On March 3, the Alaska Court System, in collaboration with Lemon Creek Correctional Center and Gastineau Human Services, conducted the fourth annual Success Inside and Out program at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Success Inside and Out is a professional pre-release conference for the men and women at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. It is designed to reach prisoners who are close to release, with a goal of providing support and inspiration for the transition back into the community. The inspiration and format for the program came from Alaska Supreme Court Justice Dana Fabe, who initiated a similar program in Anchorage. Before her retirement, Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins coordinated the program in Juneau and made it a success for the first three years. Fifty eight inmates participated in this year’s program, and by all accounts it was a success.
The Steering Committee for Success Inside and Out this year included Chief Justice Walter Carpeneti, Superintendent Scott Wellard, Mike Truax, Charlie Carlson, Sharon Heidersdorf, Scott Ciambor, Brent Wilson, Shelley Travis, Michele Federico, KJ Metcalf, Peggy Metcalf, Anne Carpeneti, Rose Piper, Samantha Abernathy, David Wilson, Kelly Henriksen, and Hanna Sebold. These individuals spent countless hours organizing and planning the program. But they could not have made the program a success without the contributions of members of the community who truly care about the inmates who benefit from the program.
Speakers included Senator Dennis Eagan, Chief Justice Walter Carpeneti, and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, Carmen Gutierrez. The program also included inspirational talks from individuals who have found success on the outside, including Joseph Contreras, Elizabeth Leonardson, Robert McCord, and Mack Parker. Sharon Gaiptman was the MC for the Success Inside and Out Fashion Show. Several inmates modeled proper attire for a job interview, while Neil Neisheim and Shelley Travis showed how not to dress. Music and irreverent commentary was provided by Colette Costa and her band. Paper Moon also provided musical entertainment, featuring Kelly Henriksen, Alan Michael, Gordon Sandy, and Martha DeFreest.
Time, energy, money, food, and gifts for door prizes were provided by Malia Hayward Insurance Agency; Reuben Willis, State Farm Insurance; Dr. Ben Gilbert, DDS; Pat Shea, Super Bear; Nancy DeCherney, Juneau Arts and Humanities Council; Wade Bryson, Subway; Mike White, McDonald’s; Bullwinkle’s Pizza; Allen and Davida Alghren, Breeze-In; Mike Highly, Northland Services; J.C. Kestel, Office Plus; Vhee Batac, Alaskan and Proud; Rick and Rachel Kasnick, Island Pub; Stephen Beetle, Northern Sales; Ida Barnack, St. Vincent de Paul; Henry James, Salvation Army; Linda Sylvester, Girl Scouts of Alaska; Chris Abernathy, Wal-Mart; Charlie Carlson, Juneau Construction Academy; Ann Turner-Olsen; Mike Truax, the staff of Gastineau Human Services; LCCC Multicultural Club; Rose Piper; Scott and Monica Wellard, Shellie Eyler, Tricia Collins, Keitha Kolvig, Sue LeBeau, Jeanne Wightman, Tom Nave, and Susan Cox.
As part of the program, community members led panel discussions on a variety of topics including addiction treatment, housing, employment, education, food, medical services, banking, personal fitness, the arts, spirituality, healthy relationships, and surviving probation. Panel members included Samantha Abernathy, Johnny Aribam, Markus Bressler, Phil Campbell, Charlie Carlson, Scott Ciambor, Katie Cranor, Bridget Easaw, Michele Federico, Kelly Flynn, Robin Gilcrest, Karen Godnick, Eric Hamilton, Holly Handler, Doug Harris, Amy Hiley, Barbra Holian, Allen Hulett, Michael Hutcherson, Miriam Jensen, David Katzeek, Jeremy Kerr, Deb Laughlin, Liz Leonardson, Kelly Manning, John McConnochie, K.J. Metcalf, Peggy Metcalf, Brad Parfitt, Janine Reep, Tracy Rivera, Emma-Lily Schmitz, Hannah Sebold, Seth Siegel, Robert Smith, Eric Vang, Brent Wilson, and David Wilson.
We are all remarkably fortunate to live in a community where so many people care about others and are willing to give of themselves to make a difference. Thanks to every one of you, and please accept my apologies if I missed anyone.
Alaska Court System
Coordinator, Success Inside and Out