The Nevada Department of Corrections and The Molasky Group of Companies, a private real estate developer, opened the Casa Grande Re-Entry Center. This modern facility provides inmates nearing the end of their sentences the tools for a successful return to society while costing Nevada taxpayers very little. Today, the Molasky Group of Companies has teamed with former Nevada Department of Corrections director Jackie Crawford to further develop the Casa Grande program to serve as a model across the country for Correctional Re-Entry Centers, Juvenile and Adult Detainment Centers, and Social Service and Mental Health Centers for Jails/Correctional Facilities.
The Casa Grande Concept
Mitigating the Correctional Crisis Through Innovative Development
Here’s a chilling statistic: Nearly 70% of inmates released from prison are re-arrested. Every state, city, town, county and municipality in the nation should be concerned with the growing prison population and numbers of returning offenders, as well as the impact of returning prisoners on the community and the rising cost of building and maintaining correctional facilities.
In early 2006, Nevada – a state not well known for its progressive correctional system – did something to mitigate the problem. The Nevada Department of Corrections and The Molasky Group of Companies, a private real estate developer, opened the Casa Grande Re-Entry Center. This modern facility provides inmates nearing the end of their sentences the tools for a successful return to society while costing Nevada taxpayers very little. Today, the Molasky Group of Companies has teamed with former Nevada Department of Corrections director Jackie Crawford to further develop the Casa Grande program to serve as a model across the country for Correctional Re-Entry Centers, Juvenile and Adult Detainment Centers, and Social Service and Mental Health Centers for Jails/Correctional Facilities.
The Casa Grande Re-Entry Center is located in Las Vegas, Nevada in an industrial area near employment opportunities and mass transportation. The center houses up to 400 non-violent, non-sexual crime offenders for three months while they are prepared to assimilate back into society successfully. Inmates spend their final months before being released working, learning new job skills, advancing their education, reuniting with their families, and learning to avoid the temptations that sent them to prison in the first place.
Casa Grande is comprised of two dormitory buildings and an administrative building where there are also facilities for dining, counseling and group rooms for classroom instruction. Besides basic GED training, offenders will be given instruction in such areas as criminal thinking errors, conflict resolution, victim empathy, financial management, work readiness, health awareness and parenting. Voluntary religious services for all denominations will also be available. Inmates are also given access to nearby employment opportunities which along with a full array of services makes the program different.
Why Casa Grande Works
Today, many offenders in Nevada are dropped off in downtown Las Vegas with a check for $25 and best wishes from the Department of Corrections. More often than not, the parting of the ways is brief and the majority of offenders wind up back in the system. Casa Grande seeks to reverse that trend. The goal is to reintroduce offenders into society with a fighting chance to stay there and not go back to prison. It’s a goal that makes sense on many levels, said Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn.
“The concept behind Casa Grande is simple: program those who have gone astray to be better able to provide for themselves and their families by providing the opportunity to use the skills they have learned to obtain good paying jobs. By doing so, the state will be able to keep costs in check by holding down the need to build more prisons.”
Financing Casa Grande
Even the startup costs of the program came with the taxpayer in mind. Jackie Crawford, the former Nevada Department of Corrections director who had the vision and guided the project from its inception in 2001 through her retirement in the summer of 2005, said that most states go to their legislatures to seek funds to refurbish established buildings to build halfway houses.
“The unique part of Casa Grande was that we did not spend tax dollars,” she said. “We asked for a lease-purchase structure. That’s a public-private partnership concept in which people invest. We take the money paid for room and board and we make the payments. So the taxpayer is not paying for that building; the inmates are. Isn’t that the way government should run?”
Additionally, Casa Grande is no free ride for the inmates. Through innovative work-release programs, inmates at Casa Grande are eligible for employment. Inmates reimburse the state approximately $15 per day and all other monies earned are banked and upon release, inmates not only have gainful employment, but a nest egg that helps get them off to a fresh start.
The Designï¿½Build Team
Chosen to design and build the facility was the Molasky Group of Companies, led by founder Irwin Molasky and company president Richard S. Worthington. The company has been changing the Las Vegas skyline for more than 50 years. Their challenge was to find an area that would accept this unique program, secure the land, and design and build the facility for a pre-determined price.
Casa Grande was constructed on time and on budget. The architect was Swisher Hall and the general contractor was Korte Company.
“If I had a nickel for every time I arrested a suspect who said, “Man I just got out of prison,” I would be rich. A place like Casa Grande is absolutely necessary if these guys are going to have a life other than that of crime.” -Sheriff Bill Young, Las Vegas, Nevada
“The Casa Grande facility will use enlightened programs designed to provide inmates with real-life work experience so they are more able to transition back into society as a productive member of our communities.” -Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn
Promote Public Safety by offering a milieu of programs and services for adult offenders entering or residing in the local community. Provide programs and services that assist eligible offenders with their transition into the community.
Provide a cost effective solution for those who do not pose a threat to public safety, and whose correctional programming and treatment needscould best be served by community placement. Provide a return to custody alternative for those residents who do not pose a threat to public safety.
Meet the supervision and control needs of adult offenders.
How to Develop the Casa Grande Concept in Your Jurisdiction
Today, the Molasky Group of Companies has teamed with former Nevada Department of Corrections director Jackie Crawford to further develop the Casa Grande program to serve as a model across the country for Correctional Re-Entry Centers, or to use the design-build concept for correctional and jail facilities, social service and mental health centers that will address needs for both adult and juvenile offenders.
For more information on Casa Grande, contact:
Jackie Crawford, Principal
Government Services Division
Office: (702) 735-0155