To educate and reshape our society’s perception of former inmates so they may reintegrate and be given a fair chance for employment, housing, education and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Reinventing Reentry, an Arizona 501(c)(3)nonprofit, actively promotes education to both the community and to former inmates. The high rates of recidivism result in more cost to communities and a potential for higher crime rates. This is a bi-partisan public/private collaboration of business, academia, social work, justice and former inmates to assist newly released inmates to gain employment, seek higher education and find housing, thus building safer communities, reducing recidivism and freeing up millions of dollars for education budgets instead.
Board of Directors
Sue Ellen Allen
Founder & President
Deanna J. Durkee
Sue Ellen Allen
Sue Ellen Allen is the founder and executive director of Reinventing Reentry. After leading a prison program for seven years and researching other programs nationwide, she realized that change on a large and effective scale would not happen until the general public realized how our current prison system fails both public safety and our children and families. A University of Texas grad, educator, community leader, former inmate at Arizona State Prison and current activist, she found her purpose from serving time in prison.
In 2016, Sue Ellen was honored to be one of twenty-three Americans invited to sit with the First Lady in her box at the State of the Union message, representing criminal justice reform. Later that year she was a guest speaker on criminal justice at the White House sponsored summit, The United State of Women. She was a guest at a White House Convening on Criminal Justice Reform bringing together both emerging and established leaders from the advocacy, philanthropic, business, and law enforcement sectors to lift up the progress and advancements that have been made and surfacing opportunities to tackle persistent problems.
She is the author of The Slumber Party from Hell, a memoir about prison life, and the recipient of the Dawson Prize in Memoir in the 2009 Prison Writing Contest for PEN American Center.
Honouring My Dead Cellmate
BBC World Service
January 21, 2016
Who Are the President's Guests at
the 2016 State of the Union?
US News & World Report
January 12, 2016
Prison advocate, 'dreamer' to get
spotlight at Obama speech
The Arizona Republic
January 10, 2016
Meet The Ex-Convict President Obama Will Host
At The State Of The Union
January 9, 2016
Former inmates still pay for crimes,
after they pay debt to society
December 10, 2015
ASU interns help combat recidivism with
female leadership program in local prisons
The State Press
November 29, 2015
How a Woman Locked Up with
Breast Cancer Became a Prison Activist
October 2, 2015
Breast Cancer Behind Bars:
One Woman’s Story
October 24, 2014
Sue Ellen Allen’s Prison Revolution
July 9, 2012
Prison hosts speaker series to educate,
motivate female inmates
AZ Capital Times
March 30, 2011
People deserve a fair chance
"Certainly, by providing individuals coming out of institutions with ways to become productive citizens, we reduce recidivism. What that means is we reduce crime. There are fewer victims when individuals have options - when they have job skills, when they have life skills, we break the cycle of children following their parents into institutions." - Attorney General Loretta Lynch