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San Diego DA asked to prosecute shadow Border Patrol investigation unit

Advocates called on San Diego District Attorney Stephan to file charges against Border Patrol agents involved in the 2010 beating death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas based on evidence a shadow police unit within the federal agency impeded the investigation of his death. ... Read more»

Vaccinated Az prison inmates will now be allowed 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»

Committee bypasses roadblock to revive and pass sentencing reform bill

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»

Incremental movement on Arizona justice reform, but 'the big stuff is toast' in 2021

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»

Bill to reduce prison sentences for good behavior advances from Az House committee

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»

New Legislature, new opportunities for Arizona criminal justice reform

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»

'They’re scared': A look inside the COVID-19 crisis in Arizona prisons

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»

'A clean slate is needed': Arizona lawmakers urged to reform criminal justice system

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

Pima supervisors OK converting juvie center wing to shelter for asylum-seekers

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 seeks to redirect $100K/mo in Stonegarden funds to migrant shelter

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

Operation Streamline

Tucson clergy interrupt immigration court

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»

Advocates allege inadequate care by prison health contractor

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»

Groups: Pinal jail among 10 worst immigration detention centers

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»

'Stealth governing': Transparency missing in Az Legislature

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»