About 20% of the people incarcerated at Lemon Creek Correctional Center were transferred from the Juneau prison to facilities in South Central Alaska over the last several months, according to an Alaska Department of Corrections spokesperson.
The transfer of “45 to 50” people comes as Lemon Creek Correctional Facility undergoes repairs necessitated due to the facility’s age and “extreme wet weather” that has caused instability at certain locations at the facility, said DOC spokesperson Betsy Holley in an email, who added that no risks are posed to inmates during this process and measures have been taken to ensure staff and inmate safety. About half of the people transferred are women.
LCCC has a capacity of 226 inmates and employs 73 staff members, according to the DOC. The inmate population is made up of 20-30% people awaiting trial and 70-80% sentenced felons.
The facility opened in 1969, according to DOC, after the the state Legislature in 1967 appropriated $2.2 million — the equivalent of $19.6 million in 2022, according to U.S. Inflation Calculator.
Citing security reasons, Holley did not disclose specifically when the transfers occurred or which facilities were destinations.
“Since the relocation date itself is confidential for security reasons, the inmates are welcome to inform their families and legal representation,” Holley said in an email.
She added that 90% of attorneys chose to communicate with their clients via phone or video, which can be accommodated at any DOC facility.
“In terms of visitation, again a majority of inmates communicate daily with family and friends via phone versus in-person visits,” Holley said.
DOC is working with Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities on the repairs, according to Holley, and does not yet have a complete timeline for the project.
Lemon Creek Correctional Center Superintendent Bob Cordle was unavailable for an interview for this article.
• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at email@example.com.