PHOENIX --The Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) recently announced the creation of its Division of Inmate Programs and Reentry -- the most significant reorganization to the agency’s management structure in over five years. The move follows months of research, collaboration and discussions.
“This new structure reflects an increased emphasis on preparing state inmates for successful return to our communities,” said ADC Director Charles Ryan. “It improves our coordination of services to ensure we make the best use of taxpayer resources.”
The vast majority of inmates committed to the Department will return to the communities of Arizona upon their release. In FY2015 alone, ADC released 19,773 inmates, most having served less than two years in its custody.
Consequently, Director Ryan believes it is incumbent on the agency to use objective classification and needs assessment tools, along with evidence-based programs, to better prepare these inmates for their reentry.
“Through improved coordination of these efforts, I’m convinced that we can have a long-term, positive impact on reducing inmate recidivism, improving the safety of our communities while also potentially slowing the growth of the prison system in Arizona,” said Ryan. “These objectives also reflect the goals of Governor Ducey, who has supported ADC’s efforts to create a Community Corrections Center in Maricopa County as yet another tool to work with inmates on community supervision rather than simply returning them to prison when they commit technical violations.”
The new Division incorporates all inmate programs and services (Arizona Correctional Industries, Education, Counseling and Treatment Services, Religion, and Reentry Planning) that were previously under the Support Services Division, as well as Community Corrections, which operated under Offender Operations.
Working in close collaboration with Offender Operations, the newly defined Division of Inmate Programs and Reentry will focus on ensuring that inmates are placed in evidence-based programs geared toward their individual needs, commensurate with their classification risk scores and custody level, from the time of their initial assessment at reception, through their incarceration, and upon their transition to release to community supervision.
The Division of Inmate Programs and Reentry will be led by Karen Hellman, who brings a wealth of education and experience within ADC managing addiction, drug and alcohol treatment, sex offender treatment, and reentry programming. Ms. Hellman most recently served as ADC’s Administrator for Counseling and Treatment Services.
The changes announced have been accomplished with the reallocation of existing resources and positions.
An updated organization chart reflecting the new structure for the agency is available here: ADC Agency Organization Chart
The Arizona Department of Corrections, Safer Communities Through Effective Corrections.