the California State University Sacramento and University of California Davis ROTC in 2004. Captain Harrington since has completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from CSU Sacramento and earned a Master’s of Public Administration from Webster University.

He has served in various engineer units both in the United States and overseas, as well as participate in several deployments to the Balkans, South Pacific Theater, and Middle East in support of humanitarian and combat operations. During combat operations in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Captain Harrington served as a Leader of a Combat Engineer platoon in support of a Armor Company and as the Task Force Engineer in support of a Light Infantry Task Force, providing both a maneuver and maneuver support capability. While conducting cordon and search operations in December of 2006, Captain Harrington was wounded in an IED attack and then again in January 2007 was severely wounded by an indirect fire attack during clearing operations.

Chris remains on active duty and currently commands the Headquarters and Headquarters Company (Airborne), 6th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Airborne) at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. He is married to the former Teresa Martin of Antioch. They have two children, Carter (6) and Aiden (4).

PCC staff raises $1,030 for SHARE Campaign


Left to right: Officer Britton, Officer Canada, Probation Officer Marre


Right to left: Sgt. Lund, Sgt. Snowdeal, PO Brinkman, Supt. Anderson, Administartive Officer Van Slyke, Lt. Olsen and Assistant Supt. Houser

At Palmer Correctional Center, Officers Britton and Canada, and PO Marre orchestrated the efforts of Palmer Correctional Staff (PCC) to raise $1030.16 for the Alaska Share Campaign. Many PCC employees donated items to be auctioned, participated in the bake sale, and volunteered to have pies put in their faces. Officer Britton coordinated a silent auction and raised $393 for the United Way of Wasilla. PO Marre managed a bake sale and raised $197.16 for Matsu Services for Children and Adults. Office Canada supervised the ‘pie in your face’ and raised $440 dollars for Matsu Services for Children and Adults.

Commissioner, new Deputy Commissioners, Division Directors, Special Assistant meet in Juneau

JCO Meeting

From left to right: Deputy Commissioner Leslie Houston, Commissioner Joe Schmidt, Director Carrie Belden, Director Bryan Brandenburg, Special Assistant Kaci Schroeder, Director Kevin Worley and Deputy Commissioner Ron Taylor

Commissioner Joe Schmidt met with newly-appointed Deputy Commissioners Leslie Houston and Ron Taylor, Division Directors Bryan Brandenburg (Institutions), Carrie Belden (Probation-Parole) and Kevin Worley (Administrative Services) and Special Assistant Kaci Schroeder at the Juneau office on Wednesday.

Inmate committee promotes education program at Spring Creek

SCCC Inmates

Program participants, left to right: Jon Woodard, Michael King, Tracy Hutton, Donald Samel and Aaron Young

In late 2011, Spring Creek prisoner club, T.I.M.E. (Together in Many Endeavors), initiated a pilot program to prepare inmates for AKDEC water and wastewater collection, distribution and treatment certification exams required to earn provisional certification in the areas of water treatment and distribution, along with wastewater collection and treatment. Throughout 2012, six T.I.M.E. sponsored prisoners completed training programs via California State University, Sacramento’s Office of Water Programs, earned Certificates of Completion and qualified to sit for certification exams through AKDEC’s Operator Training and Certification Program. Three prisoners took certification exams in October 2012 and one successfully earned his provisional certification.

This prisoner-led initiative is noteworthy as almost all aspects from initial research to prisoner selection, training and exam preparation were done with minimal assistance from DOC staff. While Education Coordinators proctored AKDEC certification exams, everything else was prisoner-initiated and managed. Based on the success of its pilot program, T.I.M.E. plans to sponsor additional prisoners in 2013 to build upon the successes and lessons learned in its initial run. A second group of prisoners is expected to begin training in March 2013, and study groups composed of students past and present will ensure all students are ready for October 2013 certification exams. T.I.M.E. also plans to research whether state certification qualifies for college credit toward undergraduate degree programs, along with employment prospects for prisoners releasing from DOC custody.

CC Medium Inmates benefit community one blanket at a time

Palmer Inmates

Back Row Left to Right: Lt. Olsen, Ofc. Canada, Sgt. Kollander, Ron Steyer, Charles Franzen, George Woods, Daniel Borsetti, Foster Barnett, Jacob Roller, Derek Werder, Vance Barrett, Edward Domrude, Eugene Lazar, Josh Semeraro, Keith Kieffer, Chris Chuckwuk, Harold Finger, Joseph Jackson, Carl Oyagak, Darron Sanders, Coty Wolverton, J. Cobb Whitmore, Jeffery King, Alex Eckhardt, Arthur Mack, Aaron Woods, Timothy Scott, Paul Suter, Nick Middleton, Steve Weeg, Wayne McNearney, Benjamin Mochin, Michael Lane, Superintendent Anderson, Ofc. Smith; Front Row Left to Right: Edgar Madros, David Koen, Ryan Cox, Mike Jester, John Caverly, Damien Prescott, Michael Linn, Gary Butcher, Zack Pierwola, Timothy Russel, Billy Ray Turner

For the sixth year in a row, Palmer Correctional Center inmates have funded and participated in a crochet program that allows the inmates to give back to the community. Inmates had an opportunity to make hand-crafted crochet items such as blankets, hats, and scarves for various Alaskan charities and communities. All of the materials used for the projects are purchased from the profits generated by the PCC Medium Club Sales Store. The inmates have shown through their commitment and dedication to these projects a willingness to utilize pre-existing artistic talents and a few discovered a new creative side they never knew they had. The inmates create their own unique patterns which is clearly apparent in their designs. By crocheting inmates are also displaying compassion and a kindness for others which can become integral for lasting positive changes once the inmate returns to the community. It is the mission of Palmer Correctional Center to aid the inmates incarcerated to return to the community as healthy, productive and responsible members of their communities. In addition Palmer Correctional Center offers educational and vocational curriculum programs for inmates that are useful and beneficial to their transition back into society. These programs provide outlets for positive reinforcement in the inmate’s lives, as well as enabling them to give back to our communities while learning new skills and qualities for life change.

— Superintendent Anderson

2012 Completed Community Care Project Totals: 1,212 Hats, 118 blankets, 51 scarves.