Neighbors In South Phoenix Raise Questions About Inmate Re-Entry Center

Published: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 4:14pm
Updated: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 4:20pm

Plans to place the state's released convicts into a central Inmate Re-Entry Center have set off a series of questions.

Especially for residents in south-central Phoenix where property values are hit sharing a ZIP code with several jails near 35th Avenue and Durango Street.

It's why state Rep. Rebecca Rios and other leaders demanded answers when the state announced plans to consolidate newly released inmates into a 335-bed Re-Entry Center in the same neighborhood.

"Why is the plan to close all the other similar programs located throughout the state," she asked, "and create one super concentrated location in south Phoenix?"

Tim Roemer, an adviser to Gov. Ducey spearheading the plan, said the location would allow expanded access to job training.

"If someone doesn't have a job opportunity," he explained, "too many times they're going to the action that led them to be behind bars in the first place."

Residents from the area support giving ex-convicts a second chance, but said they'd rather the governor move the center to the old Tent City location, away from residential neighborhoods.

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