Arizona

JS Update November 4, 2011

Judy Greene on Legalease

Justice Strategies' Director Judith Greene discusses prison sentencing reform in Arizona with State Representative and House Judiciary Committee member Cecil Ash and Maricopa County Deputy Chief of Probation, Therese Wagner, on Phoenix's legal talk radio show Legalease with Dennis Wilenchik. Sitting in for the host was Jack Wilenchik. The show originally aired October 26, 2011 from 4 to 5 PM (MT) on 1100 AM KFNX.

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

News Article The Arizona Republic October 9, 2011

Arizona prison sentences among toughest for many crimes

Whether it's putting a shoplifter behind bars for three years or a child-porn user away for 200 years, Arizona imposes among the longest, harshest sentences of any state in the country for a wide variety of crimes.

Politically, that has been popular, but the practice carries a hefty price tag. This year, the state will spend more than $1 billion to keep prisoners behind bars, and that figure will balloon if Arizona carries out plans to build or contract for as many as 6,500 new prison beds over the next five years.

News Article The Arizona Republic February 2, 2011

Arizona defense lawyers urge sentencing reforms

Defense attorneys on Tuesday called for a raft of sentencing reforms they said would save money and put Arizona in line with other states that have reduced prison populations and lowered crime rates.

But the group likely will have a tough time convincing a majority of lawmakers.

News Article Pheonix New Times February 1, 2011

Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice Release New Report on Sentencing Reform

Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (AACJ) held a press conference this morning to announce the release of a report highlighting the need for sentencing reform. The study, conducted by Judith Greene of Justice Strategies, notes that the state's criminal justice policies have "been among the harshest in the nation for many years" -- and are no longer fiscally viable.

JS Publication February 7, 2011

Turning the Corner: Opportunities for Effective Sentencing and Correctional Practices in Arizona

On February 1, 2011, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a statewide not-for-profit membership organization of criminal defense lawyers, law students and associated professionals, released Turning the Corner: Opportunities for Effective Sentencing and Correctional Practices in Arizona, a report prepared by Justice Strategies' Director Judy Greene. With a state corrections budget of $1 billion dollars threatening cuts to education and other important human services, Turning the Corner points Arizonians to important reforms in other states that have reduced prison populations while maintaining public safety.

The trend in state prison population reductions that began in 2005 included 24 states by 2009. However, Arizona's prison incarceration rate went from 1 in every 749 persons in 1980 to 1 in every 170 by the end of June 2008. Its average annual prison-population growth rate between 2000 and 2008 was 5.1 percent, compared to a national average of 1.5 percent, giving Arizona the third highest incarceration rate of all states and the highest in the West. Read more »

News Article Christian Science Monitor May 18, 2010

Justice Strategies Research suggests Arizona immigration law echoes failed federal immigrant policing act

A new Christian Science Monitor article cites Justice Strategies’ research on the federal immigration act, 287(g), which may have served as a precursor to the widely denounced Arizona immigration law.

JS Publication February 27, 2009

Local Democracy on ICE: Why State and Local Governments Have No Business in Federal Immigration Law Enforcement

287(g) is a tiny provision in federal immigration law that allows Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to take local police away from their mission of fighting crime, and pull them into the murky territory of targeting immigrants for arrest without suspicion of crime. ICE described the 287(g) program as a public safety measure to target “criminal illegal aliens,” but its largest impact has been on law-abiding immigrant communities. Rather than focusing on serious crime, police resources are spent targeting day-laborers, corn-vendors and people with broken tail-lights. This report details findings from a year-long investigation of 287(g) by Justice Strategies, and recommends that the ICE program be terminated.

People who live in immigrant communities say that 287(g) brings the problem of racial profiling to their neighborhoods. Our analysis shows that 61 percent of jurisdictions that have entered into 287(g) agreements have crime rates that are lower than the national average. Census data show that 87 percent, however, are undergoing an increase in their Latino populations higher than the national average. Read more »

News Article The Explorer News March 30, 2005

Report: No reliable data on private prison savings (AZ)

It was 11 years ago when Arizona first entered the business of outsourcing its corrections operations to private, for-profit corporations with the approval of a privately-run state prison in Marana.

JS Publication February 23, 2005

Cost-Saving or Cost-Shifting: The Fiscal Impact of Prison Privatization in Arizona

Arizona policymakers responded to claims that significant cost-saving have been achieved through privatization by nearly tripling the number of state-contracted beds. But Justice Strategies' analysis finds that these claims are based on flawed, outdated research that failed to address critical factors including population differences and the cost of financing.

Justice Strategies analysis finds cost-saving claims based on flawed, outdated research.

Arizona's corrections budget has doubled over the last fifteen years, placing a tremendous burden on taxpayers and on the families of state university students. Despite the growth in corrections spending, however, the state prison system remains underfunded and dangerously overcrowded.

Arizona's corrections crisis has led many to call for an overhaul of the state's sentencing system, which packs state prisons with non-violent substance abusers who make up half of all prisoners. Others argue that privatization is the answer to the state's prison woes because private companies can operate prisons at lower cost and finance new prisons the state cannot afford. Read more »

News Article May 12, 2004

Arizona lawmakers join call for sentencing reform

Respected Republican Rep. Bill Konopnicki (R -- Stafford) and Sen. Carolyn Allen (R -- Scottsdale) welcomed the release of a report blaming the growth in incarceration on Arizona's rigid mandatory sentencing laws, and they pledged to support legislation establishing a sentencing commission to study the matter.

"Arizona Prison Crisis: A Call for Smart on Crime Solutions" was Commissioned by Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) and released at a May 11, 2004 press conference. The report provides policymakers with the first detailed look at the state's prison population and the specific laws that fuel the current overcrowding crisis.

Authored by Judith Greene and Kevin Pranis of Justice Strategies, the report paints a portrait of a prison system packed with people convicted of non-violent and low-level offenses, disproportionate numbers of people of color and a rapidly growing population of women. The report outlines comprehensive suggestions for sentencing reform, as well as more immediate steps to reduce overcrowding and save money. Read more »

Syndicate content