On behalf of the Pitka’s Point Village Council, we would like to thank the following organizations for contributing to the Pitka’s Point Afterschool Program, also know as the “Kids Night Activities” here in beautiful Pitka’s Point, Alaska:
2/20/18: Pitka’s Point Native Store, LLC., $63.36 for the following items: cakes, jello, & dum dums (our first contributor); 2/27/18: AC Value Center in St. Mary’s, $50.00 for the following items: plates, cups, paper towel, spoons/forks, ice cream, jello, cupcake cups & chips; 3/16/18: Pitka’s Point Native Store, LLC $200.00 for the following items: cutlery, CapriSun bulk pack, paper plates, Easter eggs w/ 3 golden eggs, popcorn, jello, cupcake cups, pop & dum dum suckers. PPNS also donated 4 boxes and 2 bags of candy and 2 peppermint bark squares (for Russian Orthodox Easter activities); 3/16/18: Pitka’s Point Native Corporation, $500 total ($227.93 worth of fabric, yarn, crochet needles, beads, string, etc., plus $272.07 check); 3/31/18: AC Value Center in St. Mary’s, $unknown for box of boys for Russian Orthodox Easter activity prizes; 4/6/18: Participants support funds from selling goods in the amount of $103.40 which helped to purchase Easter baskets / gift bags for all the children under 18.
Thank you all so much for continuing to support our Afterschool Program. We’ll continue to take any and all donations from organizations to keep this very vital program going for the youth of Pitka’s Point, Alaska. Through this program, they have a safe place to go Monday-Friday to participate in drug/alcohol free activities. Again, thank you all for your generous donations and may the good Lord bless and keep us all safe. Very gratefully yours…
Tammy Aguchak, TA
Margaret Guidry, Bookkeeper
Brendan Hunt, Secretary
Staff & Council members of Pitka’s Point Village Council
We are not keeping Alaskans safe
Public safety is an issue that is important to all Alaskans. Rising crime, dwindling resources, and inadequate responses to the issues, has left many Alaskans with questions and concerns regarding our current administration’s approach and priority when it comes to public safety. Only with the increase in criminal activity within our communities and the out-cry from the public has any action been taken with the release of the Public Safety Action Plan which was not released until October 30, 2017. Three years into the Governor’s term? (see https://gov.alaska/newsroom/2017/10/walker-mallott-administration-releases-comprehensive-public-safety-action-plan/).
We are not keeping Alaskans safe, we are failing to hold offenders accountable, and our efforts to provide for restoration and support of victims is insufficient. We need to do more – it needs to be one of our top priorities.
The current administration has shown that public safety is not their top priority. We have seen public safety dollars cut to the point that state agencies responsible for public safety are unable to do the job that they are mandated to do. We have fewer State Troopers, fewer Prosecutors, an overburdened court system and a Corrections Department that is in complete disarray.
The Department of Corrections is not failing due to a lack of funds but rather from a lack of leadership and adherence to its mission statement; to provide “Secure Confinement, Reformative Programs, and a process of Supervised Community Reintegration that enhances the safety of our Communities”.
A quick review of the past three years makes it abundantly clear that corrections is not fiscally responsible, poorly managed, and not meeting its mission.
Corrections spends an average of $158 a day, or $58,000 a year, to house each offender. This should give everyone pause, as this is far too much. Furthermore, it is a cost that is projected to go up given the supplemental projected in the Governor’s budget for FY 18. This is the highest daily cost of care in the history of the Department of Corrections. What is happening? And with potential income taxes… Is this what we want our money spent on? Alaskans should have and deserve answers!
DOC’s budget in FY 15 was $333 million, in FY 19 it is projected to be $331 million, yet a facility was closed that had an annual operating budget of $13 million. There are 800 less offenders than in FY 15, yet 111 positions that were at Palmer Correctional Center were retained and redistributed to other institutions within the department. Even with an additional 111 positions, institutional overtime is at the highest it has been since 2006, and mandatory holdovers at Anchorage Correctional Complex and Spring Creek Correctional Complex has been instituted to cover shifts that are not filled.
Drug use inside the facilities is rampant, with several reported drug smuggling cases the past couple of years, including an individual from the defense bar and a correctional officer, 4 recent overdoses, 3 escapes, (1 from Anchorage Correctional Complex and 2 from Yukon-Kuskokwim Corrections Center), and a major inmate disturbance at Fairbanks Correctional Center that required the assistance of the State Troopers to quell. Staff assaults have more than doubled since FY15, yet there are 800 less incarcerated offenders, one less operating facility, and 111 more staff. None of this adds up? In addition, two of these Commissioners top administrators, The Director and Deputy Director of Institutions, had to be terminated due to moral turpitude issues adding to the lack of direction and guidance for this department.
The situation with reformative programs is not much better. The department has veered from the evidenced-based principles and practices that were instituted by the prior administration, that had demonstrated effectiveness in reducing recidivism, to no substance abuse treatment and minimal other program offerings. The number of offenders participating in and completing evidenced based programs has diminished significantly. The intensive out-patient substance abuse treatment program has gone from 600 successful treatment completers in FY 15 to less than 300 this past year. Aftercare services have decreased from more than 200 per year to less than 130 and GED’s that were well over 200 a year have been reduced to less than 150 this year. See the Department of Corrections reported performance measures at https://www.omb.alaska.gov//html/performance/program-indicators.html?p=24&r=.
What standard is the Department of Corrections being held too? Is it meeting the mandate of its mission? Is it performing to the level of effectiveness that enhances public safety? I don’t think so. The evidence would suggest it is not. It is time for change. We need someone in the Governor’s mansion who is a proven leader, has integrity and vision, someone who puts Alaskans first and protects our communities. That someone is Senator Mike Dunleavy.
Senator Dunleavey has made public safety one of his top priorities and will fix what is broken, not only in corrections but in the rest of the criminal justice system. His efforts and conviction toward this endeavor were evident during this past legislative session when he submitted an amendment to move 50 million from the LNG project to public safety, roads, and education. Unfortunately, that did not happen. This effort demonstrated his commitment for change and it clearly showed his integrity and character to do what he believes in and what is right for Alaska.
Bryan Brandenburg, MS, LPC
Former Director of Institutions, Alaska, Department of Corrections
Current Administrator for Northern Oregon Regional Corrections