The Hiland Mountain Correctional Center is near Eagle River, Alaska. The beauty of the scenery clashes with the trappings of the prison for a disturbing juxtaposition.
Like most prisons, you can find a lot of interesting tattoos at Hiland.
Hiland Mountain is not your typical prison. It has many innovative programs. Many inmates care for dogs that will become service dogs for the blind.
Tamara Riley works in the greenhouse. She is serving a 99-year sentence for being an accomplice to murder.
Tamara Riley with her supervisor, Cindy Galvan, another inmate who is serving a long sentence. Tamara and Cindy play in the orchestra together.
Emerald lives in the greenhouse. Her job is to catch shrews and mice.
Now you know where Emerald gets her name. Most inmates call her "Emmy."
Tamara Riley will be on parole in three years.
Tamara Riley is the only original member of the women's string orchestra. She is preparing for her 10th holiday concert.
Tamara Riley is working on Bach's Gavotte, which she will play as a solo.
The Hiland prison orchestra is the only one of its kind in the nation.
The orchestra is a chance for inmates to transform themselves into musicians.
The "prisoner" identity is hard to escape.
Most of the inmates arrive early for their orchestra classes on Saturday. They look forward to making music.
Cheysser Miller has played violin with the orchestra for five years.
Despite prison life, women still find ways to be feminine.
Holly Charlie is the only viola player in the advanced orchestra.
Miricle Girten bows with strength and a sureness.
Miricle Girten is a rock-solid bass player.
Joy Sharpe adds some viola power to the orchestra. She teaches a chamber music class at the prison on Friday.
Richard Kurtz is a volunteer. He's performed at three holiday concerts.
Tisha Negus takes her music seriously.
Tamara Riley says music helps her channel her frustrations.
Shannon Mead has been at Hiland for five years. She'll be out next year.
Gabrielle Whitfield has been the artistic director for the Hiland orchestra for nine years.
Sgt. Mike Dingman says he wishes there could be an orchestra for Alaska's male prison population.
The highpoint for the many orchestra members was during the 2012 Holliday Concert, in which renowned cellist Zuill Bailey performed with the orchestra.
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