Share story

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The men who were housed at an Alaska women’s prison to participate in a program aimed at reducing recidivism have been moved to an Anchorage jail.

The 37 male inmates at the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center were transferred last week to the Anchorage Correctional Complex, the Chugiak-Eagle River Star reported .

The men participating in the faith-based Transformational Living Community program were moved to the Hiland facility in 2017 following the closure of the Palmer Correctional Center. The program operated by Alaska Correctional Ministries was previously housed at the Palmer facility.

“Hiland Superintendent Gloria Johnson will now begin to look at reinstating the programs lost when the men moved into Hiland — this includes TLC for women,” said Nancy Dahlstrom, commissioner of the state Department of Corrections.

Hosting the men’s TLC program at Hiland caused the women’s program to be altered, Dahlstrom said. The male inmates had no contact with the female inmates.

The program lasts 12 to 18 months, “focusing on the issues of addiction and life controlling problems that lead to criminal behavior,” according to Alaska Correctional Ministries.

“This is an effective program and one that I want offered to more offenders than less,” Dahlstrom said. “By making this move, both the men and the women will have the opportunity to take part in this faith-based program.”

The women’s program at Hiland was not disrupted by the men, said Sam Humphreys, executive director of correctional ministries. The only thing that changed was when the women were moved to another part of the facility to accommodate the men, he said.

The Anchorage jail is not a good fit for the men in the program, Humphreys said.

“For a temporary fix to be at ACC, we can do that,” Humphreys said. “But it would die right on the vine if I told the guys this is going to be our permanent home.”