2nd Chance Greyhound Program
12News (NBC) Phoenix Celebrates Saguaro Correctional Inmate Program
March 1, 2012
The 2nd Chance at Life Greyhound program, in partnership with Team Canine, takes rescues from the racetrack and with the help of inmates, trains them to be amazing family pets for a forever home.
The inmates teach the dogs everything from housebreaking to basic obedience. It's a program where dogs and inmates benefit.
The greyhounds lives are saved, and the inmates learn unconditional love and skills as an animal trainer, a profession they may be able to continue when they are released... and doesn't everybody deserve a 2nd chance?!
Go to 12News (NBC) Phoenix click on the Videos tab at the top of the main page, and type the word Greyhound in the Search Videos tab to watch the story.
Makahiki Opening Ceremony
Celebrating A Season Of New Beginnings
November 9, 2011
More than 150 Native Hawaiian inmates at CCA Saguaro Correctional Facility in Eloy, Arizona opened the four month Makahiki season on November 9 by welcoming the Sun. Inmates prayed and danced to celebrate the opening of the new year festival.
Makahiki plays a major role in Hawaiian culture and punctuated the yearly farming cycle in ancient Hawaii. During the four-month period, war activities were halted and often times other day-to-day activities were lessened.
Makahiki is used to mean "New Year", as in "Hau'oli Makahiki Hou", for "Happy New Year."
Boy Scout Benefits Saguaro Inmates
Eagle Scout Project Delivers Hundreds of Books to Inmate Library
September 7, 2011
16 year old Boy Scout Luke Powell of Tempe, AZ reached out to Saguaro Warden Todd Thomas in June, 2011 through a typed letter with a community service proposal to supply the facility library with more books for the inmates, as a project to help him earn his Eagle Scout.
The young man, and LDS church member, offered to put together a book drive and wrote requesting the Warden's approval. In his letter to Warden Thomas, Luke understood the requirements and limitations on the material, and that all the books must be soft cover.
With the warden's 'stamp of approval' Luke set out to gather what he estimated would be 300 – 500 books for the facility library.
In September the young scout delivered on his goal, turning over hundreds of donated books to benefit the inmates at Saguaro.
With pleasure, Warden Thomas signed off on Luke's Eagle Scout project as a great success, and celebrated the gift with Assistant Warden Jody Bradley Jr., Librarian Christine Trent and Karen Sell, Saguaro's Principal and Director of Programs.
Celebrating Fathers & Families
Keeping Inmate Parents Involved In Their Children's Lives
August 16, 2011
The Honorable Governor John Waihee and his wife, former First Lady of Hawaii Lynne Waihee joined with Read To Me International Foundation Program Director Pat Mizuno in celebrating 40 inmate participants who have sucessfully completed the requirements of the 'Fathers Bridging The Miles' program at Saguaro Correctional Center.
Since 2006, CCA Saguaro Correctional Center, in partnership with Read To Me International has offered the Fathers Bridging the Miles Program to select inmates from the State of Hawaii. As of August 2011, 300 inmates had met the established criteria to successfully participate in the program.
Twice a month, a CD recording of the inmate's voice accompanies a storybook sent to his child in Hawaii, allowing the inmate to effectively read and maintain and/or rebuild a relationship. In addition to the storybook recordings, inmates who adhere to the program guidelines receive additional video visitation opportunities.
The program is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in cooperation with the Hawaii Department of Public Safety and seeks to work with inmates on maintaining bonds with their children.
At least once a month, and sometimes more frequently, director Mizuno travels to the Saguaro Correctional Center to assist in the continued success of the program and ensure it's focus on keeping inmate parents involved in their children's lives, learning and development.
Saguaro 2nd Chance Graduation
Inmate Program Puts Focus On Getting A Fresh Start
August 3, 2011
During the month of August, the staff at CCA Saguaro Correctional Center came together to celebrate a unique kind of graduation for nine inmates and their foster greyhounds.
The occasion is the completion of successful training for the latest group of rescued greyhounds, part of the facility's popular 2nd Chance at Life Greyhound Adoption program.
Sponsored by the National Greyhound Foundation and in conjunction with a non-profit greyhound rescue group, a select number of Saguaro Correctional inmates have the opportunity to prepare retired racing greyhounds for adoption, while learning responsibility and vocational skills.
Two inmates for each greyhound work as a team to be the animal's sole caretakers and offer them a nine week training regiment.
The focused attention and nurturing frequently increases the likelihood that each greyhound, once adopted to a forever family, will remain and thrive in their new owner's home.
2nd Chance at Life also goes a long way for the inmates too, allowing many for the first time, to experience the un-conditional love of a pet.
Saguaro RDAP Level III Graduation
May 19, 2011
Congratulations to the newest graduates of RDAP Level III, Class of May 2011, and many thanks for having the strength and courage to mend what needs mending.
All of the RDAP Graduating Class wish to thank their counselors, cadres and their families for their love, support and patience, and most of all, Mahalo nui to ke Akua, for giving them the strength and courage to mend what needed mending.
Samoan dancers, who have graduated or are still in the program, performed at the Graduation.
RDAP, a Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program, is designed to be delivered in a Therapeutic Community environment over a period of 9 to 15 months utilizing seven Interactive Journals and other state-of-the-art approaches.
Staff and visitors who attended the graduation ceremony included; HI Local Law Enforcement Keith Kamita, Addictions Treatment Manager Karen Johnston, Warden Todd Thomas, HI Deputy Director Joe Booker and HI Director Jodie Hirat.
Photo 2 Graduating Class with Guests & RDAP Counselor LeeAnn Ondulich
Photo 3 Samoan dancers who performed at the Graduation. Dancers have graduated or are still in the program. Staff/Visitors from left to right are HI Local Law Enforcement Keith Kamita, Addictions Treatment Manager Karen Johnston, Warden Todd Thomas, HI Deputy Director Joe Booker & HI Director Jodie Hirata.
3rd Annual Volunteer Dinner
Volunteers at the Saguaro Correctional Center devote many hours each week and month to offer prison ministry with the Hawaiian inmate population. In March 2011, they were recognized for their service with a volunteer appreciation dinner held at Macayo's Mexican Restaurant in nearby Casa Grande, Arizona.
"It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening as local and Hawaiian volunteers met together for the first time," said Saguaro Chaplain Charles Miller. "This provided an excellent time for local and Hawaiian volunteers to meet and network."
April is traditionally recognized as National Volunteer Month. In order to accommodate the volunteers who regularly travel from Honolulu's, New Hope Fellowship and First Assembly of God congregations, staff from Saguaro organized the celebration a month early.
"All of the pastors, worship leaders and volunteers, who joined in the appreciation dinner, are active in prison ministry at Saguaro," said Chaplain Miller. "Many of the volunteers have been active since Saguaro opened and contribute a lot of hours. Some drive an hour and a half each way to volunteer their time. With gas at $4 dollars a gallon, that is a commitment."
Volunteers from Hawaii travel to Saguaro at least twice a year to offer faith and cultural services to the Hawaiian inmates.
Photo 1 (l-r) Robert Holsman and Keith Omizo, Praise and Worship Leaders, First Assembly of God, Honolulu, Hawaii
Photo 2 (l-r) Pastor Scott Sonoda, (blue shirt) First Assembly of God, Honolulu, Hawaii, Charlotte Yamamoto, New Hope Fellowship, Honolulu, Bulla Eastman, Prison Ministry Leader, First Assembly of God, Honolulu, Lynette Eastman, Prison Ministry Leader, First Assembly of God, Honolulu, Pastor Roy Yamamoto, Prison Ministry Chaplain, New Hope Fellowship, Honolulu
Photo 3 (l-r) Lois Spees, Prison Ministry, Fort Myers, Florida, Faitala Failauga and Mrs. Failauga, Samoan Pastor, Saguaro volunteer and Don Miner, Jehovah Witness, Saguaro volunteer
Photo 4 (l-r) Saguaro Chaplain and Mrs. Charles Miller
Dana "Moon" Kahele Brings a little bit of Hawaii to SCC
March 9, 2011
On 03/09/2011 Dana "Moon" Kahele, Hawaiian slack-key guitar master from Hawaii, put on a mini concert for the Faith Pod at Saguaro Correctional Center. He was joined by SCC Volunteer New Hope Chaplain Michael Thompson. Moon was in Arizona as one of the guest artists performering for the Annual Arizona Aloha Festival held at Tempe Beach Park, March 13-14, 2011. The men in the Life Principles Community Program enjoyed the opportunity to be treated with a taste of Hawaii. It brought a little home to the hearts of the men.
-by Ms. Thompson, Warden's Secretary
Saguaro - RDAP Graduation
November 24, 2010
On November 24, 2010, 20 Saguaro inmates graduated from the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP), which is designed to help inmates overcome substance abuse by helping them change unhealthy thinking patterns. Participating inmates must uphold high standards of accountability and conduct, including participation in individual and group counseling as well as assigned job roles and responsibilities. At the graduation ceremony, RDAP inmates sang and played instruments. Guest speakers included both staff and RDAP inmates.
-by Ms. Thompson, Warden's Secretary
Second Chance at Life
August 13, 2010
Seventeen Saguaro inmates graduated from the facility's Second Chance at Life program on August 13, 2010. Second Chance at Life is sponsored by the National Greyhound Foundation in correctional facilities across the country. Through the program, inmates have an opportunity to prepare retired racing greyhounds for adoption, while learning compassion, and vocational and team skills. Inmate handlers and their assigned dogs are trained weekly for nine weeks. Participating inmates are responsible for K-9s' daily care, including feeding, basic training and recreation. When dogs are adopted, new K-9s are brought into the facility and the program continues. At the graduation, inmates handlers, their greyhounds and Saguaro employees were in attendance, along with Dan King and Brad Jaffee from Team Canine, a training organization that assists with the program.
-by Ms. Thompson, Warden's Secretary
Hawaii Inmates Graduate Faith-based Program
November 19, 2009
Saguaro Correctional Center had its third successful graduating class from the Life Principles Community Program (Faith Pod) on November 19, 2009 with 23 graduates. The inmates were full of enthusiasm as the program was an all day event with Tim Kepler as the special speaker. Mr. Kepler shared his life story of how he went from being a homeless, drug addicted broken man in prison, to a well known performing artist. He gave an exceptional performance with song and words of encouragement that strengthened the men in their journey ahead. Each man participated in the graduation from opening prayer, testimonies, song and dance, to a closing prayer that moved the audience with genuine compassion. A heart of worship was evident throughout the ceremony. We had an exceptional turn out from staff as well as volunteers.
Love and prayers from all of us here at Saguaro, especially those in the faith pod,
-by Ms. Beede, Program Facilitator
Concert in the Yard Rocks Offender Faith
November 16-20, 2009
Saguaro held its first-ever concert series, put together by the Music Room for the General Population, during the week of November 16 -20. The concert was performed by inmates for inmates and coincided with the Faith Pod graduation which featured international Christian recording artist Tim Kepler. The week consisted of a series of concerts, one concert for a different unit each day. Five bands were featured throughout the week with the line-up rotating daily.
Concert In the Yard grew from a vision that was shared by facility music porters at the inception of the Music Program, four months prior, and later shared with Hawaii Contract Monitor John Ioane, to see Hawaii inmates performing on the rec yard for the general population as a way for them to not only exhibit their musical talents, but to inspire fellow inmates to get involved with the music program. In addition, this concept was inspired by the fact that music plays a huge part in Hawaiian culture and the idea that Hawaii inmates' talents can be utilized as a source of inspiration to motivate positive behavior and preparation for a successful transition back into society.
As time progressed, and with the support of contract monitors Shari Kimoto and John Ioane, warden Thomas, assistant wardens Griego and Bradley and the Saguaro staff, the Music Program grew. Band members worked to develop their talents through hours of hard work. With each music porter and band member "playing their part", from the Sound Production Crew setting up quality and professional audio, to the Stage Crew setting up and breaking down for each concert, everyone rose to the challenge which led to a successful event.
-by Coach John Rael
New Hope Ministries Makes Major Impact on Hawaii Inmates
In January 2009, Chaplain Roy Yamamoto and over 20 volunteers from New Hope Ministries in Hawaii visited CCA's Saguaro Correctional Facility, which houses inmates for the Hawaii Department of Public Safety (HDPS). Yamamoto led the volunteers in two-day outreach for interested inmates. The outreach included preaching, mentoring, live concerts and fellowship. Of Saguaro's 1,896 inmates, 1,200 participated in the events and the majority of attendees were HDPS inmates.
"It was probably one of the best received programs that I've been a part of," says Todd Thomas, warden at Saguaro. "The following week, I was stopped several hundred times as I walked around the facility; inmates were thanking me for working with New Hope to plan the event, and telling me how much they enjoyed it."
Thomas also received letters from inmates expressing their appreciation for the outreach. Read an inmate's thank you letter to the warden.