Arizona

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Why FAMM is Working in Arizona:

Arizona has the 4th largest prison population in the country. The state incarcerates more than 41,000 people, 26 percent of which are nonviolent, and 21 percent of which are drug offenders. In Arizona, judges are required to give many people mandatory prison sentences and have very limited discretion to use alternatives like specialty courts or probation, or to fit the punishment to the crime and the individual. Arizona also has exceptionally broad repeat offender laws, which increase sentences dramatically even when people have minor criminal records. FAMM plans to work in Arizona for the next several years.

2018 Bills FAMM Supports:

In 2018, FAMM was encouraged by the creation of a new bipartisan criminal justice reform task force led by Reps. David Stringer (R-1) and Kirsten Engel (D-10). On January 18, 2018, Reps. Stringer and Engel and 7 other representatives introduced HB 2303, a comprehensive drug sentencing reform bill. Adopting the bill would save money and reform Arizona’s drug sentencing laws by, among other things:

  • Giving Arizona courts the option of using probation for most drug offenses
  • Giving Arizona courts flexibility to give less prison time to drug offenders whose involvement in the offense was minor, or driven by addiction, mental illness, domestic violence, or trauma from military combat
  • Lowering the felony classifications of drug offenses
  • Excluding prior drug possession convictions from being used to trigger much lengthier prison terms for repeat offenders
  • Increasing the amounts of drugs that trigger the lengthiest prison sentences
  • Reducing the scope of drug-free school zones, which currently require long prison sentences for drug offenses, even if the crime occurred after school hours, in a private home, or without children present.

The Arizona Legislature meets until April 21, 2018. Below are the bills we’re supporting. Remember: to become law, bills must first be approved by committees, passed by both houses of the legislature, and signed by the governor. Keep checking here for details about the bills and their progress!

HB 2303 (Reps. David Stringer (R-1) and Kirsten Engel (D-10)) 

Resources: 

FAMM Press Release: FAMM Praises New Approach to Arizona Drug Sentencing (1/19/18)

Two Arizona Lawmakers Take on the Politically Impossible: Prison Sentence Reform (Tucson.com, 12/21/17)

Report: Drug Sentencing in Arizona: A Prescription for Failure (AFSC-Arizona, 2017) 

Report: A New Public Safety Framework for Arizona (AFSC-Arizona, Dec. 2016)

How You Can Advocate for Sentencing Reform in Your State

You can do several things to work toward reforming your state’s sentencing laws – go to our get involved page to find out how.

Encourage your state lawmakers to support mandatory minimum sentencing reform. Be sure to connect with FAMM and other sentencing reformers on Facebook, Twitter, and by signing up for our email list.

Sentencing/Criminal Justice Reform Groups in this State:


January 19, 2018

FAMM Praises New Approach to Arizona Drug Sentencing

Contact: Rabiah Burks rburks@famm.org 202.822.6700 FAMM Praises New Approach to Arizona Drug Sentencing Today, FAMM Vice President of Policy Molly Gill issued the following statement in response to the introduction of a cutting-edge drug sentencing reform bill, HB 2303, in Arizona by Representatives David Stringer (R-1), Reginald Bolding (D-27), Russell Bowers (R-25), Noel Campbell (R-1), Todd… Read more »


December 12, 2013

There is still time to call the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee!

The bill markup scheduled for December 12 has been pushed back to December 19 – that means that there is still time to call your Senators! If you live in one of the states listed below, please call your Senator’s offices so they can hear your support of S. 1410, the Smarter Sentencing Act.   On Thursday,… Read more »



July 3, 2013

Arizona

Why FAMM is Working in Arizona: Arizona has the 4th largest prison population in the country. The state incarcerates more than 41,000 people, 26 percent of which are nonviolent, and 21 percent of which are drug offenders. In Arizona, judges are required to give many people mandatory prison sentences and have very limited discretion to… Read more »