Former inmates will soon get a new home and a new way to adjust to life outside prison.
The Southern Arizona Correctional Release Center on Starr Pass Blvd is being converted into a transitional resource for inmates.
The Community Corrections Center will offer the inmates treatment and reentry services along with short term housing in a 150-bed facility.
The Arizona Department of Corrections representatives say the goal is to reduce the prison population by getting inmates to become productive members of our community.
They say since 2010, the prison population growth rate has stabilized allowing DOC to focus on other programs like the resource center.
CEO of Primavera Foundations, Peggy Hutchinson has worked with reentry programs for years. She says programs like this help both inmates and taxpayers.
In fact, more than 11% of our state's general budget goes to our prison system.
It's a whopping $949 million and when you look at the price we pay per prisoner the difference is significant.
"It's about $2,600 per person compared to about $30,000 a person being in prison. And the recidivism rate is much less. If people getting out of prison go into a program where they can successfully reintegrate back into the community the likely hood of them going back to prison is very small," said Hutchinson.
The center will also be used as a parole office for offenders returning to Pima County. No word on when the center is going to open.