September 2017

September 29, 2017

Why Arizona Has Such a High Incarceration Rate

A report entitled “A New Public Safety Framework for Arizona: Charting a Path Forward” by the American Friends Service Committee – Arizona (Dec. 2016 – Originally seen published at identified and discussed why Arizona has such a high incarceration rate: mandatory sentencing laws, unique criminal priors law, technical violations of probation or parole, and harsh sentencing for drug offenders.   According to the report, Arizona requires all prisoners to serve 85 percent of their sentence. Arizona is also one of only three states to retain the harsh, across-the-board Truth-in-Sentencing laws enacted back in the mid-1990s. The report concluded: “In […]
September 16, 2017

Drug Sentencing in Arizona: Practical Policy Recommendations

American Friends Service Committee-Arizona analyzed the court records of people who were sentenced to prison for a drug crime in Maricopa, Pima and Yavapai counties in 2015. They discussed their findings and recommendations in Drug Sentencing in Arizona: A Prescription for Failure, by Rebecca Fealk, MPA, and Caroline Isaacs, MSW, August 2017. All quotes and data are taken from their report. The report recommended defelonizing drug possession, expanding non-criminal justice interventions, restructuring drug sentences, and utilizing public health and harm reduction approaches. Defelonizing drug possession would save Arizona a lot of money: “In one year in Pima County, 60.39% of […]
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