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One year of Second Chance Centers in AZ

This week is the anniversary of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Second Chance Centers. They are part of an initiative that provides pre-release workforce services to inmates through the Arizona Department of Corrections.

More than 800 inmates at the three centers received these services and about half of those inmates have gotten their second chance so far and became employed after release from prison.

Learn more about this story by clicking on the story from KGUN9 News:

https://www.kgun9.com/news/local-news/one-year-of-second-chance-centers-in-az

Arizona Department of Corrections Increases Feminine Hygiene Supply for Inmates

Arizona Department of Corrections increases feminine hygiene supply for inmates

10:26 PM, Feb 13, 2018

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Corrections says it will immediately triple the number of free sanitary napkins it provides each month to female inmates.

Tuesday’s move comes as a proposal in the Legislature that mandates an unlimited supply of tampons, napkins or pads was stalled after a committee chairman said the prison system was addressing the issue.

Female inmates will now be issued 36 sanitary napkins a month for free and can get more if needed. Tampons are only provided free when medically needed, but inmates can buy them at the commissary.

Democratic Rep. Athena Salman was pushing the proposal to provide an unlimited number of free napkins, tampons or other feminine hygiene products.

Before Tuesday’s policy change, the agency provided inmates with 12 free pads each month and inmates could get more if needed. They could not keep more than 24 at any one time.

There are about 3,900 female inmates at the state’s women’s prison west of Phoenix.

Perryville Prison To Host ‘TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional’ Conference

“Behind the Curtain: Brains, Beauty, Business and Beyond” theme for first such event in an Arizona prison

GOODYEAR, ARIZ. (PRWEB) FEBRUARY 08, 2018

The TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional Conference, to be held on Thursday, April 19, 2018, will be a one-day event designed to address many challenges and preconceived notions faced in modern corrections, such as combatting substance abuse, the importance and impact of education, business acumen, the bridge of employment to success, business and community partnerships and the power of a second chance. TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional is only the second TEDx event to be held in a female prison.

The theme, “Behind the Curtain: Brains, Beauty, Business and Beyond” has been carefully crafted by a joint group of business leaders from the greater Phoenix-area and female inmates representing the Perryville prison complex, part of the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC).

TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional will take place at the all-female Perryville prison complex in Goodyear, Arizona on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Speakers from within Perryville’s incarcerated population, and as well as members of the public, will present on topics and provide artistic performances that are related to the theme.

“We’re entering a new era of corrections, and the Arizona Department of Corrections is helping to lead the way,” said ADC Director Charles L. Ryan. “We’re pleased to be a partner in the TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional Conference for this first-of-its-kind event in Arizona, and hope it will serve to promote an open and constructive discussion of the goals we all share to help inmates prepare for a successful re-entry and to reduce recidivism.”

“We’ve all experienced some sort of prejudice in our lives and we’ve focused our theme to look behind the curtain and see the good that comes from someone’s journey of transformation,” said TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional Conference Co-Organizer Michelle Cirocco.

Televerde, the global leader in B2B demand generation and inside sales solutions that help clients better serve their customers and improve sales, has signed on as a sponsor the event. The planning committee is currently accepting both speaking and sponsorship proposals. Those interested can reach out to the TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional Steering Committee by emailing: tedxperryvillecorrectional(at)gmail(dot)com.

For more information about TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional, please visit: https://www.ted.com/tedx/events/27319

About TEDx, x = independently organized event 
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED 
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Monica Lewinsky, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project (https://www.ted.com/participate/translate), which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed (https://ed.ted.com/); the annual million-dollar TED Prize (https://www.ted.com/participate/ted-prize), which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx (https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/tedx-program), which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program (https://www.ted.com/participate/ted-fellows-program), which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Media Contact for TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional:      
Jennifer Jewett     
Mockingbird Communications 
+1 617 913 2404 
jennifer(at)mockingbirdcomms(dot)com

Arizona Lawmakers Hope to Put Dent in Opioid Crisis

Gov. Doug Ducey greets Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs on Monday ahead of calling a special legislative session to enact what is billed as a bipartisan approach to dealing with the opioid crisis. (Capitol Media Services/Howard Fischer)

Lawmakers hope to put dent in opioid crisis

Originally Published: January 24, 2018 5:55 a.m.

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX — State lawmakers begin working today (eds: tuesday) on a bipartisan plan state officials hope will make a significant dent in opioid addiction, abuse and deaths in Arizona.

“In 2016, more than two Arizonans died each day due to an opioid overdose,’’ Dr. Cara Christ, the state’s health director, said at a ceremony where Gov. Doug Ducey signed a proclamation for a special legislative session to deal with the issue.

“Since 2012, we’ve seen an increase of 74 percent in opiod-related deaths,’’ she continued. “Drug overdoses kill more Arizonans than car accidents.’’

The proposal contains money designed to help provide treatment for those who are addicted. The state already does some of that through its Medicaid program. This package contains $10 million for those whose income leaves them unqualified for that.

But the governor said the measure also has a strong element designed to prevent addiction in the first place. That’s built around a five-day limit on how much opioids that doctors can prescribe to patients who have not been on the drug for at least 60 days.

“You’re talking about really taking advantage of the data and facts that we understand how someone gets addicted,’’ he said.

“When it goes past five days or six days, that’s when the incidence of addiction skyrocket,’’ Ducey continued. “So the objective here was not only to treat people that are suffering addiction so that they can get off it but to prevent future addictions and overdoses from happening.’’

But he said the legislation should not harm others.

“People that have chronic pain, people that are suffering from chronic pain and are already benefitting from these miracle drugs, there will be no change for them,’’ he said.

The governor called the measure “the most aggressive piece of public policy, the most thorough and thoughtful piece of public policy that’s been introduced in years.’’

Legislative Democrats are willing to go along, especially once they got that $10 million for addiction treatment. But they don’t see this as a cure all.

“It’s a thoughtful and thorough first step,’’ said Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs. “We won’t win this battle in one year.’’

State lawmakers actually already are in session. And there is no legal reason why the pieces of the proposal cannot be added to the regular legislative agenda.

But by calling a concurrent special session, Ducey sets the stage to go from proposal to finished law in three days.

“This is not being rushed through at all,’’ the governor told reporters after the ceremony. He said the measure has been in the works since September, with input from members of the medical community, law enforcement, addiction experts.

“And now it will be debated in the light of day in both of our chambers,’’ Ducey said.

“We needed urgency and focus on this issue, which is a crisis in our state,’’ he explained. “It called for a special session.’’

But what it also does is shorten the amount of time for people to read and scrutinize the final legislation — it was still not printed as of Monday afternoon — and be able to seek changes.

There are some potential flash points.

For example, the proclamation for the session says there will be new enforcement procedures to go after doctors who overprescribe not just opioids but other similar drugs. That could raise questions from doctors who specialize in pain management.

Ducey also wants to allow the state to charge companies that manufacture opioids as well as their executives with felonies for misrepresenting the effectiveness and addictive nature of their wares.

And the governor proposes to require insurance companies to expedite authorization for certain kinds of treatments. That is based on concerns that while patients are awaiting the go-ahead from insurers for surgery they end up being given opioids for the pain, increasing the possibility of addiction.

Other provisions include a “Good Samaritan’’ provision, allowing someone who is using drugs to call for help when a companion needs medical attention without putting himself or herself at risk of arrest.

The governor did part ways with his health director on one particular issue.

In briefing reporters last week, Christ said there is no simple answer to alternatives to highly addictive opioids when treating pain. But she said the list of options could include medical marijuana which is legal in Arizona.

Original Source: https://www.pvtrib.com/news/2018/jan/24/lawmakers-hope-put-dent-opioid-crisis/

 

Second Chances Are Deserved..and Beneficial!

Opinion: Why Hiring People with Criminal Records Benefits All of Us

Fox News

By Mike Jandernoa

From the smallest “mom and pop” shop to the largest international corporation, businesses across America are constantly looking for good employees. We want committed, engaging and creative individuals who can grow our organizations. We scour applications and resumes, trying to discern whether a potential employee will fulfill our needs and become an asset to our teams.

In the past, many employers would often not consider hiring people who had even minor criminal records. But as the former CEO of a 10,000-employee organization, I have one message for America: we can no longer exclude this vital component of our workforce.

An estimated one in three American adults has a criminal record of some kind. And about 600,000 people leave our nation’s prisons every year, looking to rejoin the workforce. While individuals in this group of workers won’t be right for every job, the right job is out there for everyone.

The benefits of boosting employment for those with criminal records are significant.

First, opening up opportunities to this population will make our country safer. Right now, almost 60 percent of individuals remain unemployed a year after being released from incarceration. It’s in our collective self-interest for them to get jobs, because steady employment is one of the best ways to ensure that individuals lead productive, crime-free lives. In one study of 6,000 returning citizens, employment cut the rate of those who committed a new crime in half.

Second, employers all across the country are suffering from a dearth of skilled labor. Every year, one major national bank surveys small businesses across this country. This year the survey found incredible optimism: 80 percent of employers said their business is stronger than ever; 40 percent said they plan to make a capital expenditure to grow their companies; and a quarter of those surveyed said they plan to hire more workers.

In West Michigan, most of the business leaders I know plan to expand their workforces. The downside? The businesses can’t find enough workers.

In fact, 61 percent of business owners reported extreme or moderate difficulty finding qualified employees. Adding to the challenge is the number of baby boomers retiring and a shortage of entry-level workers to fill all the vacancies that currently exist.

I’ve experienced this firsthand in West Michigan, where we’ve built one of the hottest job markets in the country. We’ve become one of the top places for growth and one of the best places to live. But our success has made it very difficult to find employees.

Our region is almost at full employment, so we must look for alternatives. We have a very strong manufacturing base, and these businesses are looking for people who will show up on time and test negative for drugs – that’s it. This opens the door for people who were formerly incarcerated and who are serious about turning their lives around.

It is not unheard of for employers to send vans to pick up workers who are in residential community corrections programs because the employers are so desperate for workers. Some of our country’s largest employers are making second-chance hiring their official policy. Target and Home Depot have “banned the box” in their employment practices. “Ban the box” delays inquiry into an applicant’s criminal history until late in the hiring process, ensuring that those with criminal records aren’t tossed aside before having an opportunity to detail their skills, training and qualifications.

This policy also allows these individuals to explain the circumstances of their offense, and show potential employers how they have turned their lives around.

Government jobs provide valuable training for private sector employment, so many private companies are asking their lawmakers to shift hiring processes for public sector jobs as well.

The West Michigan Policy Forum, made up of some of the state’s most influential business leaders, has ranked criminal justice reform as one of the five top “pro-business” policy priorities

This type of leadership from the business community has yielded incredible results across the country. A whopping 29 states have “banned the box” for public-sector jobs. And the bipartisan Fair Chance Act, sponsored by Senators Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., would replicate this policy at the federal level.

Reforms to seal or erase records of criminal convictions are also a priority for job creators. These policies seal minor criminal records after a certain crime-free period. Research shows that low-level offenders who have remained crime-free for three to five years are no more likely to commit a crime than anyone else.

And in many states, when minor criminal records are sealed, law enforcement and judicial officers still have access to these records, ensuring that public safety continues to be a priority.

Almost all states have some mechanism through which certain criminal records can be erased or sealed, but erasing records at the federal level is virtually impossible. Fortunately, the issue is gaining traction in Congress.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is spearheading the REDEEM Act, with 

bipartisan support. And Rep.  Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., introduced the Renew Act with Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

Occupational licensing reform is another issue important to the business community. Today one in four occupations requires a government license – but a criminal history often bars an individual from the licensing process.

Ironically, such restrictions make us less safe. One study showed that states with more burdensome licensing laws saw an average 9 percent increase in recidivism, while those with the lowest burdens had a recidivism reduction of 2.5 percent.

States as diverse as Illinois, Arizona, and Louisiana have already begun peeling back the layers of government-issued permission slips to work.

At the federal level, the New HOPE Act, introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., and similar legislation sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, would allow states to use federal funding to identify and reduce unnecessary licensing barriers within their regulations and statutes.

Elected officials should look to job creators for sound public policy. I urge my fellow employers to beat the drum even louder and make their voices heard at the local, state and federal level.

We can improve public safety, strengthen the economy and broaden our pool of skilled labor through commonsense criminal justice reforms and offering second chances for those who have earned them. I don’t know a good businessperson who would turn down that deal.

___________________________________________________________________

Mike Jandernoa is former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Perrigo Company

Original Source: http://csgjusticecenter.org

ARIZONA’S OPIOID EPIDEMIC-The Tragic 2017 Numbers

Over 700 Arizonans Died In Suspected Opioid-Related Deaths in 2017

 
Published: Monday, January 1, 2018 – 2:42pm
Updated: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 – 7:14am

More than 700 people in Arizona are believed to have died from opioid-related overdoses in 2017, according to end-of-the-year numbers from the Arizona Department of Health Services.

2017 was the first time state health officials began tracking opioid overdose data in real time. The initial results reveal that there were nearly 5,000 suspected opioid-related overdoses since mid-June. About 15 percent were fatal.

The majority of overdoses were clustered around the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas. Most of them happened inside a personal residence, not a health-care facility or public place. Over the past six months, the number of overdoses reported weekly has ranged from 100 to more than 250. The state aims to reduce the number of overdose deaths by 25 percent in the next five years.

Lawmakers are expected to take up legislation this year in response to the opioid epidemic, which Gov. Doug Ducey has declared a public health emergency.

Source: https://kjzz.org/

ViVRE is committed to helping end this epidemic in 2018, and beyond!

For support, guidance, and information please contact ViVRE at 480-389-4779.

Teams from All 50 States Examine Local Criminal Justice Trends at ‘Unprecedented Gathering’

By CSG Justice Center Staff

The two-day 50-State Summit on Public Safety, organized by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center in partnership with the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA), occurred at a time when public safety officials and crime data are telling a complex story. While property crime rates have fallen significantly in almost every state, and the overall violent crime rate remains lower than it was a decade ago, it is no longer universally declining. In fact, violent crime is increasing overall in 18 states and in many individual communities across the country. Further, the opioid epidemic has become a national crisis, and law enforcement leaders describe engaging with more people with serious mental illnesses than ever before.

“The amount of data available, and opinions about what that data means, sometimes makes you feel like you’re drinking from a fire hose. There’s no shortage of action that can be taken as a corrections leader,” said John Wetzel, Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections, who also serves as Chair of the CSG Justice Center and Vice President of ASCA. “This summit is a key opportunity to engage with colleagues across agencies and at all levels of government to understand that data and accelerate the adoption of programs that work.”

Each of the 50 state teams that attended the event on November 13–14 in Washington, DC were led by their respective state corrections administrator and included a key state legislator, a law enforcement official and a local behavioral health professional. Attendees—including 35 behavioral health directors, 15 police chiefs, 12 sheriffs, and 41 state legislators—received state-specific workbooks that highlighted data collected by CSG Justice Center staff in interviews with criminal justice professionals in all 50 states. State data included trends in crime, arrests, recidivism, correctional populations, and behavioral health in each state, as well as discussion questions to help each team think about the public safety challenges in their state and possible solutions.

“The intersection between the criminal justice system and people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders is more prominent than ever before, and local agencies are struggling to meet the demand for services for people in jail and on community supervision,” said Tracy Plouck, Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction services and Vice-Chair of the CSG Justice Center. “This reality reinforces the critical role behavioral health specialists will have in the effort to preserve public safety and get people the treatment they need.”

The summit featured discussions with leaders representing all facets of the criminal justice system from states across the country, as well as national voices, including U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, JustLeadershipUSA’s Glenn E. Martin and Darlene Hutchinson Biehl, Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime.

State teams emerged from the summit having identified clear strategies for reducing crime and recidivism, improving outcomes for people with mental health and substance use disorders, and reducing spending on prisons and jails.

“In order to achieve lasting crime and recidivism reductions, state and local leaders will need to develop a more comprehensive and coordinated public safety strategy that sustains success to date and responds to the unique combination of new challenges in their states,” Arkansas State Representative Clarke Tucker said. “I know that for my team attending the summit, this is a great checkpoint to understand where things stand in our state, reestablish our engagement across different agencies and learn about new opportunities to improve our criminal justice system.”

Following the summit, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance will select up to 25 states to receive additional technical assistance from criminal justice experts in early 2018. Attendees were encouraged to apply for this opportunity at the summit. Additionally, the CSG Justice Center will be releasing a report in the coming months that includes a detailed analysis of the state and local data discussed at this week’s summit.

The 50-State Summit on Public Safety was made possible by funding from by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Tow Foundation.

SOURCE: www.csgjusticecenter.org