Governor Doug Ducey in 2017 announced the launch of Second Chance Centers, a program to help ensure those serving their time are given every chance to succeed when reentering society. Second Chance Centers ease the transition back into society for those nearing release by offering resources that lead to job readiness, including job skills training, résumé and interview preparation, on-site job fairs, enrollment in health care, transportation services and more.
According to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, more than 3,728 individuals have completed the Second Chance Center program — resulting in more than 2,200 finding employment. Currently, 346 individuals are enrolled in the program and accessing services.
In his 2017 State of the State Address, Governor Ducey said:
None of us can overcome challenges in life without a support system. Every day, we all rely on friends and family, mentors and advocates. But sadly, many who have served their time, don’t have a community of support when they leave prison – making it that much harder.
Last year, Arizona saw a 10 percent drop in released inmates going back to prison on technical violations and the state experienced one of the largest drops in the number of inmates in Arizona prisons since 1974. Second Chance Centers are administered through a partnership between the Arizona Department of Corrections, the Arizona Department of Security and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. The program is held at Lewis and Perryville State Prison Complexes in Maricopa County and the Tucson State Prison Complex in Pima County.
Arizona has taken additional steps to increase employment opportunities for inmates who have served their time. Governor Ducey in November 2017 issued an executive order instructing state agencies to delay questions related to an applicant’s criminal record until after the initial stages of interviewing. The policy, known as Second Chance Box, ensures individuals looking for employment receive full and fair consideration for job positions.