Arizona Department of Corrections AmeriCorps Program

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Arizona Department of Corrections AmeriCorps Program

About Us

AmeriCorps Members provide instruction to inmates within 6 months of release throughout the state prison complex system and reentry centers. AmeriCorps Members work in teams to support the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry teachers and Correction Officers in educating inmates preparing to exit the state prison complex and re-enter their communities.

Through educational programs for inmates such as: release and reintegration, instruction in changing offender behavior, money management, basic education, literacy, substance abuse treatment, community resources, money management and parenting for inmates AmeriCorps members aid in expanding the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry's capacity to provide services to inmates. AmeriCorps Members help better prepare them for obtaining and maintaining legitimate employment upon re-entry and reducing recidivism rates.

 

Mission

To aid in reducing recidivism by 25% in 10 years by providing inmates with the knowledge and resources needed to be successful upon release.

 

What is AmeriCorps and where do AmeriCorps Members serve?

The Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry AmeriCorps Program is a program of the Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering, service, and civic engagement. CNCS engages millions of Americans in citizen service through its AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs and leads the nation’s volunteer and service efforts. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps Members serve in select state prison complexes and reentry centers throughout Arizona with programs such as: 
 

Second Chances: Reentry

 

Second Chances: Education

 

 

Locations

Arizona State Prison Complexes

Douglas- Douglas, AZ 85607

Eyman- Florence, AZ 85132

Florence- Florence, AZ

Lewis- Buckeye, AZ 85326

Perryville- Goodyear, AZ 85395

Phoenix- Phoenix, AZ 85008

Safford- Safford, AZ 85546

Tucson- Tucson, AZ85734

Winslow- Winslow, AZ 86047

Yuma- San Luis, AZ 85349

Reentry Centers

Maricopa Reentry Center- Phoenix, AZ 85027

Pima Reentry Center- Tucson, AZ 85713

Service locations are determined based on the need of the location and distance for the AmeriCorps Member


 

Stories of Service


"The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 20, 2020, marked the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.  ADCRR AmeriCorps Program/AmeriCorps Phoenix members joined forces with various volunteer groups by helping paint the house of a disabled Veteran.  In Tucson, our AmeriCorps members helped expand a farm and community garden."


"The Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry AmeriCorps Program is a great opportunity to work with individuals from different backgrounds.  I feel that I am always making progress with the inmates as well as within myself.  This has been a very enlightening experience as we are always making progress and improving inmate’s test scores.  We use examples of real life experiences to keep them engaged. This opportunity made me consider taking on another term with AmeriCorps after my current term is up."

"My service term has been very exciting and full of leaps and turns with positive changes.  The personal change I have experienced the most is giving me the opportunity to be a leader.  I have gained greater responsibility and confidence by helping our students achieve passing scores and work towards their release dates.  I believe I am making a difference individually and collectively in the life of the inmates and personnel.  I enjoy creating lesson plans and I never thought that I would have the opportunity to lead classes.  I am anticipating serving another term with AmeriCorps, and I’m considering going back to school for Social work.  In the future, I hope to participate in writing for more re-entry programs which will help inmates find training and secure jobs using the skills we teach them before they are released."



"I have had many new students throughout the last few months but one of the greatest changes I've seen is in an inmate that I’ve had in my class since I began my service.  When I first came in, she was at a significantly lower reading level than the rest of her peers and was extremely hesitant to read aloud.  Over the course of the last few months I have worked with her one-on- one and encouraged all of my students to ask questions about word definitions and vocabulary, something this inmate struggled with as well.  Over time she began to ask more questions and even volunteered to read.  She has checked out books from our classroom library to continue her reading outside of class and I have seen great progress in her level of reading.  This inmate informed me early on that she was in special education classes in high school.  While I do not know the details, she has expressed concern that she will never pass the TABE test (Test for Adult Basic Education).  Despite this challenge she has continued to actively participate in class and gain more confidence in her reading ability. Although passing the test may not happen right away, I feel confident that she is eager to continue learning and one day she might feel prepared to give it a try."

"I am currently serving in the mandatory education classrooms. During my second month of service, I met an inmate that seemed to have very little motivation to succeed in the class. She always showed up on time and was always physically present, but it was clear that she wasn't mentally present.  I pulled her aside and asked her how the class was going for her and she explained to me that language was the only subject she had left to pass to be completely done with the class, but she felt she couldn't comprehend the subject material and had decided, after taking the language portion of the test five different times, that she was going to quit trying and just spend the rest of her sentence (which was until March) in the class. 

After hearing her frustrations, I made a deal with her.  Our deal was that I would spend an hour three times a week working with her specifically on any area that she wanted extra help on and we would do that until she passed or until our time together was over.  The catch was, she had to come with a good attitude and try her hardest to succeed both in class and during our one-on-ones.  She agreed, but it took a few class periods for her to really get on board. The first few days she was still passively listening to the lessons and not putting her full effort into her assignments.  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get her to come around and start putting her all into the class. It was obvious that she was really bright and intelligent and I knew she could pass the test with a little bit of effort.  

After a couple of weeks of working together, her attitude and demeanor started to change.  She realized that I was going to hold up my end of the deal and that I cared about her success. The next few weeks she began to flourish.  She was asking for more homework and became one of the most engaged students in the class. We continued working one-on-one together every day I was there until test time.  At this point, she was confident. Not only did she think she was going to get the 8.0 she needed to pass, she thought she was going to get a higher score.  She was correct.  She ended up with a 9.9 on the test and completed the class.  She went from hopeless to ecstatic in a matter of weeks.  Because she passed, she was able to leave in December instead of March and was out in time to spend Christmas with her family.  She stopped back by the classroom right before she left, and with the biggest smile on her face, thanked me for believing in her and pushing her to do her best."

 

 


 

Join

Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry AmeriCorps Program needs you!

AmeriCorps Team Leaders- 900 hours

 

Eligibility

· 18 years of age or older

· Must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or legal permanent resident alien of the United States

· Ability to commit to described term of service

· Desire to serve in a prison environment and teach inmates

· Ability to pass multiple background checks, drug and alcohol test

Benefits

  • Earn a Living Allowance
  • Education Award upon completion of service to help pay for college, graduate school, vocational training, certificate programs, or repay student loans
  • Student loan deferment
  • Skills and training
  • Potential career opportunities
  • Serving your country and giving back
  • Potential to serve and earn internship hours for college programs**

 

Apply to Serve

Submit your resume at  azstatejobs.azdoa.gov 

Keyword: AmeriCorps

 AND

Apply online at  my.americorps.gov

Select Arizona Department of Corrections as the Program

What steps would I take to be considered?

 

The process can take up to 2-3months

What happens if I make it to Step 5 and I am selected?

 

Equal Employment Opportunity

It is the State of Arizona’s policy to provide equal employment opportunity to all without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, military or veteran status, or any other status protected by law. All individuals are to be treated in a fair and non-discriminatory manner throughout the employment process.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The State of Arizona follows the ADA, as amended, by ensuring equal employment opportunities for qualified persons with disabilities and by providing employees, visitors, and contractors with equal access to facilities, programs, and services. For additional assistance, contact your agency’s Human Resources office.