Alaska Gov. Walker launches review of state corrections department

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says his administration will review the state corrections department's policies and its safety measures following a string of inmate deaths last year.

Dean Williams, a top Walker assistant who used to run a youth corrections center in Anchorage, will lead the review along with Joe Hanlon, a private investigator and former FBI agent, Walker's office announced Monday.

A prepared statement from Walker said the review would "look for ways to improve department policies and ensure inmate safety," and aims to "address the concerns that have been raised about the Department of Corrections."

Walker's spokeswoman Katie Marquette said inmate deaths would be one element of the review.

Williams said the review will also look at operational issues like incident reporting, overall trends of violence inside facilities and complaints from staff or inmates over conditions, including safety.

Marquette said Williams would give Walker a status update on the review in two to three months. While he's working on the investigation, Williams will temporarily give up a job shadowing Walker that he started in early July.