Recent inmate death becomes 17th in Department of Corrections custody this year

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Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 3:56 PM AKST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2022 at 12:46 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Department of Corrections announced that another incarcerated person has died in their custody this year, becoming the 17th in 2022.

According to a press release from the department, 51-year-old Khari Wade was pronounced dead at 1 a.m. on Nov. 11. The release describes Wade’s death as “anticipated.”

“In the case of an anticipated death, the Alaska State Troopers and State Medical Examiner are notified,” the release said. “Due to privacy and security, Alaska DOC cannot release confidential personal information, or medical information due to HIPAA regulations.”

Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Betsy Holley said that Wade was incarcerated at Goose Creek Correctional Center near Point MacKenzie.

In October, Holley said that the death of 34-year-old William Hensley III — the 15th of 2022 — tied the record for the most number of incarcerated persons to die while in department custody over the last 10 years. The previous high mark of 15 was set in 2015. Holley said in an email that the previous high mark for available records was in 2002 when there were 16 in-custody deaths of incarcerated persons.

In September, Megan Edge with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska said that the state should investigate why the number of incarcerated Alaskans who are dying in the department’s custody has reached a record-high number.

“DOC is constantly looking at ways to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the individuals in our custody,” Holley said. “It is important to mention, DOC remands close to 30,000 individuals each year; many of whom enter our facilities with preexisting, and in some cases, very complicated medical and mental health issues. The Department makes every effort to meet the needs of the population we are charged with serving by assessing individuals needs on intake, upon request from individuals within and outside our system, when transfers occur, and throughout each individual’s incarceration.  Not only does the Department look at internal processes, we look at national standards, trends and services for possible opportunities to assist individuals throughout their incarceration.