Arizona News: Two Years Later: A Real Second Chance for Inmates

Arizona News: Two Years Later: A Real Second Chance for Inmates

PHOENIX, AZ (STL.News) – In March of 2017, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey launched Second Chance Centers to equip inmates with the skills and resources they need to successfully reenter society —​ all before exiting prison.

The centers, operated through a partnership between the Arizona Department of Corrections, the Arizona Department of Economic Security and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, focus on reducing the rate at which former inmates return to prison.

Located at the Lewis and Perryville State Prison Complexes in Maricopa County and the Tucson State Prison Complex in Pima County, the three centers offer inmates job skills trainings, résumé and interview preparation, on-site job fairs, enrollment in health care and more.

Through February 2019:

  • Over 2,300 individuals have completed Second Chance Center programming, resulting in over 1,400 job placements since March 2017.
  • Current enrollment at the Second Chance Centers stands at 301 inmates.
  • 95 employers partner with the centers to offer jobs to those who have served their time including Hickman’s Family Farms, Erickson Framing and Jackson’s Car Wash.

Due to the success of Second Chance Center programming, Governor Ducey’s fiscal year 2019 budget provided $500,000 to expand the centers at Lewis and Perryville prisons, allowing an additional 975 inmates to participate.

In October 2018, Governor Ducey, Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill and Arizona Cardinals players attended a job fair at the Lewis State Prison Complex where they heard first-hand from inmates, ex-offenders and employers about their experience with the Second Chance Centers.  Following the visit, the Cardinals expressed a commitment to encouraging other employers to partner with Arizona to help those exiting prison successfully reenter society.