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Old 02-10-2019, 03:59 PM
Kjz1234 Kjz1234 is offline
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This is my latest email update from AFSC-AZ. Please everyone, call, write, email!! :

Thank you to everyone who has taken action on the asks of these email alerts! AFSC-AZ has been getting reports from legislators and staffers about the vocal support for criminal justice reform in Arizona. Rep. Walt Blackman, the sponsor of HB2270, has been working hard, talking with families impacted by incarceration and discussing the bill with stakeholders to move toward potential negotiations.
However, Rep. John Allen Chair (R-15) of the House Judiciary Committee has continued to say he will not hear HB2270, nor any other reform bills that address reforming severe and extended punishments, including HB2362, HB2148, or HB2245.

WE NEED YOUR HELP


Contact Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers (R-25), and ask him to hold his committee chair accountable to hear HB2270, HB2362, HB2148, and HB2245, bills that all Arizonans, including Rep. Allen's constituents, want heard.

Tell him criminal justice reform bills need a hearing because:

Rep. Bowers has made public statements about his desire for judicial discretion and allowing earned release credits. Neither HB2245 nor HB2270, bills that address those expressed desires have been put on the House Judiciary Committee agenda.

Arizona has the 4th highest incarceration rate in the country, and just having a discussion on these bills in committee is important to begin addressing this issue.

Incarceration costs over $1.1 billion to Arizona taxpayers dollars, diverting scarce general funds away from education, child welfare, and other needed state programs. Corrections is the third largest state agency budget, absorbing 11% of the state’s budget dollars. We need to take a look at reform, and these bills being heard in committee allow an avenue for discussion.

Longer time in prison and punishment after release does not make Arizona safer. Arizona recidivism rate is over 50%. Research shows that longer sentences cause diminishing returns to reducing recidivism and enhancing public safety.

Crime rates nationwide are dropping, and many states including North Carolina and Texas have reduced spending on prisons, made major reforms to their sentencing laws, and seen much greater decreases in crime than Arizona.

Arizonans agree that sentencing reform is important. A newly released poll found:
8 out of 10 voters believe it is important to “reduce the number of people in jail or prison
If lawmakers make additional funding available to prevent crime, voters strongly prefer investments in education (41%) and treatment (22%) to jails and prisons (1%)
Crime victims are just as likely as other voters to support criminal justice reform policies — 80% support reducing the jail and prison population.

If you have served time in Arizona or have a loved one in prison or who has been released, please (briefly) share your story! Legislators need to know how the laws they pass impact their constituents.

**If you can blind copy or cc us (afscaz@afsc.org), we will have a better idea how effective this initiative is. If you receive responses, even boiler-plate ones, please forward those to us, if possible.
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