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DOC Providing Education at All Levels

The Salt River Department of Corrections is devoted to reducing recidivism by offering an array of educational services and programs for detainees while they are in custody, as well as providing opportunities for them to become productive members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community after release. We believe that sound correctional practices and standards will aid in protecting victims, reducing crime and restoring individuals to their productive state within the Community.

Truly effective rehabilitation comes down to choice. The old adage applies, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

Opportunities available within the Department of Corrections include high school education (as opposed to general education diploma studies) for all juvenile detainees, GED preparation classes for adult detainees who did not earn a high school diploma, and Rio Salado College correspondence classes for eligible detainees seeking to acquire a degree or professional certification.

To date, three juvenile detainees have received their high school diplomas and many others have recovered significant credits while in custody; 32 adults have received their GEDs; and seven detainees have taken and/or completed Rio Salado College classes.

Providing high school credits, access to GED attainment, life-skills training and postsecondary education is well worth the investment. Data supporting this mission indicates a reduction in recidivism by as much as 50 percent for those detainees who participate.

The SRDOC is fortunate to have a solid collaborative relationship with the SRPMIC Education Department. They have been essential to this process and are continuously committed to the success of the DOC program and process. Their administration staff and teachers who serve our population are dedicated to steering detainees down the road of success through educational achievement.

The takeaway is this: Studies reveal that correctional education programs improve the chances that a person will not return to jail or prison, tend to improve the chance of post-release employment, reduce the likelihood of future criminal activity, and help put individuals on the path to becoming productive members of the Community. But it all starts with choice. The programs will be provided. The question is whether the detainee will participate and take advantage of them.