Talks with Arizona Department of Corrections have resulted in the program The Streets Don't Love You Back being introduced in the state prison system. From left, ADOC legislative liaison Arthur Harding, board member Marc Montgomery, Mayor Christian Price, co-founders Lucinda and Rob Boyd, Sen. Steve Smith and ADOC Director Charles Ryan. Submitted photo

A Maricopa-based intervention program has been accepted into the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Rob and Lucinda Boyd started The Streets Don’t Love You Back in 2009 to redirect lives influenced by drugs, abuse, crime and gangs. Rob Boyd teaches the five-week course at the courthouse in Maricopa. There are also sessions in Phoenix.

For years, the Boyds have worked to spread the program across the country, having some success with self-study programs among prisoners. But a big goal has been to get the fully-realized course taught in a prison system.

After a Dec. 8 meeting with ADOC, that dream came true.

“We’re looking forward to a great 2017,” Rob Boyd said. “This is going to make Christmas very bright.”

State Sen. Steve Smith introduced the Boyds to ADOC Director Charles Ryan, who involved ADOC Program Director Karen Hellman in the conversation about starting an intervention program. Sen. Catherine Miranda has also been an active supporter of the program.

Smith said he is drawn to good ideas from people with passion, knowledge and know-how.

“The Boyds are highly passionate,” he said. “Rob’s lit the light.”

The Boyds with state Sen. Catherine Miranda. Submitted photo
The Boyds with state Sen. Catherine Miranda. Submitted photo

The Streets Don’t Love You Back is scheduled to begin in January at Eyman Prison in Florence. The idea is to have prison staff teach the course over six weeks to classes of 30 inmates. Rob Boyd said they will be “teaching our program the way we designed the program.”

That includes face-to-face discussions about substance abuse dependency, making decisions, anger management, conflict resolution, attitude, behaviors, problem solving, self-improvement, setting goals and identifying strengths and skills.

Lucinda Boyd, a registered nurse, wrote the program booklet, which students get to keep.

“We want to educate them while they’re young about how to set goals and give them a better chance of succeeding in life,” Lucinda Boyd said.

Even lifers, Rob Boyd said, can find positive personal development in the program.

He said the program is about letting everyone know they are valued, whatever their background and troubles.

The Boyds want to spread the program to each state prison in Arizona. A more local goal is to have The Streets Don’t Love You Back in every school in Maricopa. It is something Smith wants to see as well, and one of the reasons he has done what he can to get the program a stronger foothold in the state.

“It helps people from the smallest to the biggest,” Smith said. “Helping in the small way that I can help people like [the Boyds], might help put a little wind in their sails.”

Rob Boyd considers it a big service in his long-term effort to help others avoid the pitfalls he has known after coming out of the gang lifestyle himself. He credits Lucinda’s work on the program and her faith in his abilities with getting The Streets Don’t Love You Back to this major step.

“We never were the kind of people to give up on anything,” he said.