Palmer Correctional Center CO II James Jones and Administrative Assistant Christine Vicere were recognized with the Palmer Elks Lodge #1842 Law, Order, and Public Safety award for 2011. Officer Jones began his career with the Department of Corrections in 1999 and Ms. Vicere began hers in January of 2010.
“Palmer Correctional staff nominated coworkers whom they believe contributed the most during the year. Each award recipient displayed integrity, professionalism, and dedication to get the job done regardless of the daily challenges while maintaining the team concept of Palmer Correctional Center,” said Superintendent Tomi Anderson. ” We are very proud of their contributions to the department and to the state.”
This week KTVA (Channel 11 in Anchorage) aired a feature report on Hiland Mountain Correctional Center Food Service Lead George Bell. The report is titled: “Man Selflessly Fills the Bellies of Mt. View Children: George Bell provides breakfast and dinner out of his own wallet to feed children at the Mt. View Boys and Girls Club.”
Superintendent Dean Marshall wrote: “Mr. Bell has been serving nutritious meals to children in the local community since 2009. This is a fantastic service for some of the most vulnerable members of our community. CONGRULATIONS George!”
Here is a link to the KTVA report: http://www.searchktva.com/ci_16817240.
The inaugural three-day Department of Corrections Supervisors Conference concluded Oct 13 with a tour of Goose Creek Correctional Center. During the three day event, Superintendents, Probation Supervisors, department leadership, medical, education and program specialists met at the Training Academy in Palmer to share ideas, experiences and a vision for the future.
An Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development employment specialist has been recognized for outstanding dedication to customers and colleagues, and extraordinary service to the local community.
Sheila Baker, who works at the Eagle River Job Center, was honored today by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies with the James F. Walls Award during its annual meeting.
After more than 20 years in the bail bond industry in New Mexico, Baker relocated to Alaska four years ago and began working as a trainee in the Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training program. The program helps workers reenter the workforce.
Her unique background has helped contribute to the success of “Bridge to Success” for inmates at Alaska’s all-female Hiland Mountain Correctional Center and a training curriculum for MASST trainees.
“From her years in the bail bond industry, Sheila understands there’s a connection between finding work promptly after release and not returning to prison,” Bishop said. “She delivers the seven-week ‘Bridge to Success’ intensive employment training for inmates who are within six months of being released.”
Baker worked with the Alaska Department of Corrections to also provide testing for the ACT WorkKeys/National Career Readiness Certificate to inmates. The NCRC is used as a tool to help inmates show employers their job skills and also that these inmates are proactively trying to turn their lives around while in prison. In just 18 months, 134 inmates have obtained an NCRC prior to being released.
“While the program is still young, a three-year review of recidivism rates for inmates participating in ‘Bridge to Success’ prior to release shows a rate less than half of the general inmate population, with one group of participating inmates from 2009-2010 having no recidivism as of March,” Labor Deputy Commissioner Tom Nelson said.
“We applaud Sheila Baker and the Department of Labor for outstanding work to promote successful prisoner reentry and look forward to continued collaboration,” said Deputy Commissioner of Corrections Carmen Gutierrez. “Employment plays a key component in a former prisoner’s ability to reintegrate back into a community.”
Commissioner Joe Schmidt and his leadership team conducted a tour of Goose Creek Correctional Facility on a sunny and warm Tuesday, Oct. 4. The facility will hold 1,500-plus mostly medium security inmates in ten 128-bed mods. Other beds are set aside for medical, punitive and administrative segregation and a transition unit. Here are some photos from the facility taken during the tour:
Approximately 25 Alaskan family members participated in an annual Potlatch ceremony held by inmates within the confines of Hudson Correctional Facility in Colorado on September 24. Over 200 inmates participated and were joined by 63 family members in all. Opening Ceremony was held at 9 am with performances by Inupiaq drummers and later games and meals. Guest speakers included Anne Frank and Rev. Shirley Lee of Fairbanks and Deputy Commissioner Carmen Gutierrez. The traditional ceremony is held annually at a number of facilities holding Alaska prisoners.
Hiland Mountain Correctional Center is continuing a collaboration between its Construction Trades vocational training program and Habitat for Humanity in Anchorage. The inmates shown in this slide show are working at one Anchorage build site as the construction season drifts into fall.
“Because of their hard work and enthusiasm, Habitat for Humanity has requested continued assistance from HMCC through the entire build season, which runs through March 2012,” said Superintendent Dean Marshall.
With a dedicated group of inmate trainers, head trainer Cheri Hagen and community volunteers, service dog training classes are underway at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River. The puppies include, from left to right, Baylee, Bella, Sophi, Cooper and Madison. The department’s program at HMCC has graduated four trained service dogs since the program began in 2009. All have been placed with wounded veterans.