Arizona Department of Corrections to Implement Reading Horizons Statewide

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The Arizona Department of Corrections has announced that they will teach the Reading Horizons program to all prisoners.

“At first we used Reading Horizons as a tack on to another program, but we all started getting such good results that it became a staple for all of our correctional programs.

In March of 2013, the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC) purchased Reading Horizons interactive reading software for all twelve institutions across the state as part of their inmate education program.

As part of the mandatory education classes, the Arizona DOC will teach the inmates how to improve their basic reading skills with the Reading Horizons software. The software is created for adult learners and ensures that each learner masters the basic foundational skills needed for reading success.

Literacy instruction is a crucial part of inmate education with 70% of all prisoners in state and federal systems classified as illiterate, reading below a fourth grade reading level (begintoread.com).

With the Reading Horizons program, the average student sees gains of two-to-three grade levels after 60 hours of instruction (typically over a six month time frame).

With the Reading Horizons software, the number of prisoners in Arizona who get released and then get put back in prison, after committing another crime, will greatly decrease.

"Penal institution records show that inmates have a 16% chance of returning to prison if they receive literacy help, as opposed to 70% who receive no help" (http://www.edu-cyberpg.com).

Over the last 20 years Reading Horizons has been used statewide in correctional facilities across the United States, including: Maryland, Delaware, and California.

Frances Tracy-Mumford, the former Delaware State Director of Adult Education and Correctional Education and the current Maryland Academic Program Coordinator in Correctional Education, described her experience with Reading Horizons by saying: “At first we used Reading Horizons as a tack on to another program, but we all started getting such good results that it became a staple for all of our correctional programs. It really helps with a whole host of writing, spelling, and reading problems – for both lower and higher level students.”

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About Reading Horizons

Founded in 1984, Reading Horizons provides teacher training, teacher manuals, and interactive software that empowers teachers to effectively teach beginning readers, struggling readers, and English language learners. The simple and streamlined nature of the program makes it easy for students with learning disabilities and working memory issues to find reading success. The Reading Horizons program is currently offered in over 10,000 schools across the country. Follow Reading Horizons at @readinghorizons.

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Betsie Jonas
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