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New efforts to keep mentally ill out of jail

A national campaign to encourage local jurisdictions to collect data on the jailed mentally ill and adopt strategies to avoid incarceration kicked off earlier this month.... Read more»

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Advocates: Expand state prisoner transition program

Advocates say the Prisoner Transition Program is being underutilized by the Arizona Department of Corrections even though it has been shown to reduce recidivism. Eligible inmates are released 90 days early if they participate.... Read more»1

GOP lawmakers press bills aimed at cutting incarceration costs, reducing recidivism

Two state lawmakers are aiming to reduce recidivism with bills to provide more support for prisoners transitioning back into society and to allow more monitoring for those found mentally incompetent to stand trial. ... Read more»1

Legislative roundup for week ending Feb. 6

Last week the Legislature voted to move forward a bill banning red-light camera ban, a Senate committee voted to move forward a bill banning driver's from texting, and Democrats took to social media to urge fellow legislators to prioritize schools rather than prisons after Governor Ducey’s budget proposal.... Read more»1

Time is money: Who's making a buck off prisoners' families?

Video: How a web of prison bankers, private vendors and corrections agencies profit by shifting costs onto inmates' families.... Read more»

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

Part one in a two-part series examining how financial companies charge high fees to the families of prison inmates.... Read more»

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»

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