Inmate crews busy fighting fires in southern Arizona, with the Fort Grant Wildland Fire Crew having responded to a dozen brush fires in southern Arizona since March 1. Supervisors lead the team of 18 inmates who are qualified in fighting fires and fire prevention.
ABC15 Arizona reports on a former felon with Arizona Department of Corrections who is parlaying job training while imprisoned into a firefighting opportunity on the outside. ... These inmate fire crews are a shining example of how to rehabilitate prisoners and prevent recidivism, according to the governor’s office. The governor’s budget proposal this year calls for millions of dollars in new spending to reduce prion recidivism, including a post-release fire crew.
Six years after the Monument Fire and four years after residents of Ramsey Canyon started working together to increase wildfire mitigation efforts in their community, combined efforts of the public, fire officials and private business show improvement. The Arizona Forestry Division-Wildland Fire Hazardous Fuels reduction program in Ramsey Canyon, is a collaboration between the Fry Fire District, Arizona State Forestry, the Nature Conservancy, the Ramsey Canyon Firewise Community and the University of Arizona South.
The Arizona Corrections Department established a work program at a local veterans cemetery and prepares special meals for Veterans Day and Memorial Day. It also opened a veterans' garden where inmates are working to create a certified way-station for migrating monarch butterflies. Deputy Warden Dionne Martinez said that 50 inmates have been released since their pod opened a year and a half ago; officials know of only one who has ended up back in custody. Now they are trying to start a program for women.