Inmate Letters

Inmate Letters

  1. About us…

    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.

    There are several critical areas that contribute to our growth and profitability: safety, social responsibility, inmate training, quality products and services, and strong financial performance, as well as the positive impact on the State of Arizona’s economy.

    ACI continues to seek opportunities through Owned & Operated businesses and Private Sector Partnerships to provide labor and services to fill a void not being met by free-world labor or as an alternative to outsourcing labor to foreign countries.

  2. The True Measure of Success

    We use statistics and spreadsheets to track every aspect of our lives, thinking that our worth can be measured in dollars or where we rank on some imaginary ladder of success. But real success is not measured by data points, it is determined by how we feel inside when we ask ourselves questions like:

    • “Am I good enough?”
    • “Do I treat my friends and neighbors with respect and dignity?”
    • “Do my actions contribute to the general good?”
    • “How will I be remembered after I’m gone?”

    We don’t need to be incarcerated to feel badly when we answer these questions. Most of us go through our lives never asking them at all. But we should; often. Every time we make an important decision, we should ask how it will impact our family, our friends, our neighbors, the planet, our own future. If we did there would be fewer bad decisions made.

    But life goes by so fast and we are constantly being pulled in different directions. Sometimes we resist the pull long enough to make an informed choice. Sometimes we just follow the path of least resistance, without really considering the possible consequences. For the inmates we work with, the consequences for a poor decision they made were significant. The important thing is to ask, “If I had taken the time to think about it before I took that action that landed me here, would I have decided differently?” Because chances are, the answer is “Yes.” The very act of asking the question, brings to mind how they could have acted differently and the results been different. They can begin to write a new story for themselves.

    That is why these letters are so important. They are the voices of the inmates who work with ACI. Their words, tell the true story of what life is all about. By making the decision to use their prison time to learn and work and grow, they have begun to hear different answers when they ask themselves those difficult questions above.

    As you read their stories, you will hear the voices of people struggling to regain their self-esteem and to earn the respect of their families and friends, their supervisors and coworkers. For many, the work they are doing is the first time they have ever felt a part of any community. That is our goal here at ACI, to put them on a path to be successful citizens.

    I would like to personally thank the contributors to this page for sharing their stories with us here. We are grateful that they have found their voices and have taken control of the narrative of their lives. And we are proud to be able to share their stories with you here.

    Brian Radecki, CEO
    Arizona Correctional Industries

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I now feel ready to move forward in my life

– from Danielle Detmer who worked with ACI for 2 years at: Administration

Inmate Letters
11 letters sorted by:

Anaya, Annette
I worked alongside people that didn’t waiver in their kindness and encouragement
Anderson , Cindie
A life changing experience
Deerinwater, Cindy
Taught me so much about myself and has renewed my spirit
Detmer, Danielle
I now feel ready to move forward in my life
Dorris, Rick
It has re-energized a tired soul
Fletcher, Ashley
It gave me skills and confidence
Green, Stacy
I have learned a lot about myself and my abilities
Lee, Diana
I have been doing so well since I left ACI
Lopez, Marissa S.
Integral part in me growing up
Papiese, Amanda
I have gained so much
Thornton, Wayne
I work a job that I really like

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