Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I had to figure out a game plan for me and the kids. Brian was leaving and I knew the hard facts that I had to face. Sell the house in a virtually dead market. Find a job other than what I had done for 6 years in the lending industry since the Mortgage Boom finally blew up. Figure out what I was going to do about the kids school situation. And find help to move a house full of furniture. Things were looking pretty bad. I got on my knees and prayed. I prayed with my kids and I cried out to the Lord for help. "Make a way Lord, where I see that there isn't"
I put my house for sell by owner and I told everyone I knew that I was selling. My brother-in-law knew someone who was ready to buy and after much consideration they said they wanted my house! I knew that I was going to have to do a short sell but had no idea how or where to start. My next door neighbors knew of my situation and they happened to mention it to a friend of there's in their church (our church now). Their friend Paula was a realtor and was learning about foreclosures and short sales (coincidence? I think not!) All I needed was a listing and an advocate to help me though the process. Paula, who became my realtor, brought along her partner Sara (who is now a great friend of mine) she is a loss mitigation (short sale) specialist! (co-incidence? I think not!) They put together the entire deal, we had all the paperwork to sell the house in about a week from the time we put the listing on the MLS. Of course thanks to my sisters husband I had a buyer! My second mortgage company agreed to settle and thanks to Sara I didn't owe them a dime or have to pay taxes on the loss.
In the mean time I had signed Justin up for Pop Warner Football. During a practice I met a wonderful lady named Kristi, a construction company owner. I told her my situation about having to move and she offered to let me borrow her crew on what ever day I needed at her generous expense. Justin only did about 18 hours of practice and decided football just wasn't his game so he quit. I realize now it was meant for me to meet Kristi. Now where was I going to move, now that I had sold my house?? The kids were getting ready to go back to school and I knew I needed to figure out where they were going to go. I had pretty much ruled out the kids staying in their current school Zaharis since I knew I couldn't afford anything with in the boundaries. And since they already had a boundary exception to go to Zaharis I wouldn't have Brian's usual daily help to drive the kids to school. The bus seemed like the only solution for me as a working mom. At this point my house hadn't even closed escrow but I felt like I needed a plan. I went ahead a decided that I would go and enroll the kids at Kids Corner for after school care and what ever school had it available I would enroll them at that school and find a house in that district. Kids Corner is the most affordable after school program out there. So my decision was based on that. Salk was the only one with open spots. So I figured that's where they will go. Period. Deep down I hated this and I wanted so badly for them to stay at the school they loved and had friends they knew. It broke my heart that they had to face another huge change.
I was still on the search for a job. I decided to go to the job fair in Phoenix since I wasn't getting anywhere on line. A few hours of talking to recruiters and walking in 3 inch heels I was ready to go. I still hadn't found anything worth while. Although, Police recruit looked pretty decent if only the hours weren't so crummy. As I was walking towards the exit, exhausted and discouraged I saw a man with red hair and freckles and he smiled at me and I smiled back (we redheads have an understanding with each other!) I walked over to his booth and I scheduled an interview with him for the next day. The only interview I had scheduled that entire day. Insurance seemed like a great idea, at least that's something everyone needs and the market isn't going to drive me out of business. Our interview went very well and I liked the company a lot. Once the background check came back clear I knew I had a job. I felt confident that I would be starting work by September 1st.
My Real Estate Agent Paula had given me a copy of "The Secret" on CD to listen in my car a few weeks after our meeting and I had been applying the principles to my life and I could really see some instant results. My mom and I were wanting to get away for the afternoon to have lunch so we decided to take a quick drive up to Payson. We were going to take the route down by the Salt River through to the Bee Line Highway and as we were almost to Saguaro Lake I said "Hey, Mom we should've brought my "Secret" CD's to listen to!"
She said "Yeah, let's go back and get them...there's a reason why we need to go back anyway."
She's always saying weird things like that... and boy is she right!! As we were driving back down Ellsworth to my house I saw a "FOR RENT" sign.
I said "Can we go look real quick?"
And she said "Sure!".
At this point I had probably looked at a dozen houses and apartments and nothing was in my budget or if it was, it wasn't big enough. It's a tough thing to do when you have to downsize. I called the number and the owner picked up... "Hello?"
"Hi, I'm here in front of your house for rent and I'm wondering if I can take a look at it?"
"Did you just call me?"
"Oh, well a lady just called me and she was going to meet my husband there and probably rent it from us but I can't find what I did with her number to call her back and let her know he's on his way to meet her now."
"Well, I'm here...can he come and show it to me?"
"Sure, I'll call him right now."
(coincidence? I think not!) My mom and I waited only a few minutes and Dave showed up. We both were amazed at the floor plan and the space. It was perfect. B-b-b-but how much?? I didn't want to seem too excited, but I wanted him to know I was serious. I had some money in reserves for first and last months rent and I also had my side business to use as a job qualifier. We worked out a sweet deal for both of us, pending Dave's wife's decision! My mom and I went back to my house grabbed "The Secret" CD's and started back out of town.
"Oh my Gosh Mom, you know what I just realized??!!!?? This house is in the Zaharis school district where the kids have been going to school!!"
(coincidence? I think not!) I realized that what I wanted and what I had asked for, but always seemed to settled for something less, was actually becoming a real possibility!
As we were just about to get to the entrance of Saguaro Lake I decided to test the law of attraction that "The Secret" teaches. I said all of this out loud to my mom as we were driving.
"I'm going to see if I can manifest a red napkin!!"
I saw it in my mind, I asked for it, I received it in my mind and I thanked God for it. The whole way up to Payson I did this. We got into the restaurant and on the table was a white napkin. We ate and I didn't think much of it after that. We decided to drive home since I was anticipating hearing from the owners of that house. As we were getting close to home I wondered if I would even get my red napkin today. But I kept picturing it in my pocket, like it was already mine. We were again approaching the entrance of Saguaro Lake and up high in a Verde Tree was this red fabric. "Did you see that!" My mom said... "Hurry up and turn around!"
I pulled over and ran across the highway. I was expecting a red handkerchief or red work rag but as I got closer and closer I realized it was, sure enough, a RED LINEN NAPKIN high up in a Verde Tree. I pulled it out of the tree and was in amazement!! My mom and I were speechless...well, that's impossible with me and my mom....we were freaking out!!
"You know mom if I would have turned around right when I asked for the red napkin I probably would've seen it right then!!"
Stupid, stupid, stupid I should've asked for a million bucks!!
The next day I met with Rhonda and Dave the owners of the house and we signed a lease agreement!! The kids had gone one day to Salk and the next day I took them back to Zaharis. Boy were they happy! Now, about the Kids Corner after school care issue, remember Zaharis had no openings for any more kids only Salk had openings. But because we moved from one district to another by default they got to stay in the program because we were already enrolled and approved in the previous district.(coincidence? I think not!)
At this point my house had still not closed escrow and I technically didn't have a full time job yet!! Man was I relying on faith or what!! I drove the kids to school everyday until I could get their stuff moved into the new house. The owners of the house were kind enough to let me move in two weeks earlier than the date of my lease move in. Remember my friend Kristi...well her crew got me all moved in in one day! Five houses West of my new place is the kids bus stop! The kids already knew quite a few friends in this neighbor hood since most of them go to Zaharis. Cool thing is, is that there are a ton of first grade girls and a ton of third grade boys. Ashley my girl is in first grade and Justin my boy in third. (Coincidence? I think not)
As I have settled into my new house I have met some amazing friends along the way, new neighbors who I don't know how I could do without. The job situation did finally work out, not as soon as I had hoped! But as I am looking back in retrospect I can see now that it's all in God's timing and there is a reason why I wasn't working for all those months. There is no way I could've handled all of this and held a full time job. I am unpacked and I even had all my pictures hung on the walls. My kids are settled and happy, I had the time to take all my licensing classes and was able to pass on the first try. I am truly blessed beyond my understanding I am loved more than I think I'll ever deserve and I am most of all happy under all the circumstances and trials that I have faced. I'm not saying that it's been easy, but sure does make me realize that with God in Control I don't have to be fearful or alone. Everything has a purpose and a plan it's just up to us to find it.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Arizona is in a major budget crisis this year and obviously, in the video above, the Department of Corrections proposes a major law change that could affect as many as 9000 inmates. Most of these inmates are non-violent inmates and not a real threat to anyone but themselves. The thing that us Zonies need your help with is a mass e-mail sent to the AZ Legislators that we as a whole support this law change. Without the voice of the "prison community" most everyday AZ citizens wouldn't have a clue at how over crowded and understaffed the prisons are in AZ. How we are ranked 4th in Correction spending, and #50 out of 50 states in Education. AZ proposed to cut millions of dollars in K-12 and less in Corrections. It's pathetic.
Please help us get the message to our legislators that enough is enough. 85% Mandatory Sentences have GOT TO GO!!
Attached is a word document with the e-mail addresses you can use that as a template in your e-mail. PLEASE BCC the Representatives an e-mail something like this:
Subject: ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS CUTS: SUPPORT
Recently, there has been talk of a budget proposal to reduce the mandatory time served for inmates in AZ. I completely support this move by the Arizona Department of Corrections and strongly urge you, as a representative of the tax paying citizens of AZ, to implement this plan in what ever means necessary. There is too much spending in corrections and not enough on education and other important agencies. It's time that the mandatory minimum time served of 85% be reduced for those qualified inmates in the proposal from the DOC.
Thank You For Supporting My Request.______________(feel free to copy and paste)
A lot of our loved ones would be home sooner if this becomes a new law!Thank you for your Urgent help with this. AZ's budget must be completed by June 1. And if this is on the agenda inmates could be coming home as soon as Sept 2009!!! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions....all us Arizonians have our hopes up pretty high!
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I calculated my husbands release and with a TR he should have been home Feb 2009, without a TR May 2009, since it's possibly going into effect in Sept, then he would be home then. He said that a bunch of guys in his dorm were sent up to have release pictures taken and he was brought up to have his release packet started!! He is supposed to be home May 2010....WOW would that be a great thing to have him home in September!!! I don't want to get my hopes up too high, but watching this video certainly didn't help! I want a copy of that document!! I wonder if the Gov will ask DOC to do a 20% reduction in spending. Even if it's 15% or 10% they are still going to have release guys, there is really no way around that. Not at the rate of imprisonment the courts are reporting. I really like how this article wasn't alerting to the public...WATCH OUT INMATES ARE GETTING RELEASED OH NO!! It was low key, and no big deal. This is the attitude we want the media to portray. Lots of prayers and lots of public awareness I think this is a reality for a lot of us to be hopeful for.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Now, with that as ammo go tell your neighbors and friends and relatives who don't give a crap about your inmates but who love and adore their children...outrage the community with that!
Send mass e-mails to friends and family and your representatives...
Now is the time to get the word out there and get the government to quit spending so much money on incarceration and more on our kids futures, the foster kids futures, and low income families futures because all these budget cuts are affecting this class of children...who, without this funding, may have a greater chance of ending up in prison creating more of a vicious cycle.
This isn't going to be a 'fix all' resolution but this will relieve some of the budget woes AZDOC is facing.
Bonus: My husband will be home earlier!!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I guess you can call me a trouble maker! I don't try to create problems, but apparently PTO has a problem with me telling anyone publicly about my blog. Another thing that's "Against PTO Policy". What's funny is that I was told back in October that I could not post my blog address on the public forum, so I didn't. I didn't even post anything on this blog really after that until I got a "WARNING" that I couldn't post my blog...which I hadn't since I was told in Oct that I couldn't. I guess someone asked me how they could be a part of Arizona Prison Wives Club...which really isn't a club it's just a blog where I had posted letters that people could use to sent to the department of corrections. A handy place to put them so they didn't get lost in the myriad of posts on PTO. I wasn't ever trying to pull anyone from PTO just a place to go to grab the letters. Easy enough. So, I had asked PTO for help on a personal issue months ago, and I got no response...then another one of my posts gets deleted. Over what? I'm still unclear at this point. Maybe it's because I said you can't always trust what you say will be taken in trust and to be careful what you say and who you say it to...Oh NO..PTO's reputation might be ruined! Who knows. Anyway, I get reprimanded WARNED for having a blog that I posted it on someones info page. I don't even know it was months ago that I did it but I get warned months later??
I guess I'd let it all rest if it wasn't really just nit picking and not particularly for the reason the rules were imposed. If I were to make a rule like that, it would be for people trying to solicit. I'm not soliciting? Nor was I trying to pull people away from PTO...so since they are so worried about my blogger blog...I'm going to post here A LOT more...and I'm not going to hide anything....this IS AMERICA after all and I have THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH. So what do you bet I get banned from PTO again?? Oh well, not much is going on in the AZ forum anymore anyways.
Here are some examples of the kind of PM's I've received after a post I put in for inmate petitions:
Reason: I suspect you know.....please stop
This is not a duplicate, I took time to re-write this and post this in the correct place. I really don't know what I am doing wrong. Honestly, I'm feeling like you guys are just doing this on purpose. Please help me understand what I can do to post this correctly.
Briandi, don't play cute. *Reworded* is not *different*. b You've been around and around this, and no-one is interested in cutting you any more slack about your machinations. That's why.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The Department of Corrections reported it could save more than $111 million by incarcerating fewer people.
Current law requires inmates to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence. The agency proposes to reduce that to 75 percent for those sentenced to the most serious crimes - and as little as 25 percent for those convicted of minor felonies.
Another plan would allow some people convicted of felonies not related to assault, rape, weapons charges and some other crimes to serve their time in home arrest programs.
And the department figures that it could save money if those people sentenced to one year or less in state prison instead serve their time in county jails. That move, however, will get a big fight from the counties as the savings to the state would end up being borne by them.
This isn't the first time such a proposal has surfaced. Gov. Janet Napolitano tried it last year, only to have it beaten back.
Gubernatorial press aide Paul Senseman said Arizonans should not read too much into the agency submissions. He said these are not what Brewer plans to ask lawmakers to cut.
I don't want to get my hopes up too much but this was brought to the legislators a few years back and it was shot down. Maybe with the budget crisis this year will be the year things actually go in our favor!
Again, please contact the local reps in your area or for that matter...in all areas!
Let's try and get the word out there and stop the madness!!
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
© Alison Henderson
How do you sit down and talk to your son
and tell him that his Daddy has gone
It's easier explaining the meaning of death
and why people die and draw their last breath.
But Daddy, he's gone to no peaceful heaven
Instead he's in prison and serving seven
so how do you sit down and tell your own son
the why's and the reason's his Daddy has gone?
" Listen my son, you'll need to be strong
Daddy has done something terribly wrong
He's gone in to prison for quite a long time
and this is what happens when you commit crime"
" Daddy still loves us, he'll phone and he'll write
ring you to wish you goodnight and sleep tight
we can sit down together and write him a letter
it'll make Daddy smile and make him feel better"
" We can go and see Daddy perhaps once a week
to give him a hug and a kiss on the cheek
you can draw Daddy pictures and paintings at school
to put on his wall which will look really cool "
I tried telling my son with emotional tact
the truth of the matter, you can't hide the fact
his Daddy has gone and has gone for a while
you can't say it with flowers or manage a smile.
So how do you sit down and talk to your son
and answer his question's why Daddy has gone
all you can do is just tell him your way............
and pray to the Lord he'll be home soon one day.
He had to sit in a rec cage for over 24 hours (no toilet, no water, nothing covering him from the elements and this was end of Sept...very HOT and he had no water...finally after begging for water for hours a "sympathetic" CO brought my husband a used (by who knows what inmate) empty Pepsi bottle filled with water.
He has scars on his ankles from when they put him in ankle shackles and made him walk all the way over from Stiner to Bachman. that will always be a physical reminder of what he went through. They were bloody and scabbed when he lifted his foot to the glass the first visit.
He had to share a cell with a guy that was a major druggie and they found dope in this guys shoe when the CO's did a search of their cell. He had warned the guy that if the CO's came in and found it that he'd better own up to it....well the guy wouldn't and my husband almost ended up with a major ticket that would have brought him some major problems. Well, the CO's knew better and the other dude was given the ticket.
The second move he was put in a cell with 2 other men...one of which was a homeless looking fella that masturbated and crapped on himself all day long. And an cellie that was in a wheelchair that had been in the hole over 100 days and had sores all over his body, he was also hep c positive.
We both were lied to numerous times by not only CUI, SSU, CO's and all the ADW's, DW's but the Complex warden at Lewis himself. We were led to believe that this would take maybe 60 days at most. LIES!
His next move he was forced to beat the living crap out of any inmate that entered his cell for fear of his own safety and reputation. After basically having my attorney friend mail a certified letter to every one that matters at Central Office he was actually given a cell with a half way decent cellie. All the while living in this freezing cell unable to wear pants.
In the mean time, with each move, items were lost or broken including his fan, pants, shirts, headphones, books and CD's.
He was not given toiletries for weeks when he first went in and then was moved on shower days and missed having a shower for 9 days straight at one point. When he was moved to SMU1 it took them 15 days to get "some" of his property.
We missed out on 1808 hours of visitation, countless hours of phone privleges, 1 food visit...Veterans day visit...during this 5 months I just so happened to get laid off of my job, almost lost my home, my son's birthday, my birthday, his birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years were all spent with him unable to call on any of those special days.
The saddest of it all my children visited twice, and both times my children cried more than they ever had during a visit...as a matter of fact it was the first time my children had cried at a visit and all the way home we all just cried and let it all out. It was awful. Both my kids and my emotions have been wearing thin, and my husband was unbelievably patient and forgiving.
Love is patient, Love is Kind, Love is Long Suffering....we absolutly have Love.
And if you who did this to us is reading this post, and I think that you are...what goes around, comes around. One Day you will get what you have coming to you...that's just how it works....so I have no anger or hate and I forgive you....we forgive you.
As I lie here tonight in an empty bed, my children tucked away in their rooms asleep I think of all that I am missing right now. As my husband is locked in his cell, I know he is thinking the same thing. Where did this go wrong, I let them down, they deserve so much better. But we're lost without eachother.
As you go home at the end of your shift, home to your wife and your children don't forget that my husband used to get to do that same thing too. Don't forget that he was a loving father, and a sweet husband that needs his family too. Just because he's in prison, doesn't make him any less of a person.
Think about how I as a mother and wife must feel, how I hold it together while he is locked up. How I have to be mommy and daddy. Don't you know that my husband wants to be here for me? Don't you know that he had a momentary lack of judgement...it happens to the best of us. We're not perfect. You're not perfect. Treating my husband like a sub-human is not necessary! Think about me, the one that loves this man, who cares about his treatment, who cares that he gets the necessary contact between him and his family. I need him too, it's not just for his benefit. I for one, am as free as you my friend. I pay taxes just like you, but yet who do you think suffers the most. Go ahead and put it back on my husband YES he committed a crime, YES he is doing his time. Isn't that enough for you?? Is is necessary to use excessive force on a man who's never been a threat during his time? Taking all that I have sent him? And refusing to do anything about it? Time. Time. Time. Time. Oh yes I have all the time in the world to wait to see what happens next!! No I don't!! You've taken enough time from us. When will enough be enough??
Don't forget that as I cry nightly missing my husband, as I work ungodly hours to compensate for the lack of his usual six figure income. As I strive to be a mother that has breakfasts' to cook, dinner to fix, homework assignments to check, laundry to do, a 9 yr old son in football, orchestra, and Cub Scouts, a 7 yr old daughter taking Spanish classes, piano lessons, and dance classes. As I take my weekend Satudays to drive hours to maintain my family relationship and spend an extra $300 per month to do this. Let's not even mention the time I spend for Church functions, and activites and volunteering in the community for prisoner and family rights. Is he worth it....YOU BET! My visits are my time to breathe to feel complete again to feel that my family is fianally together after the busy and stressful week I've had. Think about that! Did you ever think that by making visiting more difficult you are adding to the already HUGE burden we have to deal with?? It's MY TIME TOO!
I wish that for just once DOC would be compassionate to the women that love, that love no matter what. That we had a life prior to this and we will have a life after this too. Our lives do not stop while our men are in prison. Why make it harder on us by all the petty details that don't really matter. Is it not enough that our men are gone?
As I lie here I imagine me back in his arms again...back to our normal routine. Making love at night, History Channel on at 2 am, him eating Entimens Chocolate Doughnuts, kissing him goodnight, kissing me good morning, watching him primp in the mirror before work, his sweet smell on my cheek after kissing me good bye for the day, his dozen or so calls to me throughout the day telling me of his random thoughts....meeting for lunch. Fun time with family on weekends. Alone with him at night wrapped up in a blanket out side by the fire place with a bottle of wine he'd picked up on his way home. We too had a life before all of this.
So Mr COIII, Ms Director, Mrs Deputy Warden...when you call the shots and you make policies and procedures, please don't forget about ME.
Other thoughts in relation to comments I received:
Don't think for a MINUTE that I have not blamed him...cursed him, left him half way at visitation, even with all the good there is the bad. Had my husband not had an addiction issue...I know for a fact he'd NOT be in prison. So, yeah....I won't forget the nights he wouldn't come home because he was ashamed of what he'd done, no I won't forget picking up from Jail seeing him detox worrying about if he'd loose his job this time...for God sakes I even divorced the man when it was just more than I could take. But I have had WAY more good with my husband than I have ever had it bad....so I choose to let the past be just that. THE PAST. I have learned to forgive him, and see that our love can make it through anything. I choose not to continually bring up what he did, I choose not to drudge up the past, I can't change what he did. He's there and there is nothing I can do about that right now but holding on to the anger and hurt what good does that do it's like drinking a poison and trying to kill the other person.....BUT DAMN DOC doesn't need to make it harder on than it ALREADY is!!!
This is my perspective to DOC not to my husband. I'm not blaming DOC for holding him there. I'm upset at how they treat the family support as less than important.
I think the whole point is...is that.....
PRISON SUCKS! & IT SUCKS FOR EVERYONE!!
I don't even blame DOC for him BEING there. He did that. DOC's policies are what's frustrating to me. Some make good sence, while other things I just want to kick, scream and fight about.
When guards make us go to our cars and change.....twice....because they can't seem to be consistant with their visitation dress codes. Or the dog sniffs your butt and you haven't got a thing on you...yet they suspend your visits for 90 days....they loose visitation paperwork....they throw kites away....they don't give your man sound medical treatment and he get's worse.....they assault your man and nothing is done about it....they leave him out in the rec cage for 2 days with no water....they take forever and a year to get the phones turned on.....they jack up the prices of crappy vending machine food....and the store prices are not in proportion to their state pay....they tell you at 2:01 that "Ooopps you got here too late you can't visit" after driving across country 36 hours.....they fail to have toilet paper and paper towles at visitation.....they can't seem to get that far right vending machine to ever NOT be OUT OF ORDER!!...They don't put up shade over the picinic tables in 120 degree weather....they make you wait in the visitation room 30 extra minutes because the CO is too lazy to get up off her ass and tell him he has a visit.....they shake your man's house down because his neighbor is causing problems so he'll retaliate against his neighbor, and they leave all the stuff you took the time to mail on the ground for him to gather up while they walk all over it....they retaliate on your man if you call and bitch about it....they hold property that you've sent in that you know full well is allowed in....OMG I could go on and on about...they hold visitation on the weekdays for some units....the holiday schedule is all screwed up.....the phone calls get cut off if the wind blows the wrong direction....mail get's lost and then all of the sudden you'll get a letter that's like weeks old.....your collarbone is showing, your shirt's too see through, your pants are the wrong color, your ID expired, your bra beeped.....turn around jump around pick a bail of cotton!! What more do can they throw at us....BRING IT ON!!
Serioulsy...how hard is it to fix these minor issues....that cause us extra, unnecessary greif!! CRIPES!
What else have you experienced that brought YOU unnecessary grief?
We still had a great visit as always, inspite of the dumb rules they make up as they go along.
The kiss goodbye is getting shortened as well or she's "Gonna be writing some tickets" boy will I be glad when this is over.
Here's where your help comes in: go to http://www.votesmart.org/ and enter in your zip code (if you are an AZ resident) if not you can use mine it's 85207
Then you can click on "Current Officials" you're looking for the State Legislative
Representative Kirk Adams - State House
District 19 (Republican)
Representative Rich Crandall - State House
District 19 (Republican)
Senator Chuck Gray - State Senate
District 19 (Republican)
Send them a quick e-mail that goes something like this: (feel free to copy and paste!)
I am in favor of the Senate Bill 1131 becoming a law. As a tax payer I am concerned with the amount of money the State of Arizona is spending in corrections especially when compared with the spending on education. It concerns me that these inmates have no incentive to be released early since AZ changed the truth in sentencing law in 1994 to a mandatory 85% time served. With the Department of Corrections budget cuts this year and funds appropriated for inmate programs and education being eliminated, the overcrowding, the cost to house an inmate, and the understaffed facilities from layoffs, something needs to be done. I believe that this amendment to the current transitional program will be a push in the right direction to relieve the state of the extra cost to house these inmates in their last few months of incarceration. It will help with behavior issues as well, giving inmates some kind of incentive to work towards to be released early. There is much more, in my opinion, that needs to be done to ease up on the mandatory minimum sentences and the budget shortfalls this department is up against with the influx of incarceration. Arizona is locking up people more each month than they are releasing people. Something must be done. This is a good first step.
Thank you for supporting my request.
SB 1131 Prisoners; Transition Program Proposes changes in the program (previously established in HB 2298 of 2007) whereby some eligible prisoners are released up to 90 days early from their earliest release date and are provided transition services. This bill proposes to extend eligibility to participate in the program beyond just drug offenders (the only ones who are currently eligible). Other qualifications/requirements remain in place (which end up disqualifying some offenders who will never be allowed to be classified) including that the offender must be classified as "low risk" to the community; not have been convicted of a violent crime; have made satisfactory progress on his/her "correctional" plan, etc. Also, provides what is already in the law -- that 5% of all gross wages for prisoners not convicted of a DUI will fund the transition program.
Also, do not get your hopes up too much on this because the department of corrections has an internal score called a GV score (general violence) score anything higher than a 3 probably wouldn't qualify for this bill if it were to pass. This number is based on statistics and is not a changable number. There are many factors that go into calculating this score; age, crime, gang affiliation, times in prison, tickets, behavior ect...he can get this score from his counselor.