Ms. Dora Schriro
Director Arizona Department of Corrections
1600 W. Jefferson
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Dear Ms. Schriro,
In our first letter to you, the Arizona Prison Wives Club acknowledged our understanding that you are trying to change a system that is not used to change. We know that you are going up against a lot of well entrenched government officials (i.e.: wardens, correctional officers) who want to keep the "good 'ole boys" policies in force by simply locking up offenders and largely throwing away the key. However, we also know, from experience, that the Arizona Department of Corrections also has a number of line officers and staff who do support your efforts and do try to make a difference in the lives of the men and women for whom prison is a bitter reality.Unlike your predecessors, you seem to be taking a more humanist approach to your vast staff, recognizing that most are underpaid correctional officers, trying to deal with the multiple conflicts of public vigilantism vs prison reform vs the “old boys club” vs the inmates themselves. You have been quoted as saying, "Empowering our workforce is our goal,” with a focus on the "3 R's": recruitment, retention and recognition. When the governor's Blue Ribbon Panel on the Lewis crisis cited a "lack of professionalism" on the part of DOC staff, you declared that it was not the fault of the officers, but rather the fault of management. In a climate of institutionalized finger pointing and blame, you recognized that change does not come from the top, but rather from the bottom. Since the Arizona DOC slogan is - "We Strive Toward Excellence;" starting this month, and continuing with each of our letters, we will be identifying a correctional officer or individual who serves in some capacity in an Arizona prison as our “CO of the Month,” and who demonstrates this motto in action. We will be naming the individual and the circumstance(s) which gave rise to their nomination. As the Director of the Arizona DOC, we feel you deserve to know that there are many COs and Arizona prison staff who not only try and do their jobs as written, but try to treat our loved ones with at least a modicum of respect and treat those of us on the outside with courtesy. With pleasure, the Arizona Prison Wives Club is pleased to recommend the following individual as our first “CO of the Month”:****Ms. Ann Reeder ADW for Barchey at the Lewis Complex******Thank you for your time and attention.
Arizona Prison Wives Club Member