The Arizona Department of Corrections issued its Fiscal Year 2020 Strategic Plan on July 11, 2019, setting a priority list of objectives and metrics to achieve in 2020. According to the plan, the “Strategies align to achieve ADC’s 10-year goal: Engaged employees and communities committed to a 25% reduction in recidivism.” Recidivism is the tendency of a convicted criminal to re-offend and return to prison.
The Plan goes on to state that, “The recidivism rate for Arizona inmates is 40.6%. Reducing recidivism will help reduce prison population, decrease spending for prisons, and enhance community safety.”
To achieve a reduction in recidivism, several initiatives are proposed which include: “Leading the state-level recidivism reduction breakthrough project, improving inmate programs/increasing program completion, promoting community engagement/volunteerism, improving use of offender interventions/sanctions, and increasing successful completion of community supervision.”
The Agency Strategic Plan was created by Strategic Planner Denise M. Stravia at the request of former ADC Director Charles Ryan. Director Ryan retired in September 2019 following the release of a report on prison safety that revealed serious problems within the Department.
The report, written by former Arizona Supreme Court Justices Rebecca Berch and Ruth McGregor, was ordered by Governor Doug Ducey after media reports with video surveillance footage from inside the prison showed incidents of inmates assaulting officers and of inmates going into a cell where a fellow inmate was beaten and killed. The former justices identified several areas of agency mismanagement and disregard to staff and inmate safety by the ADC administration.
It is unclear how new ADC Director David Shinn will implement the strategic plan created under his predecessor.