PHOENIX — During today’s State of the State address, Governor Doug Ducey highlighted Arizona’s successful efforts to provide those who have served their time a real second chance – and called for expanding these programs in 2018.
"At second chance centers we launched last year at prisons outside Tucson and Phoenix, we’re teaching life and career skills to inmates who are scheduled to leave prison soon. Dozens of employers are participating, and of the hundreds of inmates who have graduated through these programs to date – many are leaving prison with multiple job prospects. So let’s expand these programs, with capacity for 975 more inmates to participate each year."
At employment centers at Lewis and Perryville Prisons in Maricopa County and at the Tucson State Prison Complex in Pima County, inmates are being trained with in-demand skill sets— before exiting prison—helping improve their chances of success. To date, over 600 inmates have graduated from an employment center program, and more than half have found jobs.
Governor Ducey’s Executive Budget will include nearly $450,000 to expand employment center programs at Lewis and Perryville Prisons in Maricopa County.
In his address, Governor Ducey also announced a new joint effort between the Department of Transportation and the Department of Corrections to ensure individuals who have served their time have proper identification before leaving prison, helping provide them the tools needed to successfully reenter society.
Other Second Chance programs Arizona has implemented include:
The Second Chance Box: Following an executive order issued in November, state agencies will delay questions related to an applicant’s criminal record until after the initial stages of interviewing.
Uber For Jobs Program: Under a new public-private partnership launched in November, the Arizona Department of Corrections is working with Uber to help recently-released inmates utilize Uber’s ride services to get to and from verified employment events like a job or interview.
Pre-enrolling Inmates For Medicaid: Since September 2016, Arizona has worked to ensure that inmates eligible for Medicaid are pre-enrolled prior to release for the best opportunity for success. To date, over 6,500 inmates have applied and been approved for Medicaid. (AHCCCS, accessed 1/8/2018)
Treating Addiction Inside Prison: Under a pilot program and by expanding the number of substance abuse counselors in prisons, the Arizona Department of Corrections is helping inmates address addiction before being released, increasing their chances of success.
For more information or assistance, contact Governor Ducey's press office: (602) 542-1342.