Starting Rehabilitation Early, at Arizona’s Coconino County Jail

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy washingtonpost.com

America’s county jails can be a challenging environment, both for their inmates, and for those seeking to provide educational and rehabilitative programs.  There is a high turnover of inmates, who typically stay only a short time, and who tend to be anxious and preoccupied with their pending court cases.

At Coconino County Jail in central Arizona, the average stay is just one week, though in part that reflects many who only stay overnight; other inmates remain at the jail for many months.  Because of these challenges county jails are usually seen simply as staging posts.  Rehabilitative programs are given a low priority and inmates spend most of their time watching television, reading, or playing cards.  In Coconino County, however, Sheriff Pribil sees this as a wasted opportunity, and he has shown that he’s prepared to do something about it.

Coconino County Jail’s drug treatment program has cast the jail’s general education programs in a less favorable light, and shown them to be in need of improvement.  To begin this process, Sheriff Pribil appeared before the Coconino County Supervisors on March 12, 2014 to request approximately $70,000 of additional funds in order to hire an educational coordinator for the jail.  Impressed by the success of the Exodus program, the Supervisors unanimously approved.

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Pay-To-Stay Jail

By Yahoo News

Some prisoner’s in Northern California are upgrading to better living spaces – but only if they’ve got the cash to pay.

That’s because a jail in Fremont is offering prisoners the chance to pay-as-they-go for a cell in the prison . And the rent isn’t cheap, running $155 a night, the same as a local three star hotel, according to local affiliate WTKR. 

“You do get cable TV, but you don’t get a warm cookie on your bed,” Lt. Mark Devine, of the Fremont Police Department told the station.

The $10 million minimum security prison is far from luxurious with standard prison beds, shared bathroom and shower space. But it does come with various recreational options, including a HD widescreen TV.

Built in 2000, the prison facility has 54 beds and can house up to 96 inmates at a time.

And the space is only eligible to misdemeanor offenders who receive prior approval from a judge.

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