The Alaska Department of Corrections announced last week that it has developed a new policy on how prisoner deaths are handled.
A state legislative hearing was held in July to address five inmate deaths at state correctional institutions between April and June.
The summary of the new policy that’s posted on the DOC’s website promises greater transparency than the previous version.
Sherrie Daigle is deputy commissioner of the Department of Corrections.
“And what it does, it lays out the steps the department takes and what our department employees, the steps that they take in the event of an inmate death. It explains how we will notify the next of kin. It explains what type of information cam be released to the public. It states that information that is confidential and is protected under law cannot be released. It talks about what kind of information can be released to the media and at what point. And so it is just a step by step process of how we will handle those incidents.”
Under the new policy, the department will notify next of kin and promptly provide the public with information about the death that is not confidential. Daigle says that, in the event of a death caused by a criminal act by an inmate, the incident first goes to the Alaska State Troopers for investigation.
“Then they come in and investigate any type of criminal act that may have occurred within a facility statewide.”
The statement by the DOC also says the department will determine if there are any deficiencies in the DOC system.
- While 15 percent of the state’s population is Alaska Native, fewer than 5 percent of its teachers are.
- Public lands managers in Alaska say climate change brings new challenges to the decadeslong dilemma over balancing resource extraction with conservation of undeveloped land within the state’s 425 million acres.
- You asked: If it's not the dark, is it the cold? Why did you focus on men, not women? And how can we help?
- Heli-skiing has long been a controversial topic in Haines. The interests of the industry often clash with people who live near heliports and don’t want the noise disturbing their peace and quiet. But there’s another group that’s impacted by helicopter noise: mountain goats.