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Visitations will still be substantially different than they were prior to the pandemic, including new hours and limits on number of visitors.

The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Re-entry announced Thursday that in-person visitations will resume on June 19, with restrictions intended to limit the spread of the coronavirus, but only if the inmates are vaccinated and haven’t had any disciplinary issues. Read more»

The new bill replaces Blackman’s House Bill 2713, which passed unanimously out of his House Criminal Justice Reform Committee and cleared the full House on a bipartisan 47-11 vote.

A multi-year push to loosen Arizona’s strict sentencing laws was resurrected Tuesday, despite the resistance of a key Senate Republican who refused to hear the bill. The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would allow drug offenders to get out of prison after serving half of their sentences, and other nonviolent offenders to earn up to a third off their sentences. Read more»

Several noteworthy criminal justice reform bills are working their way through the legislative process, but a major sentencing reform proposal that advocates have spent three years pushing is among the legislation that appears destined to fall short. Thursday is the deadline for Senate committees to hear House bills, and vice versa. And the final Senate Judiciary Committee agenda before the deadline hits has some notable omissions. Read more»

Numerous advocates and former inmates testified before the House Criminal Justice Reform Committee about the opportunities that an earlier release date could provide for those who are behind bars and for their families.

The House Criminal Justice Reform Committee advanced several pieces of legislation, including a bill that would allow some prison inmates to earn an earlier release date if they participate in self-improvement programs while behind bars. The bills give hope to reform advocates that 2021 might be different than the past two years, where early optimism quickly turned into disappointment. Read more»

The new Legislature brings new opportunities for a criminal justice reform movement that’s stalled out at the Capitol over the past couple years — and perhaps some new obstacles, as well. Read more»

The nearly 3,000-inmate Arizona State Prison Complex Kingman, operated in Golden Valley by GEO Group, experienced a COVID-19 outbreak in mid-July, with positive results for five of the 17 people tested.

As COVID-19 began to spread across the Southwest in March, lawyers representing incarcerated Arizonans reported “unsanitary conditions,” “inadequate medical staffing and treatment” and a “failure to take strong and sensible precautionary measures” in state prisons. Read more»

Members of the Arizona Friends Service Committee and supporters of criminal justice reform are asking Arizona legislators to adopt changes that could impact voting rights, job seekers and housing.

Criminal reform advocates are asking Arizona legislators to change laws that keep hundreds of formerly incarcerated people from voting and getting jobs. Read more»

Sups. Ramon Valadez, Steve Christy and Richard Elias during Monday's meeting.

On a 3-2 party line vote, Pima County supervisors approved moving a Catholic-run shelter for released migrants into a vacant wing of the juvenile detention center — but not before hearing dissension over the plan from other groups that work with migrants. Read more»

Pima County is asking that more than a half-million dollars in Operation Stonegarden money be directed toward humanitarian aid for asylum-seekers. County Sheriff Napier said he backs the shelter, "even if it all came out of overtime." Read more» 2

Two protesters bear a cold rainy day at the federal courthouse in Tucson as part of an on-going challenge to a fast-track prosecution program for unauthorized immigrants known as Operation Streamline.

Nearly a dozen pastors interrupted federal court proceedings in Tucson on Monday, as part of an ongoing protest against a fast-track immigration prosecution system known as Operation Streamline. Read more»

Caroline Isaacs, director of the American Friends Service Committee’s Tucson office, addresses a news conference at which her group released a report detailing allegations of inadequate care provided by Brentwood, Tenn.-based Corizon, which has handled health care at all state prisons since March.

The American Friends Service Committee alleges that a private health care company contracted by the Department of Corrections has delayed inmate care, failed to provide medication and hasn’t offered any treatment at all to some needing it. Read more»

Cells at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center. Because the facility was built to house accused and convicted criminals, immigration detainees face stricter conditions there than at a federal facility just up the road.

Alleging poor sanitation, abuse and lack of due process, the Detention Watch Network recently called on ICE to terminate its contract with Pinal County Adult Detention Center, saying it ranks among the 10 worst immigration detention facilities in the country. Read more»

The Arizona State Capitol complex in Phoenix.

Arizona’s legislative session this year was as hard to track as a Stealth bomber, even for many Capitol regulars. Technology is in theory giving Arizonans unprecedented access to the Legislature, but lawmakers are short-circuiting the public process. Read more»