Lemon Creek Correctional Center pictured on April 13, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Lemon Creek Correctional Center pictured on April 13, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Alaska prisoners to be sent out of state

Department of corrections will start accepting bids soon

The Alaska Department of Corrections is beginning a process to house prisoners outside of Alaska, DOC Commissioner Nancy Dahlstrom said in a press conference Tuesday.

The state’s prisons are currently at 97 percent capacity, Dahlstrom said, and if current trends continue the state will reach capacity in the coming months.

“We’re confident this is the best way to address our increases,” Dahlstrom said. ‘We are not closing any facilities or issuing any layoffs.”

Dahlstrom said that the “crime bill” House Bill 49, which made sentences harsher, raised the prison population since it’s implementation earlier this year. In a press release, DOC said that since July 2019 the state’s inmate population had grown by 250, or five percent.

DOC will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) later this week to solicit bids for housing inmates out of state. The initial proposal is set for a 3-year contract with the possibility to extend, according to the press release.

Dahlstrom said that the RFP will require that out of state facilities provide a comparable level of services as Alaska prisons, including rehabilitation and “evidenced-based programming.”

According to the Department of Justice, prison programming, “encompasses a broad array of services and interventions, including substance abuse treatment, educational programming, and sex offender treatment.”

Dahlstrom said it was not yet known what kinds of facilities will house Alaska’s inmates, but said that private prisons would be considered.

Only sentenced inmates with a minimum of seven years left on their sentence will be sent out of state, Dahlstrom said. As for the cost, “I can’t speak to the exact cost now but traditionally it has cost less to send them out of state,” she said.

Dahlstrom said that further details would be contained in the RFP.


• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or psegall@juneauempire.com.


More in News

This photo shows a wolf in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Park and Preserve(Courtesy Photo / Mathew Sorum)
Alaska Science Forum: Wolf-virus study shows the virtue of space

Scientists find wolves with adequate social distancing from humans tend to avoid nasty viruses.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a glance for Friday, May 14

The most recent state and local figures.

teaser
Here’s what it takes to repair undersea cables

It’s a little more involved than plugging the cord back in.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a glance for Wednesday, May 12

The most recent state and local figures.

teaser
State Senate majority leader’s bill would bar transgender girls from female sports

Bill would require participation in a sport to be based on the participant’s sex assigned at birth.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday, May 14, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

It's a police car until you look closely. The eye shies away, the . (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Thursday, May 13, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Fireworks illuminate the night sky over the Mendenhall Valley on New Year’s Eve. At Monday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting, City and Borough of Juneau Assembly members agreed to proceed with a proposed ordinance that governs the local use of fireworks. Members of the public may comment on the proposal at the May 24 City Assembly meeting. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Cue the fireworks: City talks proposed ordinance

Public comment on proposed fireworks ordinance set for May 24.

Most Read