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The Alaska State Prison System

The Alaska Department of Corrections is an agency of the Alaska state government that manages adult penal institutions. Management here includes incarceration, parole, and probation. Persons admitted in the system are those that have received convictions, and a sentence from the Alaska state courts. The state prison system is an elaborate structure that provides housing and security for federal prisoners awaiting trial or sentencing in the state, as there are no federal prisons in Alaska. Prisons in Alaska serve to enforce incarceration sentences, protect the rest of the citizens from danger, and rehabilitation for the inmates in confinement. The state prison system also houses federal prisoners awaiting trial or sentence in the state district courts, as there are no federal prisons in Alaska. Federal convicts that receive a prison sentence in the state eventually get transferred to an out-of-state federal prison to serve their sentences.

What is the Difference Between Jail and Prison in Alaska?

The Alaska corrections system is a unified structure that oversees both jail and prison facilities in the state. The key difference between the two is their function. Jails serve to house inmates short term, or state criminals in transit. Prisons serve a long term housing function, and for persons serving sentences over two years. Again, the unified system of incarceration in the state makes it a little difficult to draw clear lines of function. This is because the decision to use a facility for one prisoner and not for another rests on many other factors, including the discretion of the authorities.

How Many Prisons are in Alaska?

There are thirteen prison facilities in Alaska. Being a unified corrections system, it encompasses a jail network of 15 centers:

  • Anchorage Correctional Complex
  • Anvil Mountain Correctional Center
  • Fairbanks Correctional Center
  • Goose Creek Correctional Center
  • Hiland Mountain Correctional Center
  • Ketchikan Correctional Center
  • Lemon Creek Correctional Center
  • Mat-Su Pretrial
  • Palmer Correctional Center
  • Point Mackenzie Correctional Farm
  • Spring Creek Correctional Center
  • Wildwood Correctional Center
  • Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center

Here is the list of jail facilities:

Barrow, Cordova, Craig, Dillingham, Haines, Hoer, King Salmon, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Petersburg. Seward, Sitka, Unalaska, Valdez, and Wrangell.

The headquarters and branch offices of the department of corrections are at Juneau and Anchorage respectively. Here are the addresses:

Department of Corrections - Juneau

P. O. Box 112000

Juneau, Alaska 99811

Phone: (907) 465–4652

Fax: (907) 465–3390

Department of Corrections - Anchorage

550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1800

Anchorage, Alaska 99501

Phone: (907) 334–2381

Toll Free: (844) 934–2381

How Do I Search for an Inmate in Alaska State Prison?

Alaska does not run an online register of inmates in the state. Parties that have cause to believe that an individual is in the custody of the state (state or municipal), must call (907) 269–7426 to speak with the Chief Classification Officer of the Department of Corrections. Interested parties can also get information on some government- approved third party websites. For persons on a misdemeanor probation, contact the court clerk’s office of the courthouse that handled the case for information. The inmate’s court record should provide information regarding that. Another way to do this is to call the Anchorage City Prosecutor’s office at (907) 343–4250 to request for the address of the individual.

Persons on a felony probation can contact the Family Law Self-Help Services for information on how to get the information from the state department of corrections.

In all, be sure to have basic information about the inmate, such as full names, date of birth, sex, ethnicity, and case information number. If available, have ready the inmate registration ID.

Are Incarceration Records Public in Alaska?

Incarceration records are a part of the criminal history information of an individual. Under the Alaska laws and regulations concerning information, criminal history information is confidential. To put it differently, it is accessible only on a written permission or fingerprints submission of the person listed in the record. By default, juvenile records are not a part of criminal history information stored by the state repository of criminal justice information. That is, unless the juvenile received a conviction for a serious traffic violation, such as driving under the influence (DUI), or driving with a suspended license.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

How to Look Up Jail Records in Alaska?

Being a unified system, jail information is available primarily through the central authority. Also, government-approved third-party websites can provide the necessary information action about an individual held in Alaska jails. Otherwise, use the legal process of the case to track the individual. For example, visit the law enforcement agency responsible for the arrest of the individual to get facts about the case. If there was a trial, locate the relevant courthouse and make enquiries. Records may be available for inspection and copying at a fee.

Can Jail Records be Expunged in Alaska?

Alaska state laws do not provide for the expunction of criminal history records, which is inclusive of jail history information. However, the state statutes provide for sealing of a document in cases of false accusation or mistaken identity. In other words, if a jail incident did not lead to charges or a conviction, such persons are eligible to have their records sealed. Complete the Request to Seal Criminal Justice Record forms and submit by mail to:

Alaska Department of Public Safety

R&I - Quality Assurance Unit

5700 E. Tudor Rd

Anchorage, AK 99507

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