Angry homeowners plan to keep up fight with AZ Dept. of Corrections

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The new Maricopa Reentry Center opened a few weeks ago near Interstate 17 and Happy Valley Road.  The MCRC is a transitional facility for released prison inmates. (Source: Google Maps) The new Maricopa Reentry Center opened a few weeks ago near Interstate 17 and Happy Valley Road. The MCRC is a transitional facility for released prison inmates. (Source: Google Maps)
Community activists Julie Reed and Ann O'Brien met with ADC Director Charles Ryan Thursday morning to voice the concerns of their community and present Ryan with signed petitions demanding that the center be relocated. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Community activists Julie Reed and Ann O'Brien met with ADC Director Charles Ryan Thursday morning to voice the concerns of their community and present Ryan with signed petitions demanding that the center be relocated. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

It's the ultimate "not in my backyard" story.

Thousands of North Phoenix homeowners are upset about a new Arizona Department of Corrections center.

Those residents are now fighting to get the facility relocated

The new Maricopa Reentry Center opened a few weeks ago near Interstate 17 and Happy Valley Road.

The MRC is a transitional facility for released prison inmates. Its purpose is to help them find a home, a job and provide counseling as they re-enter society.

Community activists Julie Reed and Ann O'Brien met with ADC Director Charles Ryan Thursday morning to voice the concerns of their community and present Ryan with signed petitions demanding that the center be relocated.

Reed indicated that the ADC seemed receptive to their concerns. 

"It was a very beneficial meeting," Reed said. "I don't think there was anything negative about the meeting. As a community in North Phoenix, if we're going to be neighbors with the ADC, we need to know how to be good neighbors."

ADC has promised to set up a series of community meetings to better inform neighbors about what the re-entry center does.

It also agreed to expand exclusion zones to keep released inmates away from schools and parks and put together an answer page to address homeowners' concerns.

"We all know these folks come out of the system and try to become productive members of society," O'Brien said. "The truth is, if you ask folks on the street, 'Do you like the center in your area?' the answer will be no 99.9 percent of the time."

"The ADC will continue to work with area residents to increase understanding of the Maricopa County reentry program," Ryan said in a statement.

Despite the goodwill gesture from the ADC, many homeowners are looking into possible legal action, to force the re-entry center to move someplace else.

The facility used to be used as part of a Juvenile Detention Center.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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