FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 18, 2011
CONTACT: West Kenyon
I support the Utah and the proposed Arizona Compacts, in that they reaffirm my beliefs in the rule of law and the constitutional enforcement of the laws and statutes passed by the legislature. These declarations also reaffirm the community’s trust in the discretion of their law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties.
In addition, I have determined that the “tent city” facility does not adhere to the best practices and professional standards of the American criminal justice system. The inhumane treatment of inmates and the lack of rehabilitative services at this facility should be a cause of concern for all citizens.
Under my direction, the “tent city” facility in its present form will cease to exist. As Sheriff I will replace this facility with a self-sufficient work farm for first time and low risk inmates to learn skills, attend rehabilitation programs and provide food and services to the rest of the county jail system.
The inmates at this proposed work farm, who legally reside in the United States, will have the opportunity to participate in a new type of work release program. I will partner with local Maricopa County businesses to interview and hire qualified inmates for work in their businesses. The inmates will be paid by the business to a county audited fund to help defray the costs of administering the work farm and the work release program. The remainder of the inmates pay check, after taxes, will be placed in a trust fund for the inmate, which the inmate will have access to upon their release. The inmates will have earned these funds and a job. Upon their release, they will have the means to provide for themselves and their families as they transition back in to our community. This will have a positive impact on the recidivism rate, as the former inmate will have skills and the ability to make positive choices.
As Sheriff, I will seek to partner with other agencies within the criminal justice system and private enterprises to craft a humane and effective set of programs that will provide realistic treatment and choices for the inmates to become productive citizens upon their release back into society.