Our Story

In 2011, Arouet was founded as an independent 501(c)3 by  Jim Hooker andVince Barsolo. Jim and Vince recognized a need to provide wrap-around social support for women who have been directly impacted by the justice system. They knew that in order to “walk the walk,” they needed to provide services to help these women achieve success and avoid recidivism once they were released. Further, they saw the value in providing these supports to all women and ultimately, all women exiting these correctional facilities.

For over nine years, with both pre- and post- release programs, Arouet has helped women tap into their own strengths, identify viable career paths, and establish stable, self-sufficient lives outside of prison. Through educational and employment supports, mentoring, wellness and behavioral health, life skills development, and advocacy, we are working toward a society in which every formerly incarcerated woman can successfully reintegrate and make productive contributions in our communities.

Through our pre-release programming, we provide direct job training and placement in professional jobs while women remain incarcerated. With this program, we have developed a reputation for providing inclusive and nonjudgmental support, and for helping women enhance their employability for jobs in which they are interested and qualified. For this reason, women exiting seek our support, and employers increasingly want to hire our participants. Formerly incarcerated women face a proverbial fork in the road, and Arouet is in the perfect position to guide these women toward success and self-sufficiency, and away from recidivism.

[*Recidivism is defined as the likelihood to return to prison within three years of release from either committing a new crime or returning for parole violations. Arizona’s current recidivism rate is 37.5%.]