Greg Lauchner and Karen Hellman Provided the ADC Perspective
The Arizona Correctional Industries Annual Meeting was held at Noah’s Event Center in Chandler, AZ, on Wednesday, September 28, 2016
“The Department of Corrections made some huge strides in its own journey this year as well. When the Director told us about the Department’s focus on reentry last year at this meeting, we all were anxious to learn what that might look like. And last spring, we saw that it was the catalyst for a significant restructuring for the Department. The Inmate Programs and Reentry Division was created to help improve reentry outcomes, by following released offenders more closely as they make their way back into civilian life; helping them avoid violations, find meaningful employment and, ultimately, reduce recidivism.”
“And who better to head this new division than a graduate from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a Masters in Forensic Psychology, Karen Hellman. She began her Department career working at the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections and also worked in the ALPHA Program at the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Department. She joined ADC in 2004 and has held a variety of positions related to addiction treatment before moving into the role she now occupies.”
“As the Division Director of Inmate Programs and Reentry, Karen oversees Education, Counseling and Treatment Services, Religious Services, Arizona Correctional Industries, and Community Corrections.”
“Let’s give a warm welcome to Division Director for Inmate Programs and Reentry Karen Hellman.”
Karen discussed how the department restructuring, that created the new division she now heads, was designed to better address the issues facing inmates as they are released. Many factors contribute the unacceptably high recidivism rate in Arizona, but she feels that programs like Community Corrections can provide better services and job search guidance as inmates serve the last few months of their sentences.
Karen also stressed that she is counting on ACI to help in these efforts through its many private industry partners, customers and vendors, who might be more predisposed to hire ex-felons than the typical private business. It is all about working more closely with communities to ensure that released inmates have the kinds of support they need on the outside to make better decisions.
Brian then introduced Interim Deputy Director Greg Lauchner:
“As you’ve already witnessed, this year’s annual meeting has changed things up a bit. Hopefully, we’ve all learned a little more about each other and how we can work together better within ACI.”
“To bring us up to date on ADC developments, we’re privileged to have ADC Inspector General and Interim Deputy Director Greg Lauchner with us today. Most of us know Greg through the criminal investigations work he has been doing off and on with ADC since 1993. His work in criminal justice actually began ten years earlier in the Prescott Police Department where he began as a patrol officer and rose to detective during his tenure there.”
“Throughout his ADC career Greg has worked to improve the safe and secure prison operations, often partnering with the FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal agencies on initiatives like their Violent Fugitive Task Force and the Gang/Security Threat Group investigations. The Office of the Inspector General is comprised of various units responsible for the overall policing of the prison system through criminal, administrative and background investigations, intelligence gathering, and prison audits and policy.”
“In 2006, Greg’s close work with federal agencies was recognized when he was asked by the DOJ Corrections Mission in Iraq to serve as Director of Audits. You may recall that there were some issues with the prisons the military set up over there. He was brought in to correct them, ultimately being promoted to the Director of Operations, responsible for International Corrections Trainers assigned to the Iraq mission to ensure program goals and objectives directed by mission leadership were fulfilled.”
“Greg continued working at the Federal level from 2007 to 2010, as a consultant and auditor for the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities nationwide monitoring compliance to Federal Detainee Detention Standards.”
“Here at ACI, we’re probably most familiar with Greg’s work through the PREA training we take each year. In 2010, Greg and his IG team took on the significant challenge of working with DOJ certified PREA auditors to ensure ADC’s full compliance with federal PREA laws, and to date have been found 100% compliant to all required PREA standards.
Now, as the Interim Deputy Director, Greg has taken on these additional responsibilities:
- Managing all of the staffing, recruitment, training and employee assistance for the Department’s ten thousand employees. You know all about and, no doubt, are already well on your way to completing this year’s annual training.
- The Office of Victim Services provides victim-focused and victim-friendly services to crime victims and survivors. They also provide Restorative Justice opportunities for offenders to be involved in victim-focused activities that will help them understand the impact of their criminal conduct on crime victims.
- The Constituent Services/Inmate Family & Friends Liaison offers a standard process for receiving, reviewing and responding to complaints from the public concerning inmate related issues.
- The Deputy Director’s office is also responsible for the Radio Services Unit and Emergency Preparedness for the Department.”
“Let’s give a warm welcome to Inspector General and Interim Deputy Director Greg Lauchner.”
“Thank you Karen and Brian and thank all of you for letting me be a part of this event.”
“As we go about our day-to-day job duties, it’s easy to get so bogged down in the work that we lose site of the “Work” – with a capital W. I’ve been part of Corrections for a long time, doing the important job of keeping our communities safe. I recognize that we, as an agency, need to take that work to a new level by finding ways to close the revolving door that brings so many inmates back into the system year after year.”
“When Director Ryan spoke at this event last year he went over the discouraging statistics, like the fact that each year some 20,000 inmates get released, while some 22,000 come into our custody. And exactly how many of those 22,000 had recently been released.”
“He talked about how the Department had to do a better job helping inmates transition out, so that they didn’t simply return again and again. It was more than talk. This commitment turned into action as a major Department restructuring led to the creation last spring of the new Inmate Programs and Re-entry Division, headed by Division Director Karen Hellman.”
“As an important part of this new Division, ACI has long been doing its part to better prepare inmates for life after incarceration. You provide jobs-skills training in your shops and create partnerships with private businesses, where they not only learn valuable skills but also establish strong relationships with these companies who, in turn, often extend job offers to them upon their release.”
“These labor contract partnerships are stable and sustainable. Three have endured more than twenty years. These programs have generated millions of inmate work hours that offset hundreds of thousands of room and board costs. They helped the partners grow and expand their businesses, creating thousands of private sector jobs.”
“Like ACI, the Deputy Director’s office is one of the few areas of the Department that interacts with the greater community, outside the walls. We work with the victims of the crimes that brought the inmates into our custody. And we work with the families of inmates who want to ensure that their loved ones are properly cared for.”
“We, too, understand how working with folks on the outside can improve transition outcomes for inmates. The working environments that ACI creates help instill a sense of team spirit, transforming inmates into people who genuinely care about and respect each other. Together, ACI and the Deputy Director’s office and the new Re-entry programs are working closer with private businesses and communities to create that same team spirit.”
“That is our real Work, helping to create communities where everyone genuinely cares about and respects each other, no matter what they may have done in the past. Recognizing that everyone has something to contribute, wants an opportunity to work and provide for themselves and their families.”
“By working together, the Department, the private sector and communities, we can stop the cycle of incarceration that keeps our prisons full past capacity.”
“Today’s luncheon is in recognition of outstanding work of the ACI staff for doing the day-to-day work that generated more than 41 million in revenue last year. Fiscal Year 2016 was outstanding year for sales and net income with a new high mark in inmate hours worked. Congratulations. And thank you for making it happen.”
“You all kept us on track and on mission, proving that some government agencies can perform like a well-run business. Thank you for helping us keep focused on the Work.”