• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 48s

Families of dead inmates face off with prison officials

By KTVA Alaska Photojournalist: Nick Swann - 7:20 PM July 15, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Ten to 12 inmate deaths a year is not cause for alarm, according to Joe Schmidt, the head of Alaska’s Department of Corrections system.

The department’s refusal to answer any questions surrounding inmate deaths led Sen. Hollis French to call a special legislative hearing Tuesday where, still, many questions were left unanswered.

“Yesterday he tells me, ‘Mommy, I misses my dad. Why isn’t daddy coming home? He doesn’t like me anymore?’” said Vernesia Gordon, the fiancee of an inmate found dead in a jail cell on April 4.

Joe Schmidt, commissioner for the DOC — which is tasked with keeping inmates safe — referred to policy in place to protect the institution.

“When lawsuits are pending and investigations are ongoing, we have to be very careful just going forth with a tremendous amount of information just to keep people happy,” Schmidt said.

But a lawsuit is the only way that Gordon and her attorney Robert Campbell believe they’ll find out why 20-year-old Davon Mosley died from a treatable medical condition inside of a corrections facility — a week after he should have been released.

“Davon Mosley wasn’t taken care of,” Campbell said. “The state took away his freedom, then the state screwed up again by not releasing him when his charges were dismissed. That’s two fatal errors, either one which could’ve been cured for if they took care of him or released him. Either way, he’d be alive but he’s not. He’s dead. These kids have lost their dad.”

A mother who lost her 33-year-old daughter says Mosley’s family isn’t alone.

Constance Anderson’s daughter Kristen Simon died in the custody of corrections officers in June during what she believes were severe drug withdrawals.

“I really think it needs to be checked, not just for her but or everyone that walks through that door because it could be you and it could be me and it could be your child that died and your child that’s dead in a holding cell,” Anderson said.

Those who walk the toughest beat, Alaska corrections officers, agreed that something must be done because. To accept 10 to 12 inmate deaths a year is nowhere near acceptable, they say.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Alaska Airlines announces 2017 flights to Havana, Cuba

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 27, 16:42

    Alaska Airlines has joined the ranks of companies permitted to operate commercial flights to Cuba following an ease of restrictions between the U.S. and the communist island nation earlier this year. The first Alaska Airlines flight to Cuba is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2017, out of Los Angeles. The company announced Tuesday it plans to offer daily […]

  • Lifestyle

    It’s a boy! First baby born with DNA from 3 parents

    by Mary Brophy Marcus / CBS News on Sep 27, 15:30

    In what experts are calling a “revolutionary” medical event, the first baby with DNA from three parents has been born. The little boy, now nearly six months old, was conceived using a controversial technique meant to help people who carry genes for fatal rare diseases. The procedure received widespread media attention when lawmakers in the U.K. became the first to approve its use last year. It […]

  • Lifestyle

    Anchorage hospital offers free flu shots at drive-thru events

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 27, 15:26

    ANCHORAGE — Alaska Regional Hospital will be providing free flu shots at drive-thru events every few days over the next month, starting on Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone over the age of 13 can get vaccinated. The hospital said in a statement that the drive-thru shots are quadrivalent, meaning it […]

  • News

    Washington mall shooting suspect ordered into mental health treatment

    by Associated Press on Sep 27, 13:50

    Assaults on his parents and inappropriate sexual behavior at school led judges to order mental health treatment for the young man charged with killing five people at a Washington state department store. Court records obtained by The Associated Press detail a series of criminal charges and attempts to rehabilitate 20-year-old Arcan Cetin, who was diagnosed […]

  • Sports

    Regional cross country winner Carl Charlie thanks community for victory

    by Adrian Wagner/KYUK on Sep 27, 13:46

    This story originated from KYUK Public Media and was republished with permission. BETHEL — High School students from across the Delta made the trip to Bethel this weekend to compete in the Lower Kuskowkim School District state qualifying cross country meet. Carl Charlie of Bethel Regional High School took first place for the boys in the 3.1 mile race […]

  • Lifestyle

    World Health Organization: 9 out of 10 people breathing excessive air pollution

    by CBS News on Sep 27, 13:12

    More than nine out of 10 people worldwide live in areas with excessive air pollution, contributing to strokes, heart disease, lung cancer and other problems, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. The U.N. health agency said in a new report that 92 percent of people live in areas where air quality exceeds WHO limits, with southeast Asia, eastern […]

  • DayBreak

    Alaska volunteers help improve lives of those living in South Sudan

    by Daybreak Staff on Sep 27, 12:30

    Volunteers in Alaska have been working hard over the years to bring clean water, agriculture and health to the people of South Sudan. Now, they are hoping to raise $40,000 to continue their mission. Tuesday, the program director of the Alaska Sudan Medical Project, Jessi Curtis, joined Daybreak to talk about how the program started […]

  • DayBreak

    Alaska Aces help fight breast cancer through 5K race

    by Daybreak Staff on Sep 27, 12:27

    The Aces and SMG’s second annual 5K celebration kicks off Oct. 9. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Alaska Run for Women and go towards breast cancer research. Tuesday, Alaska Aces announcer Kurt Haider and Chelsa Adams joined Daybreak to talk about the importance of this year’s event. Alaska Aces & SMG 5k Sunday, […]