The Kotzebue Probation Office is in the Inupiat community of Kotzebue, 33 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It is responsible for the supervision of a caseload of felony offenders spread out over a 38,000 square mile area. Supervision requires the Probation Officer to travel by small aircraft to each of the eleven remote villages surrounding the Kotzebue area. Villages supervised through the Kotzebue office are Ambler, Buckland, Deering, Kiana, Kivalina, Kobuk, Noatak, Noorvik, Point Hope, Selawik, and Shungnak and are only accessible by small airplane. Upon arrival in the village, travel may continue by all-terrain vehicle, boat, or snow machine. Probation coordinates with local and village law enforcement, Alaska State Troopers, Village Public Safety Officers, Tribal Councils and local entities, in an effort to ensure public safety is priority.
The Northwest Arctic region faces unique challenges that are met with innovative and resourceful solutions, primarily focusing on culturally relevant reintegration, for probationers and parolees returning back to their communities. The Kotzebue Probation Office practices a solution-focused and strength-based approach that provides quality supervision yet encompasses accountability. This evidence-based practice maintains alliance with the ASCEND values, vision and mission of DP3.