Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Visits Prisoners, Recognizes Importance of Reentry Programs
Many states have recognized that sound reentry policy and programs make the public safer. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey expressed his enthusiasm and satisfaction with the results of a reentry program that is designed to lower recidivism rates. During a tour of the Sunrise Employment Center inside of Lewis Prison, Ducey stated, “This is just one of a number of efforts we’re undertaking to help people make real, lasting change so they never end up back in prison.” In essence, Governor Ducey was unwavering in his belief that prison reentry programs are making his state safer. “Arizona has not given up on you. I have not given up on you. And you must never give up on yourselves. There are people you do not know and have never met who want to help you,” he continued. Two other prison facilities in Arizona have employment centers on-site.
Roughly 95% of all state and federal inmates will leave prison at some point in their lives. The vast majority will be released back into the communities where they once lived. In order to keep those communities safe, it is crucially important to have robust reentry programs so that ex-offenders are less likely to commit crimes. Drug treatment, job training and removing barriers to employment for all individuals help make society safer. In addition, allowing ex-offenders greater opportunities to work provides for more individuals to become productive, tax-paying members of society.
Undoubtedly, even with comprehensive reentry programs, some individuals will still commit crimes after being released from prison. However, giving individuals hope and a chance at success after they serve their time in prison will provide for safer and more productive communities. Under Ducey’s leadership, Arizona has identified the benefits of reentry programs. As the effectiveness of reentry programs become clear, other states may follow suit.