Spring Creek Correctional Center

Spring Creek Correctional Center is a maximum-security, state-operated adult correctional institution located in Seward, Alaska. The institution has a capacity of 535 male inmates and employs a staff of nearly 200.

While much of Spring Creek's inmate population serve long-term sentences, the institution also houses prisoners serving sentences from three to ten years. Rehabilitative programs include ABE/GED, parenting, cognitive skills, anger management, substance abuse, and prerelease programs. Spring Creek is also the AK Department of Corrections' largest provider of mental health services.

Spring Creek was profiled in an MSNBC documentary entitled Lockup: Spring Creek, Alaska. Numerous Spring Creek inmates were interviewed, including Carl Abuhl, John Bright and Cordell Boyd.

Bill Lapinskas, 49, is the superintendent at Spring Creek, and he is leading an effort to change the culture of the prison that holds 400-plus inmates and employs 169 people.

Much has already changed in Lapinskas' 2 1/2 years in the top job. Increasingly, prisoners earn diplomas, turn to each other for sobriety and gather for high-minded discussions. They also spend fewer days in solitary confinement. Some correctional officers, whose careers are historically prone to burnout, feel empowered to bring new ideas.

"Let's burn people out doing the good work rather than burn people out fighting with hats and bats," said Lapinskas, who started as a correctional officer at Spring Creek 26 years ago.

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Spring Creek Correctional Center

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Visiting Hours and Rules

Normal visiting hours for the general population are every day from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and on Fridays/Weekends/Holidays from 6:30 pm to 9 pm.

Prisoners in segregation have visiting hours every day from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. Monday thru Thursday is secure visiting and Fridays, weekends, and holidays are contact visits.

Punitive segregation prisoners are restricted to one-hour secure visits with immediate family only.

Approved items for visitors are:

  • Photo identification
  • locker keys
  • one plastic baby bottle (not glass) or sippy cup, one pacifier, one diaper and one handi-wipe (for children one-year-old or younger)

Only prescription medication necessary to the immediate perseveration of the life of a visitor will be allowed into the facility. The prescription must be issued to the visitor, is a current prescription and in the original container. Some examples would be an asthma spray or nitroglycerin pills. Prescription medication will be allowed down to the visiting area but will be secured by staff until use is needed.

Visitors are to leave unauthorized items in their vehicles or in the lockers provided by the reception desk.

Visitors must be on a prisoner’s approved visiting list before they may have a contact visit. Even if the visitor is approved on another SCCC prisoner’s list, the visitor must complete a new application to visit a different prisoner.

All visitors will be dressed appropriately for a correctional setting. Garments should be conservative and modest. All clothing must be free from obscene, inappropriate or offensive messages. Excessively provocative, immodest or revealing attire is a reason to deny visiting.

Prescription glasses are allowed but sunglasses are not. Visitors with inappropriately revealing or suggestive clothing such as sleeveless garments, tank tops, halter tops, tube tops, clothing revealing the midriff area of the anatomy, scrubs, shorts, cutoff pants, miniskirts, spandex, low cut blouses, see-through clothing, military fatigues, muscle shirts, backless clothing, spandex, revealing dresses/skirts, and form fitting clothes will not be permitted to visit until a change to appropriate clothing is made.

Proper underclothing, to include a bra for female visitors must be worn. Visitors are not allowed to wear multi-layered clothing that could be used to conceal contraband, such as jackets, coats or hats. Sweatshirts with hoods or zipper fronts are not permitted in visiting. Clothing worn into visiting must remain on, to include shoes, sweaters and sweatshirts.

Clothing items that are not allowed should be left in the provided lockers or in the visitor’s vehicle.

A female visitor is required to wear a blouse, t-shirt, shirt or sweater (sweater worn as one layer) and slacks, jeans, skirt or dress. Pants, skirts and dresses must be no shorter than one inch below the knee or longer.

Men are required to wear shirts, sweaters, or t-shirts and trousers or jeans.

Shoes will remain on the feet. Flip flop style shoes are not allowed. Shoes must be secure on feet and cover heel.

Lockers are provided for visitor’s use but it is strongly urged that all visitors come to the prison with only a minimum amount of items. SCCC is not responsible or liable for any item left in your vehicle or SCCC locker. Any items left in the lockers or elsewhere on facility grounds are left at the owner’s risk.

Pets are not permitted in the facility or to be left in vehicles on facility grounds. No visitors or their guests are allowed to wait in the facility or parking lot for more than fifteen minutes before and after approved visiting times.

There will be no loitering on the facility grounds, to include the lobby area or parking lot, waiting for visits to be completed. Visitor’s “rides” will have to wait off facility grounds until the visit has been completed.

Cell phones, Ipods, smartwatches, PDAs, tablets and other electronic devices not specifically authorized by the Superintendent to include any device capable of wireless communication, picture/audio/video recording or playback, games or devices of similar capability are prohibited.

A minor visitor, person under the age of eighteen, must be accompanied by an approved visiting parent or legal guardian. A minor who is an immediate family member of the prisoner may be brought in by an approved visitor who is family member.

When a visitor is depositing funds on a prisoner’s account, it will be completed as time allows. Visitors being checked in for a prisoner visit will take priority. Funds being deposited for a prisoner must be cash, cashier/certified check, traveler’s check or money order. Personal checks are not accepted.

All visitors over the age of sixteen years old will have to present picture identification cards (i.e. state driver’s license, state or military ID). A parent or legal guardian must accompany those under eighteen unless it is pursuant to a valid court order.

Emancipated minors, including spouses, will be approved for visitation in the same manner as adult visitors. All married or emancipated minors must furnish appropriate documentation, i.e. marriage license, court order etc.

Proof of relationship to minor visitors (under the age of eighteen) who are family of the prisoner is the burden of the prisoner and visitor and will require a birth certificate. If the parent’s name is different than what is on the birth certificate, the proof must be submitted showing the name change from the birth certificate to the current name.

All persons and their possessions in SCCC facility are subject to search. Staff may pat search any visitor before and after visitation. A staff member of the same sex must perform the pat search. Refusal to allow an authorized search by staff will result in a denial of visiting and possibly being denied future visits.

Staff will search a visitor’s personal effects and belongings if the items are allowed in the visitation area. All visitors are to clear a metal detector before a visit will be allowed. Visitors who cannot clear a metal detector because of a medical reason or device will be pat searched and any wheelchair, cane, or walkers will be thoroughly searched.

Physical Address

Spring Creek Correctional Center
3600 Bette Cato
Seward, Alaska 99664

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/9qquJ96gvJgZ7kaJ7

General Phone Number


Inmate Mailing Address(es)

Prisoner First Name, Last Name, & Offender Number
Spring Creek Correctional Center
3600 Bette Cato Avenue
Seward, Alaska 99664

Prisoners may receive through the mail:

  • Correspondence
  • Photos
  • Money orders, cashier’s checks, and certified checks for $500 or less

Only approved visitors may send funds to be deposited on a prisoners account. Cash may only be accepted from approved visitors in person, not through the mail.

Prisoners may only receive books, newspapers, and books through the publisher. The prisoner must make the order for books, newspapers and books.

Prisoners will not receive any mail that contains:

  • threats of physical harm against any person or threats of criminal activity;
  • contraband, plans for sending contraband in to or out of the institution;
  • contents that written is written in code that the reader can not understand;
  • contents that is gang hand signs, symbols or slang;
  • contents that show frontal nudity. Frontal nudity includes either the exposed female breast(s) and/or the genitalia of either gender;
  • plans for activities in violation of facility rules, or criminal activity;
  • information that, if communicated, would create a risk of mental or physical harm to a person;
  • material that could reasonably be expected to aid an escape, or incite or encourage any form of violence;
  • magazines, books, audio or video tapes, music or game compact discs, or movie DVDs;
  • contents that are in violation of a court order or probation/parole condition prohibiting contact with an individual or class of individuals;
  • contents that depicts or describes procedures for construction or use of weapons, ammunition, bombs or incendiary devices;
  • plans for activities in violation of facility rules, or criminal activity;
  • postage stamps;
  • musical cards, recordable cards, oversized cards (any card larger than 8" X 11") , or cards made out of a non-paper material;
  • decorative stickers;
  • glue, white out, perfume, paint, lipstick, crayon, or other unidentifiable substances;
  • cash or personal checks
  • or any mail with an envelope/box that:
  • is made of non-paper material;
  • has decorative stickers, address labels or seals;
  • has no return sender and/or complete return address.

How to Call an Inmate

Prisoners at SCCC have reasonable access to a telephone, but can’t receive inbound calls. SCCC may limit, monitor, or record prisoners' telephone calls to preserve security and order in the institution and to protect the public.

The Alaska Department of Corrections currently contracts with SECURUS Technologies for telephone services with family, friends, and loved ones (FFL). SECURUS is required to meet federal requirements as imposed by the Federal Communication Commission and the local requirements required by the Alaska Regulatory Commission for services and fees.

Inmates may only place outgoing calls and cannot receive incoming calls to their facility. In order for inmates to place calls, a billing account needs to be established by FFL’s with SECURUS Technologies. The following billing accounts are currently available:

ADVANCE Connect: Allows family, friends and loved ones to receive collect calls from inmates and have the charges deducted automatically from the F.F.L's prepaid account.

DIRECT Bill: Allows family, friends and loved ones to receive collect calls from inmates and have the charges billed directly to the F.F.L's through SECURUS Correctional Billing Services. Credit check required.

Billing Accounts may be set up through the SECURUS website or by calling 1-800-844-6591.

The rate for prepaid and collect local calls is .07 per minute. Long-distance prepaid calls are .21 per minute and collect calls are .25 per minute.

When a prisoner places a call, he states his name and a recorded message is played. The recipient is advised who is calling and it is an inmate in a correctional facility. The recipient is then provided with the option to accept or reject the call. For complete details on how to call an inmate in Alaska, please click here.

How to Send Money

There are two methods family/friends can deposit money to a prisoner's account. Money orders or cashier's checks with prisoner's name and offender number can be mailed into the institution. The sender's name and address must be on the money order or cashier's check as well the envelope or it will be treated as unacceptable mail.

Personal checks and cash will not be accepted and will be returned to the sender at the prisoner's expense or destroyed.

The second method is to have a family member/friend drop off cash, money order or cashier's check at the facility. A copy of the receipt will be given to that person for their records.

Deposits on a prisoner's account may not exceed $500 in a single month. Prisoners may only receive money from verifiable immediate family members and persons on their approved visiting list.

Inmates are allowed to spend money on phone calls and commissary.  The commissary (or canteen) is the prison store, where inmates can buy a variety of items like food and beverages, OTC medications, stationary, stamps, hygiene items, clothing, and electronics.

​Programs For ​Inmates

  • Adult Basic Education (ABE)

Includes basic academic instruction in reading, writing, and computational skills below the ninth-grade level.

  • GED

Secondary education in the form of instruction leading to a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).

  • Parenting

Inside Out Dad includes 12 one-hour core sessions and 26 one-hour optional sessions designed to help connect inmates to their families and prepare them for release. Topics covered include age appropriate communication strategies, methods of discipline, and tools for long distance parenting.

  • Pre-Release

PreRelease is a 30-hour class designed to help inmates transition back into community living. Topics covered include family reunification, housing information, resume writing and job search skills, community based social services and other support.

  • Vocational Counseling Sessions

Inmates enrolled in Pre-release are encouraged to complete CareerScope, an aptitude and interests screening tool. Results are discussed and evaluated for future training and/or employment options.

  • Short-Term Vocational Programs

To help meet industry demand, and enhance employment opportunities upon release, short term vocational courses are offered to inmates who complete PreRelease class. Offerings may include CPR / Standard First Aid, Maritime Safety, 10 Hour OSHA General Training, ServSafe and DEC Safe Food Handler.

  • Distance Education

Inmates with a GED or High School Diploma are encouraged to participate in correspondence college courses. Courses must be print-based and prior approval is required. Tutoring and proctoring of exams is available. Courses may be funded by inmates, family members, grants and/or scholarships if available.

  • Dantes Testing

Dantes exams are available to inmates who wish to test out of college courses. Exams and college credits may be funded by inmates, family members, grants and/or scholarships if available.

  • University of Alaska, Anchorage Tech Prep Computer Courses

A variety of articulated computer courses are offered under the UAA Tech Prep Agreement. Classes may be taken for lower division college credit with credits offered at significantly reduced tuition.

  • Workplace and Community Transition

Inmates with a GED or High School Diploma, who are 35 years or younger, within 7 years of release or parole and have not been convicted of certain crimes can apply for the "Workforce Community Transition" grant. If accepted, inmates may receive up to $3000 per year for post-secondary college and/or vocational programming.

  • Associate Degree Program

Inmates active in U.S. Dept. of Labor Apprenticeship programs at SCCC may enroll in the 2-year program UAA Apprenticeship Technologies program. This degree program combines academic coursework with credits awarded for apprenticeship hours.

  • Apprenticeship Program

Two apprenticeship programs are currently offered: COOK ANY INDUSTRY and BUILDING MAINTENANCE REPAIRER. Both are 2-year programs which include 4,000 hours of on the job training and 288 hours of related technical instruction. Successful participants receive a Certificate of Completion issued through U.S. Department of Labor.

  • CDL

This 8-phase self-study program aligns with CDL license requirements, and includes reading materials, media, and testing for each phase. Inmates earn a Certificate of Completion at end of program.

  • Life Success Substance Abuse Treatment (LSSAT)

The Life Success Substance Abuse Treatment (LSSAT) Program is a 90 day intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment program. The program serves 25 inmates per quarter and is open to all inmates who are assessed as appropriate for this level of services. The program is a Cognitive Behavioral treatment process and is evidence-based. The program teaches life skills that allow the inmate to make the choice to become addiction free and a productive member of society.

  • 48-Week Offender Treatment Program

The 48-Week Offender program specifically targets antisocial attitudes, values and beliefs (personal cognitive supports for crime.) This program focuses on the specific dynamic risk factors of impulsivity, egocentrism, weak problem-solving / self-regulation skills, aggressiveness and deficits in critical reasoning and abstract thinking.

  • Transition & Reentry

Program to assist offenders in obtaining the skills and knowledge essential to successfully reenter the community to include the areas of housing, employment, education, sober support, and family reunification.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experiences, strengths, and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; it is self supporting through its own contributions. Its primary purpose is for its members to stay sober and to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

  • Narcotics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a twelve-step program of recovery from drug addiction, modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It describes itself as a nonprofit "fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem." The program is group-oriented, and is based on the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions, adapted from AA.

  • Chaplaincy Core Programs

Worship services; Bible/religious studies; Devotional study/prayer times; Special music, drama, religious events; one-to-one mentoring; Pastoral care and counseling; Crisis intervention; Death notifications (to prisoners and their families); Hospital/medical visitation; Segregation visitation; Management of religious diversity issues; Management of volunteer screening, training, supervision; Religious literature distribution; and Critical Incident Stress Management.

Pictures of Spring Creek Correctional Center

Careers at Spring Creek Correctional Center

If you are interested in pursuing a career with the Alaska Department of Corrections, you can find available positions at Spring Creek Correctional Center by visiting their website. Correction Officers in Alaska start at $21.34 per hour.

Benefits include health insurance, plus paid leave and holidays.