ADC In The News
The Governor and Cardinals players met with inmates who have graduated from an eight-week re-entry program, a Gov. Doug Ducey-backed initiative that has tripled in size since its creation early last year. The program aims to reduce recidivism by giving individualized attention, including job- and life-skills training, to prisoners considered "moderately or highly" likely to commit another crime upon release. It also recruits local employers willing to take a chance on convicted felons in the hopes that other companies will follow suit. "There are 42,090 men and women in Arizona state prisons," said Ducey, who — along with Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill and players Antoine Bethea and Corey Peters — toured a Second Chance center Tuesday.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, four out of 10 inmates will end up back in the prison system. However, a program recently started by Hickman's Family Farms is hoping to lower that number, by providing recently released inmates with a job, as well as a place to live.
Arizona Town Hall President Tara Jackson has organized community discussions all over the state. But Thursday was different. “We’ve never done anything like this," Jackson said. "The Department of Corrections has never done anything like this.” Participants gathered at the Eagle Point Second Chance Center, a lower security facility at the Arizona State Prison Complex – Lewis in Buckeye.
In a visitation room decorated with murals depicting the history of flight, space exploration, Frida Kahlo, American industrialism and the military, groups of people sat on plastic chairs around plastic tables, and talked. It was a community meeting held by Arizona Town Hall, an organization that focuses on one significant issue each year and brings together experts, policy makers and residents. Their 2018 topic is Criminal Justice in Arizona. They’re holding gatherings around the state.
There’s an unlikely group of men in Arizona helping to rehabilitate and train wild horses and burros captured by the Bureau of Land Management. The trainers aren't your typical cowboys wearing cowboy boots and hats. Instead, they’re dressed in orange and make no more than 80 cents an hour. With giant fences and guard towers, you’ll find these trainers hard at work about 65 miles away from Downtown Phoenix at the State Prison in Florence.
It started out as just another day at work for Gloria Waddell in the kitchen at the Hayden Senior Center. While eating something, a piece of food became lodged in her throat. She found herself unable to breathe or communicate with her fellow workers. The other people working in the kitchen saw what was happening but panicked and did not know what to do. Gloria was turning blue and felt herself, going limp and about to blackout. “I thought, this is it. I’m going to die,” Gloria said. At that time a prison inmate worker, Louie Ojeda, who was working in the back of the kitchen, came to her rescue. Louie is a prison inmate from Arizona State Prison in Globe.