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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»

Arizona wildfire prevention gets boost from behind bars with expanded program

Arizona's $24.5 million Healthy Forest Initiative will allow a long-running program that lets the Department of Forestry and Fire Management use inmate crews to do forest maintenance to add as many as 700 more inmates to help battle wildfires.... 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»

4 inmate deaths from COVID-19 possible; Critics assail prison response

As many as four inmates may have died from COVID-19, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections, which critics charge is not doing enough to protect prisoners and guards from infection in the tight quarters of a prison. ... Read more»

Court fines Az state prisons $1.44M for poor inmate health care

A federal appeals court upheld a contempt order and a $1.44 million fine against the Arizona Department of Corrections this week, saying the agency has been “deliberately indifferent” to health care for inmates. ... Read more»

Supreme Court rejects challenge to Arizona’s death penalty law

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a challenge to the way Arizona decides which criminals can be sentenced to death, a process critics say is so broad that virtually every convicted murderer is eligible for execution.... Read more»

Phone call rates squeeze inmate families, boost Az prison revenues

Shayna Palles says phone calls are one of the few ways she can keep her 2-year-old daughter connected to her father, who is serving a 7.5-year prison term for burglary. But connecting with her husband for the 15 minutes allowed each day has proven to be costly. Because she has a non-local number, the company handling prisoner phone calls charges her $6 for every 15-minute call she accepts.... Read more»1

Bill would make it easier for felons to restore right to vote

Saying that voting can help former felons reintegrate into everyday life, a state lawmaker wants to make it easier for them to get back that right. “I think that people that have served their time and paid their debt to society that it’s important for them to get their most fundamental right – constitutional right – the right to vote, to get it back,” said Rep. Martín J. Quezada, D-Phoenix.... Read more»2

Group: Az bars 200,000 felons from voting

200,000 felons in Arizona, half of whom aren't in prison, aren't eligible to vote in the Nov. 6 election, according to a group that advocates for prison and sentencing reform.... Read more»1