At Spring Creek Correctional Center, the prison store funds the clubs. The clubs fund the hobby shop. And the hobby shop creates an outlet for growth but only limited options for making money - right now.
The world inside Spring Creek Correctional Center is in many ways just like the world outside. Prison clubs function as nonprofits, filling service gaps and trying to build healthier communities.
Prison commissaries around the country make millions each year, and most of the profits go to private companies. But not at Spring Creek Correctional Center, where the prisoners own and operate the store and use the profits to benefit the communities inside and outside the prison walls.
Many crimes are fueled by drug and alcohol addictions. So what can prevent some criminal activity? Helping people receive treatment. During Community in Unity: Recovery Behind Bars, inmates, staff, and other community members gathered inside Goose Creek Correctional Center near Wasilla to share stories about treatment, crime, and recovery.
At Goose Creek Correctional Center near Wasilla, inmates can learn the basic concepts of welding using simulators, but until recently they haven't been allowed access to real welding machines. Listen now
Some people stay at Fairbanks Correctional Center for a few days. Others are at the pre-trial facility for years. Most of the inmates are living their lives in limbo — awaiting their trials and their futures. During Community in Unity: Life in Limbo, inmates, correctional center staff, and other community members sit together for an open conversation about the justice system, day-to-day life at FCC, and what's happening on the outside to help people who are released.
People waiting for trial often sit in jail for days or weeks just because they can't make bail. Starting this month, that system is changing. The state is launching a new effort to reduce the amount of time people spend locked up before they've gone to trial. It's part of SB91, Alaska's criminal justice reform law. LISTEN HERE