The use of inmate work crews is recorded as far back as 1908 when inmate labor built the Florence Prison. Arizona Correctional Industries was created by the Arizona Legislature in 1969, operating under the acronym “ARCOR” (Arizona Correctional) until 1987, and received appropriated funds to support its operations. In 1987, ARCOR was renamed Arizona Correctional Industries (ACI). Four years later, in 1991, the funding was discontinued and ACI’s business enterprise became a financially self-sufficient division of the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC); operating entirely without taxpayer funding.
Benefit to the State Economy
The constructive use of inmate time and labor has a direct and positive impact on the State of Arizona budget. The employment of state workers through ACI’s program, as well as the work done by inmates, contributes to our communities. Inmate compensation deductions go to the state general fund, victim and court restitution, and family support. As the State of Arizona faces budget challenges and high unemployment rates, ACI provides a steady source of revenue and new job opportunities for Arizona businesses. These contributions come from two areas: actual raw materials and services that ACI purchases from Arizona businesses and consumer expenditures generated as a result of ACI related employment.
Findings from the Seidman Research Institute study estimate the impact from Arizona Correctional Industries to the State of Arizona in FY 2020 as:
- $172 million into the state economy
- 1,762 private sector jobs
- Millions more in state tax revenues from these new jobs
Other benefits to tax payers include:
- Dramatically reduces recidivism rates
- Helps keep ADCRR costs down
- Helps fund ADCRR inmate programs
Reducing the Prison Population
Some quick stats:
- There are currently 37,000 people incarcerated in Arizona
- More than 35,000 of them (95%) will be returning to our communities at some point
- It's ACI's mission to help ensure they a have the job skills they need to succeed when they are released
- Nationally, the recidivism rate is near 60%. That means more than 21,000 of those released would be back in prison within three years.
- Here in Arizona our recidivism rate is closer to 40%, meaning some 14,000 can be expected to return to prison.
- The recidivism rate for those who participate in ACI jobs skills training programs is less than 29% which translates to only about 10,000 returning to prison.
- Many of ACI's individual programs have recidivism rates well below these figures, with less than 10% returning to prison.
Together we can break the cycle or re-incarceration and reduce the prison population
Let's help people learn how to become part of Arizona's workforce
- Currently only about 1,200 people participate in ACI programs daily (prior to COVID that was closer to 2,000), but as more companies partner with ACI to manufacture custom products and supplement their workforce with inmate labor more inmates can learn the technical and soft skills they will need to qualify for meaningful work after their release.
- The programs that the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR) and ACI make a significant, positive impact on reentry outcomes, but they depend on ACI revenue from its partnerships with government entities and private businesses.
- All ACI programs are self-funded - they get no tax dollars.
- Many of the educational and treatment programs that ADCRR provides are partially funded by ACI as well.
By working with ACI:
- You are helping your organization
- You are helping your community
- You are helping to give inmates the skills they need to become productive members of our communities