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Mohave County Supervisors to vote on $2.3M for new jail re-entry program

A new re-entry program for inmates at Mohave County Jail began earlier this year under grant funding from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, and an additional $2.3 million is on the table as county law enforcement officials seek to further reduce recidivism at the facility.

Mohave County’s “Reach Out” program was implemented in July with a unanimous vote by the county’s governing board to accept $1 million from the Attorney General’s office, with $412,000 proposed for the design of a new county facility near the jail to administer the program. The Arizona Legislature earlier this year provided for potential funding for the program, and others like it, statewide, from a pool of $7 million in state appropriations. Of that sum, $2.3 million was allocated to the Mohave County Treasurer’s Office. This week, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on whether to apply that funding to the county’s new “Reach Out” program.

The grant funding comes from a $600 million settlement by Manhattan-based McKinsey & Co. in federal court earlier this year, which included payments to 47 U.S. states for the company’s alleged role in the opioid pandemic. Arizona’s allocation of that funding is administered by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to fund programs intended to eliminate opioid addiction, and to reduce recidivism for inmates or people currently involved in the criminal justice system due to substance abuse disorders.

In Mohave County, that funding will be used to purchase equipment, architectural and engineering services, and to prepare a site for the pending re-entry center facility. The “Reach Out” program was initially piloted by in 2018, which has since noted a 30% decline in the number of its inmates who re-offend, according to statements in July by Mohave County Supervisor Hildy Angius.

The program will operate through collaborations between county justice officials and detention staff at the Mohave County Jail, with entry screening interviews for inmates at the facility. The program would include efforts by judges and staff to obtain mental health services or substance abuse counseling for inmates immediately upon their respective release from custody, with the goal of ultimately reducing the likelihood those inmates will re-offend.

The program was championed earlier this year in Mohave County by former Arizona legislator Regina Cobb, who said that Yavapai County’s initial efforts may have been an example for other Arizona communities to follow this year.

“Yavapai County started it,” Cobb said in March. “And they’ve done some amazing things. (Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes) talked to me about the program’s success, and that other counties were interested in starting it. Angius said that we could do this in Mohave County. The county designated a great spot for the ‘Reach Out’ facility, and Hildy and I worked together to bring it here.”

According to Yavapai County records, the rate of offenders in Yavapai County who have committed new crimes after their incarceration had fallen to about 18.5% between 2018 and July 2022.

The Mohave County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to transfer the offered funding into the sheriff’s “Reach Out” program fund, at the board’s next meeting in Kingman.

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