Billy Hickman and others involved in the program narrate a moving video about the history of the inmate program with Hickman’s and the positive impact it has had on the lives of those who participated in it
“The ACI program changed my life”
At a recent celebration of the twenty-year partnership between Hickman’s Family Farms, the Arizona Department of Corrections and Arizona Correctional Industries, Hickman management shared a powerful video ( HDvideo) detailing the history of the program and featuring testimonials from many people involved with it, past and present.
If you are capable of playing mp4 files click on the icon below to watch the entire video.
Some of the highlights of the video include:
Billy Hickman explaining that though inmate work programs take a lot of work to establish and maintain and can, potentially, result in negative media attention, “when everything goes well, there is silence. Programs like this put a lot of people at risk for a ‘bad day’ – we understand bad days. I want to thank the Department and ACI staffs, their commitment makes programs like this successful, putting people back to work. We put people in the habit of making good decisions and that’s what this program is all about. I hope it continues on in perpetuity.”
These inmates, currently working with Hickman’s Family Farms through the ACI inmate labor program, feel that it provides a great opportunity for them to learn and grow.
Inmate Goldwyn: “I thank ACI and Hickman’s for giving me these experiences and helping me prepare for when I get out; to help me stay out. Without programs like this, there’s much less chance of success when we get out.”
Inmate Regalado says, “It’s been a privilege to work in this program. It’s taught me a lot; made me realize that I have better skills. That I’ve accomplished something. That I’m going to walk out of here with something to start my life over with.”
Inmate Gault, scheduled to be released in two months feels that, “without this program I don’t know where I would be going or what I will be doing when I get out. Because of this program I now have some options… I’m blessed and proud to be here.”
Inmate Armstrong appreciates how, “coming to this job you can also learn other things. You can learn how to use pallet jacks or forklifts. You can also get certified in forklift and pallet jack and you can use that when you get out. I’ve grown as a person. Now I know that there’s more to life than what I was doing before.”
Inmate Gunderson says, “Upon my release, I do aspire to work with Hickman’s and continue on with a very lucrative career with them. I want to thank everyone involved in this program for giving me, and inmates like myself, the chance to improve ourselves.”
These “graduates” of the ACI inmate labor program exemplify how successfully former offenders can transform their lives through the program.
Eddrick Moreland now employed as a driver with Hickman’s feels that “ACI and Hickman’s made me want to get up and do something better with my life. Without them, I don’t know where I’d be at this point.”
Shannon Robledo has been working for Hickmans for five years since her release. She believes, “ACI and Hickman’s have put together an amazing program that gave me a big opportunity to grow and become a better person. I’ve become more self-sufficient. This program allows offenders to better themselves and see that there are opportunities outside of prison for them.”
Miguel Jimenez has been working for Hickmans for two years since his release. “I’m thankful that the Hickman family believed in me. The ACI program changed my life; it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
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