URGENT CALL TO ACTION! Arizona’s Families Need Your Help to Pass #HB2270!

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.

Take Action!
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, jallen@azleg.gov  

Public Safety Committee Chairman, Rep. Kevin Payne: 602-926-4854, kpayne@azleg.gov

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.

**If you blind copy or cc us, we’ll have a better idea of this initiative’s impact.  If you receive responses, please forward those to us.

– Caroline Isaacs, AFSC-AZ Program Director

9 Comments

  1. The Arizona State prison system and it’s supportive state legislature continue to perpetrate modern day slavery. Our federal constitution mandates rehabilitation. Get with the laws and procedures that remain currently on the books, send people home now. You may live in a sunny state but you’re not nor will you ever be a sun king. Reread your job descriptionS and perform your duties accordingly. I’ve boycotted Arizona for a long time, specifically because of who you are and the choices you perpetrate on vulnerable human beings. Shame!!!

  2. My fiance was incarcerated when he was 17 years old, sentenced to 18 years. Yes, he did commit a crime (nonviolent and drug-related), but he did not deserve a sentence longer than the time he has been alive. He is now 25, has served almost 8 years, and is currently trying everything in his power to better himself and be on the right path. He does the most with what he has available to him. He has two young children who are missing their father and so many people who love and miss him. We would love for this bill to go through and give him and so many others a chance.

  3. Our son, Michael, spent five months in jail. He has been dealing with addiction for about 12 years after getting hooked, starting with pain meds for a severe tooth infection. He is currently 32 years old. He is very bright but has some emotional and mental issues, primarily extreme anxiety.

    He has two felonies. The first was maybe necessary. The second was totally bogus, and had the City of Glendale done their job it would not have happened.

    The criminal justice system is broken. When an individual is addicted, it changes their brain function. They do not have the cognitive capacities a normal individual does. They perceive the world differently. Yet, the criminal justice system assumes that these individuals are capable of holding a job, finding the right courtroom at the right time on the right day with the right paperwork. I have a college degree and finding the right room on the right day with the right paperwork is a challenge. Incarceration is not the answer. Prison should be for violent offenders, not the guy who misses a meeting (probation violation).

    Drug addiction is a mental condition and should be dealt with accordingly. Prison is not the answer.

  4. Rehabilitation has to be addressed! The private prison system incarcerates for profit, not rehabilitation. HB2270 deserves a hearing!

  5. Isn’t John Allen supposed to be representing “The People”? Because he isn’t representing anyone but his own agenda.

  6. My son was sentenced to 8 years. He has done 5 1/2 so far, and has completed every class that has been offered to him. Even though he has a high school diploma, he completed the GED program inside. He works and is doing everything possible and positive. He has completed everything available where he is except for a welding class, and that’s because the instructor has not come back from leave. He should be able to come home and get back to society. He has proven he is sorry for what he did and only wants to do right when he gets out. We had high hopes he could serve the 65%; now he and so many others have been let down again.

  7. Please reach out to Rep. Walt Blackman and post a comment about HB2270 on his Facebook page, Still Fighting for America. Please also like and follow his page.

Leave a Reply to DEnnis McLain Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.