HB2270 was introduced by Rep. Walt Blackman, R-Snowflake. It has bipartisan support. But we need constituents across Arizona to chip in and keep the momentum going.
Ask House Judiciary Chair John Allen
and Public Safety Chair Kevin Payne
to give this bill a hearing as soon as possible!
The first step in the legislative process is for bills to be heard in committee. Most criminal justice bills are assigned to the Judiciary Committee. In this case, HB2270 has been assigned to TWO committees, making it that much harder to get it through the process.
If bills are not heard in their committees by February 22, they are effectively dead.
The Chairs of both Committees need to hear from constituents that this bill is important and deserves a hearing.
Please call, email, or fax the Chairs of Judiciary and Public Safety Committees and tell them HB2270 deserves a hearing!
Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. John Allen: (602) 926-4916, firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Safety Committee Chairman, Rep. Kevin Payne: 602-926-4854, email@example.com
Tell them HB2270 deserves a hearing because:
- The current requirement is a disincentive for incarcerated people to participate in programming. With no hope of earning time, incarcerated individuals have little reason to take part in drug treatment, education, or other rehabilitative programming.
- This is a primary reason why Arizona has the 4th highest imprisonment rate in the country. Since 2000, the prison population has gone up nearly 60%–almost twice as fast as the resident population. Arizona’s prison sentences are significantly longer than those in other states, particularly for non-violent and drug-related crimes. People sentenced for drug crimes in Arizona serve 40% longer than the national average. For property crimes, Arizona sentences are twice the national average.
- Incarceration costs over $1.1 billion in taxpayer 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.
- Longer time in prison does not make Arizona safer. Arizona has over a 50% recidivism rate. Research shows that longer sentences cause diminishing returns in reducing recidivism and enhancing public safety. Crime rates nationwide are dropping, and many states–including North Carolina and Texas–have reduced spending on prisons, have made major reforms to their sentencing laws and have seen much greater decreases in crime than Arizona.
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.
– Caroline Isaacs, AFSC-AZ Program Director