AK DOC Today

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

Inmates at Palmer Correctional Center raise funds for local community

Palmer Inmates

Top Row: Sgt. Snowdeal, Superintendent Anderson, John Yoakum, Terry Hall, William Metlicka, Daniel Mingio, Jesse Pfeffer, Michael Hartzler, T.J. Edwards, Lt. Olsen, Ofc. Britton; Front Row: David Ailep, Frederick Smith, Jason Mitchel

The Palmer Correctional Facility Minimum Inmate Store and Native Culture Council joined to facilitate two fund-raisers to benefit local charities. The money raised by the fundraisers (sales of fried chicken and pizza) was then matched by the Minimum Inmate Store. The total raised was $1,183, which was then used to purchase toys to donate.

The inmates at the Palmer Correctional Center Minimum Facility also this year continued to volunteer their time to make wooden cars and trucks for donation to local charities. The wood to make the wooden cars and trucks was donated from area businesses. The wooden toys are made in the Inmate Hobby Wood shop and the inmates were able to make approximately 200 wooden cars and truck this year.

Dan’s 20

Dan Delapino

From left to right: Kathee Luth, Ronald Taylor, Daniel Delapino, Cris Sanders and Stephanie Reese

Daniel Delapino with the Interstate Compact Office was recognized for 20 years of State service. The last 14 years have been with the Department of Corrections working in the Interstate Compact office, as well as Anchorage Probation.

Pictured at the Interstate Office & Presentence Unit in Anchorage: Kathee Luth, Ronald Taylor, Daniel Delapino, Cris Sanders and Stephanie Reese. Shannon Watson was in attendance but not pictured.

Kenai Probation Officer raising funds for Muscular Dystrophy Association

MDA Lock-Up Logo

I’m proud to tell you that I’m going “behind bars” to help in the fight against muscle disease. I’m joining other community leaders to help raise critical funds for MDA, and I need your help to reach my bail!

The Kenai Peninsula 2012 Lock-Up takes place on December 12th, but I’m raising my bail before I go to jail! A secure, online donation can be made through this LINK. Your support will help families living in our community with muscle disease, and help guarantee that I get out of jail. I will be sure to add you to my list of contributors.

Please support me in this important goal by visiting my fundraising page and making a contribution. Your tax-deductible donation makes a difference to the hundreds of kids, adults and their families who live right here in our local community.

Thanks in advance for your help. Don’t hesitate to call or email me with questions.

Ruben Foster

Palmer Correctional Center participates in Smiles for a Child partnership

Class 118

Smiles for a Child family day at Palmer Correctional Center in 2011

KCC Public Safety and Security students to create smiles for a child

Students in the King Career Center’s Public Safety and Security class are conducting a community service project that pairs them with the Palmer Correctional Center in Sutton, Alaska. The project, called Smiles for a Child, will benefit children in need during the holiday season.

“Incarcerated parents are usually unable to give their child a gift at Christmas,” said Teena Calkin, the course instructor. “The students in this criminal justice class are working with the correctional facility in hopes that they can bring a smile to a child during the holiday season.”

The gifts will be wrapped and either shipped or delivered to inmate’s children. For those who can travel to the correctional facility, a special visitation is provided to allow inmates to give their children the gift in person.

This year, collection boxes have been set up at the following locations:

  • ASD Education Center – Anchorage
  • Back in Motion Chiropractic – Anchorage
  • Gensco – Anchorage
  • Ferguson – Anchorage and Wasilla
  • King Career Center – Anchorage
  • Krazy Moose Subs – Wasilla
  • Strands Hair Salon – Anchorage
  • Very Berry Cool Yogurt – Wasilla
  • Tres Chic Salon – Anchorage

The class is looking to local retailers for assistance in providing gifts as well as postage for those that are out of state.If you are interested in donating gifts or postage, contact Teena Calkin 742-8996 or calkin_teena@asdk12.org.

Correctional Officer Academy 118 Graduates 30

Class 118

Graduating Class of Correctional Officer Academy 118

The Alaska Department of Corrections Correctional Officer Academy #118 graduated on November 16, 2012. Thirty Correctional Officers who represent Institutions throughout Alaska spent the last six weeks learning the Policies and Procedures of the department, Effective Communication and various other curriculums. Officers attending this Academy included seven military veterans; a 24 year retired Correctional Officer from Texas and five officers who have relatives currently working for Alaska DOC. Congratulations to the Correctional Officers Class #118. Correctional Officer Class #119 begins on February 18, 2013.

World-Renowned Cellist to Perform with Hiland Mountain Orchestra

Concert poster

The special guest artist will be Zuill Bailey and his cello, which was made in 1693. When not heading up the Sitka Summer Music Festival and other such events in Alaska, Texas and the Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane, Washington, Bailey travels 250 days a year with a cello. His mission is to make music accessible to all, and relishes the opportunity to work with the Hiland Mountain Women’s Orchestra to insure that he shares a love of music to all. He is also a recording artist and his Bach CD is rising to No. 1 on the classical billboard charts.


Video Visitation connection set between Hudson, Colorado and Juneau

Video Visitation

Video visitation unit at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau

The department now maintains video visitation connections between Hudson Correctional Facility and Anchorage (Cordova Center), Fairbanks (Tanana Chiefs Conference) and, as of this week, Juneau (Lemon Creek Correctional Center.) Kudos go to the Information Technology section for puzzling through a number of technical barriers to making the connection work. Family members are scheduled for 30-45 minute videoconference visitation sessions. A link to the instructions for arranging the connection are here: http://www.correct.state.ak.us/institutions/hcc/docs/2012_video%20visitation_2.pdf.

Palmer Elks name CO II Mike Canada as ‘Officer of the Year’

Mike Canada

Palmer Correctional Center CO II Mike Canada

Correctional Officer Mike Canada has received the 2012 “Officer of the Year” award given annually by Palmer Elk’s Lodge 1842. He was nominated by his peers at Palmer Correctional Center. In nominating Officer Canada, a coworker wrote: “Officer Mike Canada exemplifies professionalism, dedication to duty, flexibility and attention to detail, all hallmarks of a good officer. Officer Canada has always demonstrated the highest level of integrity in all his duties and at all times has a great attitude. He has modeled flexibility in his readiness to accept and excel in all his assignments. Officer Canada is the type of officer that can be depended on no matter the duty, situation or emergency. Officer Canada models the type of professionalism we should all aspire to and has been a highly valued member of every team in which he has been involved. The field of corrections and Palmer Correctional Center are better for having Officer Canada within their ranks.”

Ron Taylor named Deputy Commissioner for Reentry and Programs, effective December 1

2012 Superintendents Meeting

Commissioner Joe Schmidt has named Ron Taylor, Director of the Division of Probation and Parole, as Deputy Commissioner for Prisoner Reentry and Programming, effective December 1, 2012. Taylor will replace Carmen Gutierrez who is retiring.

Taylor worked alongside the Department of Corrections beginning in 2008 when he was named Executive Director of the Board of Parole. Taylor joined the Department of Corrections as Division Director in 2011.

In 1990, Taylor began an 18-year career with the Department of Health and Social Services as an Adult Probation Officer with the Alaska Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) and later promoted to Program Manager. Taylor was responsible for the statewide direction and supervision of adult misdemeanor probation, juvenile monitoring, tobacco enforcement, therapeutic court community supervision and substance abuse program certification.

As an Adult Probation Officer with ASAP, Taylor provided case management and monitoring of misdemeanant probationers with substance abuse or behavioral health requirements. Later, Taylor served as liaison between the criminal justice system and social service agencies, and also served as president of the National Organization of State Impaired Driving Programs (NOSIP) for state DUI administrators.

Taylor will continue to oversee the Division of Probation and Parole until a Director is named; effective December 1 the Division will remain the responsibility of Taylor as Deputy Commissioner.

Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida. He is married and has two children.

Departments of Corrections, Labor and Workforce Development Nurture Cooperative Environment

The Department of Corrections and Department of Labor and Workforce Development have been increasing collaborative efforts, with the goal of easing released offenders back into the workplace and a more productive future. Here are some of the ways the two departments are working together:

The DOL’s Central Region Manager met with Deputy Commissioner Carmen Gutierrez, Director Ron Taylor, and two AmeriCorps representatives to discuss how AmeriCorps members might work within the regional job centers on job development and services for Prisoner Reentry.

Anchorage Business Connection staff met with the Alaska Prisoner Reentry Task Force at their Employment Workgroup Meeting. The meeting was chaired by Melissa Abrami, Project Coordinator and attendees included Beth Leschper (DOL-WD), Gary Olsen (DOC), John Hakala (Federal Apprenticeship), and Ruth Schoenleben (Nine Star). Participants were updated on the status of six strategies to improve access to employment for individuals with criminal records exiting correctional facilities.

Recently, Anchorage Business Connection staff conducted a Seafood Orientation at Goose Creek Correctional Center. This is part of an effort to assist inmates with employment in the seafood industry after incarceration. DOL-WD is training the DOC Education Coordinator to conduct the Seafood Orientations so she can provide them monthly to inmates nearing release.