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Analysis

Money, not morals, drives pro & anti-pot movements

The legalization of cannabis gives rise to a new industry that spends money in Washington to further its interests. But they will be competing against the big money groups which benefit from the continued prohibition of marijuana.... Read more»

Uruguay may treat addicted prisoners with medical pot

Furthering its international reputation as a cannabis vanguard, this small South American country could start treating its drug-addicted prisoners with medical marijuana. How serious Uruguay is about allowing incarcerated addicts to toke up is hard to gauge.... Read more»

Bill would require U.S. citizenship for state prison guards

A state lawmaker wants to require Arizona Department of Corrections officers to be U.S. citizens, as is already the case with other peace officers, saying the change would help ease unemployment in his district.... Read more»

Guest opinion

Hart: Arizona sees big drop in juvenile incarcerations

It’s rare for Arizona to shine in national rankings – other than, say, for population growth or temperature. So we should not fail to note a recent report that cites Arizona as a national leader in the field of juvenile corrections.... Read more»

AG announces U.S. drug sentencing reform in major policy shift

The United States is softening its all-out war on drugs of the past 40 years. “Low-level, non-violent” drug offenders will no longer face mandatory minimum prison sentences, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday... Read more»

Analysis

Prison reform: Time to retire elderly inmates via early release?

Prison reform has never seemed very high on Arizona’s “to do” list, even though we’re spending $1 billlon annually for a “corrections” system that sees half of its released inmates return within six years. But saving money is always popular. So what if there were a way to reduce the state prison population at minimal threat to public safety?... Read more»

Analysis

War on drugs: What is it good for?

It’s not just Colorado and Washington: The world is abandoning the U.S.-backed drug war in favor of a more liberal approach to cannabis. Four decades after President Nixon declared war on drugs, nearly everyone agrees it’s time for a truce.... Read more»2

Inmates transferred, prison remains locked down after brawl

A Tucson prison unit remains locked down after a fight Sunday involved hundreds of prisoners. Eighty of the inmates have been moved to other prisons, a spokesman said.... Read more»

Dramatic decline in youth incarceration; Az cuts jailed youth by 50%

The United States still leads the industrialized world in incarcerating young people, and ethnic-minority kids are still locked up more than whites. But there is good news: Since 1995, the rate at which states confine young people has been steadily dropping; Arizona cut the number of jailed youth in half.... Read more»

Tucson prison locked down after hundreds of inmates brawl

A fight involving hundreds of inmates has led to a lockdown Sunday of the Arizona State Prison in Tucson, a spokesman said.... Read more»

Yuma prison park examines polygamist inmates

Among the murderers and other criminals in Yuma Territorial Prison in the mid-1880s, prominent Mormons were also incarcerated. Their crime? Polygamy.... Read more»2

Advocacy groups target private prisons for immigrants

The unnecessary prosecution of nonviolent illegal immigrants is sending ever larger numbers to poorly managed private prisons, a coalition of advocacy groups said, calling on Congress to reject $25.8 million for 1,000 new private prison beds. ... Read more»

Commentary

Hart: What about 'therapeutic' prisons?

We have chosen to abandon the classically American ideal of rehabilitation undoubtedly in large part to save money. But it’s hard not to conclude that payback is coming. ... Read more»

Who controls Mexico's prisons?

Mexico’s prison problems stem primarily from a lack of control. Corruption is rife among guards and wardens, who have been implicated in abetting mass escapes and allowing mafias to charge inmates fees for simple comforts such as sleeping on bunks.... Read more»

Az inmates paid $1.1 million in unemployment benefits

Over the past two years, 475 Arizona prisoners collected $1.1 million in unemployment benefits while sitting in their cells. The Department of Economic Security is seeking to recapture the funds.... Read more»

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