Wildwood: Confined space, but plenty of it

Posted: Sunday, January 16, 2005

Depending on the activity of area law enforcement officers, the Wildwood Correctional Center in North Kenai has plenty of room for inmates right now, according to the facility's superintendent.

"We're not overcrowded as of today," said Garland Armstrong.

"In fact, our numbers are below cap."

When asked about a complaint that the facility had more prisoners than it could accommodate and inmates were being forced to sleep on the floor, Armstrong said it was not true.

"Historically, if that were the case, we could set up temporary bunks in the gym, but we have not had to do that in the (16 months) that I've been here," he said.

Armstrong, who has been superintendent of the correctional center since September 2003, said, "There's plenty of room right now."

The correctional center includes the sentencing facility and Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

Building 10, which is for prisoners who already have been sentenced for crimes, can accommodate 250 men.

The Pretrial Facility has 113 beds, which includes a dormitory for between 15 and 20 female prisoners, according to Armstrong.

When Wildwood exceeds the number of females it can house, women are transferred to the Highland Mountain Facility in Eagle River.

Armstrong said although no overcrowding exists today, and there are no temporary bunks set up in the gym, what the future holds is uncertain.

"That depends on what the police and (Alaska State) Troopers do," he said.

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