The government of Mexico has graciously donated more than 1,600 Spanish-language textbooks to the Department of Corrections. These are now being distributed to our prison complexes throughout Arizona, where they will be made available in prison education libraries. This donation goes beyond generosity. It addresses a fundamental need for this department, because books of this kind are an essential part of helping every inmate get an education.
Governor Jan Brewer has proclaimed May 4 - 10 as Correctional Officers Week for the state of Arizona. This is an important week, because uniformed Officers are the backbone of this agency and are well-deserving of recognition. I am grateful that our Governor recognizes the significance of this commemoration.
Arizona correctional officers are exceptional educators, motivators, and communicators who routinely avert negative occurrences and successfully intervene in challenging circumstances. Arizona's correctional officers contribute to public safety through responsible, professional and effective corrections every hour of every day each year. Correctional officers serve with distinction in one of the most demanding and challenging professions in all of public service.
In a prison environment, the importance of safety for all staff and inmates cannot be overemphasized.
Good safety practices involve many dimensions that include staffing levels, proper procedures, equipment, training, effective communication and situational awareness, to name but a few.
Safety is further impacted by the Department of Corrections' use of inmate programming to help develop pro-social behaviors and provide opportunities for self-improvement. Among these are work, counseling, education, substance abuse treatment, spiritual programs and visitation.
The Department of Corrections has a very successful wild horse and burro rescue and training program at our Florence prison complex.
Our partner agency, the Federal Bureau of Land Management, brings these animals in from rangelands that can only support a limited number of wild horses to have them trained and made available for adoption by members of the public.
ADC inmates are selected - in a very competitive process - to learn from experienced and professional animal handlers how to properly train the horses and burros so the animals can be adopted.
On the weekend of March 14th-15th, ADC and BLM held the very first public adoption event, resulting in dozens of animals finding a good home.
The program has many advantages, including ADC inmates gaining trade skills they can use once they leave prison, and learning life-changing personal lessons as well.
A notable increase in the number of employees using alternative modes of transportation to and from the ASPC-Tucson prison facility has earned the complex a Bronze Award from the Pima Association of Governments (PAG).
This week, PAG informed the Department of Corrections of this honor in a letter that cited an increase of more than two percentage points in the use of carpools or vanpools, bicycles, bus ridership or other forms of transportation that are designed to reduce the number of single-use vehicles.
Corrections professionals statewide are encouraged to use alternative types of transportation, and as state employees, we must set an example for all Arizona to be committed to reducing traffic and using our natural resources in a wise manner.
I'm very proud of the nearly 1400 employees of ASPC-Tucson for their commitment to this process and for being recognized for their efforts.
Charles L. Ryan
The case of a missing 88 year-old Yuma man who was found alive and well several hours after wandering from his home on March 4th highlights an ongoing commitment from the Arizona Department of Corrections to render aid to fellow law enforcement officers.
One of the most important things this agency can do is assist in efforts such as this one, and Corrections professionals are always ready to help our local, state and federal colleagues in their duties.
In this case, three Corrections Sergeants, Juan Flores, Frank Matus and Jose Venegas, were called out as part of their canine handling responsibilities to help the Yuma County Sheriffs' Office in that agency's successful effort to find a missing elderly man who suffers from Alzheimer's.