As part of a statewide effort to reduce Arizona’s rate of recidivism, Second Chance Centers, launched March 27, 2017, are preparing and equipping inmates with the career and life skills they need to succeed after release.
The Governor’s office, in collaboration with the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC), the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), established three Second Chance Centers located at Lewis and Perryville Prisons in Maricopa County and the Tucson State Prison Complex in Pima County.
The three centers provide a comprehensive 10-week training program for inmates nearing their release who have a moderate to high chance of returning to prison.
Through the program, inmates have the opportunity to attend job fairs, participate in trainings for in-demand skill sets, build relationships with potential employers, and enroll in social services such as Medicaid.
Since the program launched in March of 2017:
- Over 817 individuals have graduated from a Second Chance Center;
- And of those who have completed the program, 444 (54%) have successfully gained employment upon release.
Currently, 223 inmates are enrolled at the three Second Chance Center locations, and a number of employers such as the Arizona Home Builders Association and Hickman’s Family Farm are partnering with ADC in training inmates and offering employment opportunities post-release.
Governor Ducey has focused on ensuring those who have served their time have the tools and resources they need to successfully reenter society. With this focus, Arizona has seen a 10 percent drop in released inmates going back to prison on a technical violation, and is experiencing the largest drop in the number of inmates in Arizona prisons since 1974.
Governor Ducey’s fiscal year 2019 Executive Budget includes nearly $450,000 to expand the programs at the Lewis and Perryville facilities, allowing capacity for an additional 975 inmates to participate in Second Chance Center programming annually.