What 'Doubling Down' On Second Chance Programs Means For Arizona Inmates

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 1:53pm
Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 11:25pm

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Karen Hellman
Katie Campbell/KJZZ
Karen Hellman

Gov. Doug Ducey wants about $8 million in this year’s budget to expand or facilitate substance addiction services, particularly for people who end up behind bars. And during his State of the State address, he emphasized the need to expand Second Chance programs in prison. Since 2017, the governor says, Second Chance programs have helped more than 3,900 Arizonans, and more than 2,400 had a job upon their release.

"We know these programs work," Ducey said. "This year, we're doubling down on this successful model to give more individuals the opportunity at a better choice and a better life."

But when currently just a fraction of inmates are able to take advantage of such programs, are the new dollars he is proposing enough to make a difference? And what might this programming look like?

For more on that, The Show sat down with Karen Hellman, the director of the Department of Corrections Inmate Programs and Reentry Division.

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