Newcomers to Juneau would never guess that on the permanent site of the attractive State Office Building once stood the State Jail facility. Originally built in 1893, the Juneau Jail Facility was destroyed by fire in 1897. It was reconstructed on the same site in 1903 and contained basically the same type of offenders as the original jail, and was considered very modern by 1904 standards. However, over the next 65 years it became grossly inadequate for such needs as education, vocational training, and work programs. The State Legislature undertook a feasibility study to better understand the future needs of a Correctional facility in Southeast Alaska.
In 1967 the State Legislature appropriated $2,200,000.00 to construct a new jail facility for Southeast Alaska as part of the Alaska State Housing Development Program. Funds were saved in the L.C.C.C. construction by using the architectural plans drawn up in 1966 for the Fairbanks Correctional Center. Some revisions were made to better accommodate female and juvenile offenders, which this facility was originally obligated to hold.
The Lemon Creek Valley location for the new Juneau institution was selected from available land and consists of 117 acres. The Federal Bureau of Prisons provided Correctional services for Alaska prior to statehood. On January 3, 1959, Alaska assumed correctional jurisdiction. The Alaska Constitution stipulates that the Department of Corrections must protect the public and provide for reformation of the Offender. At the present time Lemon Creek Correctional Center provides for these directives through 80 employees providing security, order, and a host of educational, counseling, and work programs.
Through the history of Lemon Creek Correctional Center the following Superintendents have managed this maximum-security facility:
G. Scott Wellard
1976 - 1978
1978 - 1983
1983 - 1984
1984 - 1986
1986 - 2005
2005 - 2014
2014 - 2016
2016 - present
Lemon Creek Correctional Center has had a long history of development. From pre-Statehood to present day, the Lemon Creek Correctional Center has provided for a safer community for the citizens of Alaska and assisted many offenders to improve themselves through counseling, work programs, and educational classes.