We received the decision today from the Superior Court Judge on the 8-hour shifts. The Superior Court Judge ruled in ACOA’s favor. He wrote, “The Arbitrator did not commit gross error… The arbitration award does not violate a well-defined public policy…” and “Therefore, the Court will confirm and enforce the arbitration award.” This means the DOC must enact the remedy described in the arbitration decision. Please take a moment and read the decision linked below. It is important that you are informed so that you can help to put this issue behind us (by informing Legislators, institutional management, the public, and others).

Although this may not be the final step in the fight to do away with the 8-hour shifts, this is a huge step in the right direction. If the DOC decides to not adhere to the Judge’s decision it will need to file for a Stay (a motion which would suspend Judge Rindner’s decision until an appeal has concluded) while simultaneously filing an Appeal with the Alaska Supreme Court.

From the decimated FTO program to serious injuries to additional costs and so much more, the 8’s have been, and continue to be, an unmitigated disaster. Now is the time for Upper Management to get back to the job of running the Department of Corrections.

We will continue to update everyone as we work through the process. We can only hope that with this Superior Court ruling, combined with the complete and utter failure of the “blended staffing model” over the last 2 years, the DOC will finally do what is right and what is safe for Officers and inmates. Unfortunately, if the DOC decides to fight Judge Rindner’s ruling they could spend months using procedural tactics to draw out the order. The DOC could continue to spend tens of thousands of State dollars to keep Alaska’s prisons unsafe.

The decision is attached below.

Link to Judge Rindner’s Superior Court Decision