The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR) Recognizes Inmate Educational Milestones

February 2, 2024

(PHOENIX) - The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR) today recognizes the collective educational milestones achieved by more than 5,900 inmates throughout 2023. These achievements have resulted in a nearly 24-percent increase in educational attainment statewide from 2022-2023. The life-changing successes of these inmates, attained with the help of ADCRR teachers, staff, and community volunteers, offer more than a diploma or certificate. Education is a known protective factor in reducing recidivism according to a 2013 study by RAND®.

ADCRR Director Ryan Thornell, Ph.D., appointed by Governor Hobbs in 2023, quickly established a new vision and mission to reimagine the Department, into one focused on rehabilitation as a means of supporting inmate growth and change, while ensuring the safety of staff and the public.

“Education has the power to unlock transformative change inside every individual, which is why the ADCRR has prioritized, expanded, and strengthened the educational offerings available to the people in our custody and care,” said Director Thornell.

Dedicated teachers and staff at ADCRR complexes across the state are helping to encourage inmates to tap into the power of education while facilitating the incredible growth taking place.

Throughout 2023, thousands of inmates incarcerated at an ADCRR complex received educational degrees and certifications, or completed an educational program. Their achievements included:

  • 712 GED completions
  • 57 High School completions
  • 1,868 Career and Technical Education (CTE) program completions
  • 3,161 functional literacy program completions
  • 108 Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program completions
  • 9 graduations from Arizona State University’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program

Guided by the Department’s vision to reimagine correctional practices across Arizona, the ADCRR’s Education, Programs, and Community Reentry (EPCR) Division has focused its 2024 goals on expanding Pell-funded postsecondary education programs and additional industry-recognized CTE credentials so that incarcerated individuals have more options that will lead to good paying, in-demand jobs upon release.

“Our goal is to ensure people are ready for work and ready to contribute in a meaningful way, upon release,” said Eric Stewart, the ADCRR’s Assistant Director of Education, Programs, and Community Reentry. “We’re proud of the continued work that’s being done across Arizona to achieve that goal by both the inmates who are ready to change their lives, and by the teachers who are committed to supporting personal growth,” he said.


Media Contacts:
Judy Keane
Brendon Cross
(602) 542-3133