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.
More than a dozen men in orange, with the initials of the Arizona Department of Corrections stenciled on their shirts, are caring for 35 wild horses and burros on grounds about 50 miles southeast of Phoenix. The men shovel fresh hay into stalls, the wind carrying wisps into the air. They start to groom the horses. Rick Kline, an inmate at the Arizona State Prison in Florence, helps care for and train wild horses and burros the state captures and offers for adoption. The Bureau of Land Management funds and oversees a program that annually provides about 120 wild horses and burros for adoption, according to its website. The mission is to reduce the population to prevent overgrazing. First, the animals need to be domesticated after they’re transferred from a holding facility. Inmates train and care for the horses and burros for three or four months at the prison. Inmates gain an education beyond learning to train horses.
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.