Seven-Habits Program Changes Lives at the Arizona State Prison – Marana

Perhaps you’ve heard of the book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey and its accompanying program. At the Arizona State Prison – Marana, a version of the program is available for residents that is tailored to persons who are incarcerated.

“It’s not an easy program to get through,” says Dawn Miller, an instructor at Arizona State Prison-Marana. “There’s a lot of homework, there’s a lot of reading, there’s a lot of reflection. And they have to look at themselves and decide where they can make the changes [and] what works best for them…It’s all about behavior modification and changing from the inside out.”

Dawn continues, “I let them know that when they join the program…they are the elite. They’re the best of the best. We expect them to behave in a manner that is in alignment with the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, and that is to do the right thing always. Even when no one’s looking.”

Marana Habits Class Still
Dawn Miller, Seven-Habits Program instructor.

“One of the things I enjoy from it is when they graduate, they’ll have to write a mission statement, and just hearing some of their mission statements that they come up with, it almost puts you in tears,” says Warden Jeremy Casey. “These guys, they get real passionate about it. And, you know, they have a lot of support from the fellow residents [that] attend it and they start mentoring each other and things. So, it’s been a really successful program.”

“I believe it was 92 percent of the people who’ve been released have not recidivated,” stated Dawn. “There was a large percentage [that] stayed ticket free for the rest of their time here.”

Devin Thomas is a resident at the facility who participated in the Seven Habits class. “The experience was rewarding,” he says. “It was a lot of information that I could use right now. I don’t have to wait until after I get released to apply that information…I could take something away [from] every class and apply it to my life immediately. It helped out a lot.”

Marana Habits Class Still
Devin Thomas, Seven-Habits Program participant.