Starting on Wednesday, April 21, some Alaska inmates will be permitted to see friends, relatives and others for the first time in more than a year, but only if they acquiesce to getting experimental COVID shots. According to an April 19 public notice from the Dept. of Corrections, any inmate who fails to submit to COVID shots will be denied outside visitors.

For their part, all visitors will be subject to a COVID-19 entry point screening, including temperature readings. Once inside the prison, visitors must wear face masks that cover their nose and mouth at all times, and they are not permitted to make any physical contact with inmates – no hugging or handshakes.

In March, the DOC attempted to deny all non-vaccinated inmates access to visits with attorneys. Superior Court Judge Una Gandbhir ruled against the state’s position, saying it “shall not distinguish in its visitation policies between vaccinated and unvaccinated inmates.”

It is unclear whether the current policy regarding visitors in general would stand up to a court challenge.

A prisoner advocacy group in Alaska, Supporting Our Loved Ones Group, issued a statement on the new DOC visitation policy.

“To say that we are disappointed in the Department of Corrections decision to mandate vaccination in conjunction with eligibility to have a “secure visit” would be a major understatement,” the group’s website states. “Family members have been waiting over a year to visit with loved ones. To finally have some small access to our incarcerated loved ones, even if it is behind glass, only to learn that they must first be fully vaccinated before they can participate is another blow to the families of over 4,000 incarcerated Alaskans. It also defies logic when staff and visiting vendors are NOT required to be vaccinated, and they come into direct contact with our incarcerated loved ones on a daily basis albeit with safety measures put in place to reduce the risk of spreading Covid19. Why should it be any different for visiting family members?”

DOC Commissioner Nancy Dahlstrom said her department is “excited to be able to open our facilities to the public for visitation once again,” while noting that this has been “a challenging year and we appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility as we gradually restore our facilities to their pre-COVID operations.”

By appointment only, institutional lobbies will also reopen April 21 to collect bail and contributions to Offender Trust Accounts.

Due to some recent positive COVID tests at the Anchorage Correctional Complex and Ketchikan Correctional Center, those prisons are not open to any visitors at this time. suspended at this time.

The DOC originally suspended all nonessential activity in Alaska prisons on March 19, 2020, which means most inmates have gone more than a year without seeing visitors.


  • Click here to contact the Alaska Department of Corrections Commissioner Nancy Dahlstrom.

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Alaska inmates must be COVID vaxed in order to see family and friends

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • John J Otness says:


  • G Aleution says:

    The state of Alaska actively worships Satan. It will always behave in hateful ways until the King of Kings reappears and sets matters straight among many people. At that time every knee in Juneau will bow.

    • L.A says:

      Wow!!! The State of Alaska does? Or the people that work for it? Ferry workers? Nurses? Troopers? Road Maintenance? Counselors?
      LMAO!!! Where is your aluminum foil hat?

      • G Aleution says:

        Oh you so smot. If you say there is no diety in the world then, of course, scientifically there can not be one. Aren’t you too special. Thanks for letting us know.

  • G Aleution says:

    Also, every state believes in something. Alaska believes very strongly in cruel and unusual punishment as matter of course. They don’t believe in anything good except that white people should play outside all the time. If you insult them they have a firm belief you should not work, have a family, have hope or be normal. Certainly liberty is not for brown people in Alaska. It’s something I don’t like about Alaska its exorbitant progressive racism.. NO, you should be locked away until, like the little fountleroys they truly are spiritually, your life should be made a living hell because you made them frown primly. It was not always like this in Akaska white people.

    • Neocondom1 says:

      Stop your whining. Alaska Brown people get paid extra just to exist in Alaska. If that is not a system favoring the Brown people more than the white people, as you like to say, then put down your booz until it makes sense.

  • G Aleution says:

    Since brown people are the largest population in Alaskan gulags don’t let them see their families. Thought crimes are worst crimes of all. “We’ll be the arbiters of what nice people think”say the nice absent minded white people in Alaska. It’s your turn. Gasp.

  • G Aleution says:

    Are the inmates offered masks? How much are we paying for them? If they are denied this human need families please file class action suit immediately for this urgent need.

  • Ross Perrine says:

    This discriminatory policy is reprehensible and should be reversed immediately! It’s a violation of the Nuremburg Code to conduct medical experiments on anyone against their will! These so called vaccines are not approved by the FDA, are still Experimental and have only been given Emergency Use Authorization at this point! For the Alaska Dept. of Corrections to deny prisoners the right the see their family unless they agree to submit to be part of these medical experiments is unconscionable, discriminatory and totally unacceptable!

  • NAV says:

    Total violation of the civil liberties and constitutional rights of the prisoners!!!! Join together file class action law suite in state Supreme Court

  • Mongo love candy says:

    More Dunleavy asleep at the wheel while Medical Tyranny is implemented.

  • G Aleution says:

    Major civil rights usurpation.

  • Matthew says:

    Absolute BS! When will we all wake TF up?!?

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    More bull
    Again stop the Madness

  • G Aleution says:

    Oh you so smot. If you say there is no diety in the world then, of course, scientifically there can not be one. Aren’t you too special. Thanks for letting us know.