Geri Fox was hired as director of Pretrial Services by the Alaska Department of Corrections in August 2016. She was hired for the important position of developing the pretrial services required by SB 91, the new omnibus crime bill. But only six months prior to her hire, she resigned from her position as director of Adult Probation and Parole in Utah amid major problems with offenders leaving treatment, and going on to commit violent crimes. One instance even resulted in the death of a police officer.
In a February 2016 article, FOX13 Salt Lake City News reported on the resignation. “The move comes after several offenders who walked away from Fortitude Treatment Center in the last year have been involved in violent encounters with police, including the fatal shooting of Officer Doug Barney in January.” Click here to see the full story. The Salt Lake Tribune also reported on the resignation, click here to see that story.
In a 2014 Washington Times article (click here for full story), Fox is quoted saying, “I want a safe community, but what we’ve been doing doesn’t seem to really accomplish that objective… Citizens need to ask more of its [sic] correctional system. They should look to us to make sure that when we release offenders, they are coming back a safer, better-contributing member of society.” Her approach did not seem to have the desired effect in her previous employment.
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In Utah, Fox went by the name Geri Miller-Fox, but now in Alaska, she goes only by Geri Fox. Her Facebook and LinkedIn pages still use Geri Miller-Fox, but all mentions by the State of Alaska use the name Geri Fox. Here is a copy of the minutes from the August 25, 2016 meeting of the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission. Fox is introduced as the new head of Pretrial Services. She also goes by Geri Fox in this KTUU interview. Why is her name different only when used as part of her job in Alaska?
Did the Alaska Department of Corrections, specifically commissioner Dean Williams, hire Fox knowing she had just resigned in Utah? If they did know, were they not concerned? And if they didn’t know, why not? These are important questions considering Fox is in charge of Pretrial Services at a time when crime is a major issue in our state – especially when considering her past in Utah.
When asked about her hiring, Alaska Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Megan Edge said they do not discuss the work history of employees, but added Fox was heavily vetted and is doing a great job getting the new Pretrial Services division set up.