Arizona has the 5th highest imprisonment rate in the Country.
Tax payers in Arizona are paying a billion dollars every year for incarcerated inmates. Communities are not any safer with high numbers of incarceration. High incarceration is not helping our economy. During the pandemic our Governor has not had many pardons like other states.
Most States have 65% time served and released inmates for non- violent crimes. Arizona and a few other states require 85% time served for non-violent crimes. Expanding or released credits would save Arizonans a lot money and help with the prison crisis and over crowding, If Arizona would invest in a better program for non-violent offenders and first offenders, then they could spend the money on other critical programs and businesses that have been affected by the pandemic.
When inmates are released it is overwhelming. With good rehabilitation programs, skills needed to be introduced into the workforce have been shown to reduce inmates return to prison. Programs in prison are needed to teach inmates to have independent living skills, computer skills, resume and interview practice, resources available to them and a support system. Places for them when they are released to go for housing, support, counseling, resume interview patience, and legal assistance.
Arizona state leaders are always looking to save and invest money. One of the best ways to do that is cut cost of prisons, early release and length of sentences. Reforming the criminal justice system makes sense.