AZ Common Ground (AZCG) is a community-based organization created behind the razor wire of a prison fence by three former inmates who developed a plan to provide services to youth and adults upon their release from prison. These men came together to form this organization based on their unique perspective of having been ex-offenders; experiencing the difficult process of reentry firsthand, and learning to rebuild their own lives as convicted felons.
AZ Common Ground was established due to the high recidivism rate of ex-offenders once released from incarceration, the lack of successful reentry programs and services offered to ex-offenders, and the desire to assist communities and organizations to support victims of crime.
AZ Common Ground began teaching life skills courses in February of 2011. Since then, AZ Common Ground has successfully graduated 834 individuals from their program with just 47 returning to incarceration. However, 14 have returned with new charges. The remaining 33 returned to incarceration on technical violations. AZ Common Ground receives over 120 new contacts per month.
To support, advocate, and mentor previously incarcerated youth and adults to become servant leaders within Maricopa County.
Provide evidence-based prison reentry services that alter lives in a productive and meaningful way and reduce victimization throughout Maricopa County.
WHAT WE DO
We have been teaching life skills since 2011. Since that time, AZCG has successfully graduated 681 students of which only 27 have reoffended and returned to the prison system.
We understand the strength of collective engagement, therefore, AZCG has built strong relationships with local businesses, faith-based and community-based organizations, and law enforcement agencies.
AZCG BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Michael Kurtenbach is a Phoenix native who has proudly served with the Phoenix Police Department for over 27 years. Throughout his career, he has been a strong proponent of Community Based Policing and has remained steadfast in his commitment to problem solving and partnership-building with the citizens of Phoenix. He is currently serving as Phoenix Police Department's Executive Assistant Chief.
Drew Anderson is the Pastor of First Watch Ministries and Legacy Christian Center. He graduated from Monmouth College with a degree in Speech Communications in 2000. From 2000 to 2009, Drew played professional football in the NFL and Arena Football League. In 2010 Drew married his beautiful and talented wife, Kenya and they are parents to 5 wonderful children. Drew coaches and mentors high school and middle school students around the country, providing inspiration to thousands each year.
Rhoshawndra L. Carnes has always been passionate about helping others and allowing God to use her for His purpose. Rhoshawndra is actively involved in the community and loves to volunteer. Rhoshawndra currently serves as the Director of Family Services at Pilgrim Rest Foundation, Inc. Under her leadership; she has brought various much needed services, events, and programs to both congregants and the community. In her spare time she enjoys attending open mics, cooking, fishing, listening to live music, and watching independent films. Rhoshawndra lives by the motto: "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent
left, and could say, I used everything you gave me"-Erma Bombeck
Eusebio Quezada is the Lead Case Manager for Chicanos Por La Causa for several years. Eusebio has worked with both youth and adults who have been released from incarceration and assisted them in creating stability for their lives. Eusebio serves youth throughout Maricopa County to prevent them from making damaging decisions which oftentimes lead them into lifestyles of crime. Eusebio’s greatest honor is being a father. Eusebio has one perspective on life: Serve God, your Family, and your Community.