Weekly Update

2020 Weekly Update: January 24

What a week it was!

It began with a raucous, make-your-eardrums-bleed kick in the pants with our KICK OUT THE JAMS FOR JUSTICE! (KOTJ4J) concert at First Church UCC in Phoenix, featuring WAYNE KRAMER, legendary proto-punk guitarist of The MC5!

Wayne and Jason Heath (Wayne’s lead instructor for their revolutionary prison-to-musician education program, Jail Guitar Doors) flew out from LA to lead a stellar band of formerly incarcerated rockers who torched a set that included “Rockin’ In the Free World,” “Come Together” and, of course, the seminal MC5 hit, “Kick Out the Jams!”.

The next morning, Wayne led off our #RFJDAY2020 event at the Arizona State Capitol with a rousing rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. Despite the rain, directly impacted folks from all over Arizona, as well as California, Colorado and Tennessee, joined us on the lawn of the Capitol Rose Garden to share their experiences and advocate for reform.

AFSC-AZ’s ReFraming Justice Day press conference – announcing our agenda for the 2020 legislative session – was emceed by Michael Perrino, who, along with his son Zach, was featured on Episode 3 of the RFJ Podcast.

Onstage with Michael, Wayne and ReFraming Justice Program Director Grace Gámez, Ph.D, were several formerly incarcerated people and loved ones of those still inside. Our leaders this year included, Enrique Olivares-Pelayo, Virginia Mireles, Ashley Campbell (who traveled from Denver), Steve Scharboneau, and special guest speaker MATTHEW CHARLES, the first beneficiary of the federal First Step Act.

After the press conference, RFJ Leaders split up into eight lobbying teams and met with nearly two-dozen lawmakers from both parties in both legislative chambers to advocate for sentencing reform, “clean slate” legislation, and citizens’ oversight of Arizona’s state prisons.

In the afternoon, Rep. Kirsten Engel and Sen. Martín Quezada each proclaimed January 21st, 2020, REFRAMING JUSTICE DAY IN ARIZONA on the floor of their respective chambers.

The AFSC-AZ media team is busy putting together both a commemorative video and podcast of our RFJDAY2020 events!



Since the conclusion of RFJDAY2020, bad legislation has stolen the headlines. HB 2036 would impose mandatory minimum sentences of five-to-15 years for sales of small amounts of fentanyl and heroin. Despite hearing opposition from AFSC-AZ, the ACLU of Arizona, Americans for Prosperity, FAMM, local health professionals, and directly impacted people, the House Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 on Wednesday to move this terrible piece of legislation to the House floor for a full vote.

What Can You Do?

Our friends at FAMM have launched a campaign to help defeat HB 2036. Text MANMIN to 21333 to tell state lawmakers to oppose new mandatory minimum drug sentences! You can also send them an email by clicking here.

Should HB 2036 makes its way to the state Senate, we’ll need YOU to make your way to the Capitol and provide testimony in opposition to the bill.

1.      Sign up with the REQUEST TO SPEAK (RTS) system with the AZ Legislature!
Find instructions on how to enroll in the RTS system here 

2.      Track our bills on the AZLeg.gov website and stay up-to-date on committee hearings, votes, and the status of bills you’re following

3.      Follow AFSC-AZ on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for information and updates. 

4.      Save the office numbers, email addresses and social media handles for your representatives and senators in your phone for quick access!
Find your elected officials by using the Find My Legislator search tool.


In The News…

Nationally and around the state, there was media coverage of the slate of reform legislation at the Capitol and RFJDAY2020! In case you missed anything, catch up here: 


 Know Your Bills! 

Let your representatives know that you support Sentencing Reform in Arizona!

HB2808: prisoners; release credits.

Increases earned release credits fro for people not convicted of a violent or aggravated felony per ARS 13-706 and who complete specific work or major programming in ADC.

**An amendment was added that prevents Functional Literacy and GED classes from counting as programming for earning time. AFSC-AZ does not support this amendment.**


Assigned to Senate Judiciary – awaiting committee hearing date.
HB2893sealing arrest; conviction; sentencing records.

Allows the sealing of conviction histories after a certain period of time, and based on the following tiers:
1.  TEN YEARS FOR A CLASS 2 OR 3 FELONY.
2.  FIVE YEARS FOR A CLASS 4, 5 OR 6 FELONY.
3.  THREE YEARS FOR A CLASS 1 MISDEMEANOR.
4.  TWO YEARS FOR A CLASS 2 OR 3 MISDEMEANOR.
AND 
1.  IF THE PERSON HAS ONE HISTORICAL PRIOR FELONY CONVICTION, AN ADDITIONAL FIVE YEARS.
2.  IF THE PERSON HAS TWO HISTORICAL PRIOR FELONY CONVICTIONS, AN ADDITIONAL SEVEN YEARS.
3.  IF THE PERSON HAS THREE OR MORE HISTORICAL PRIOR FELONY CONVICTIONS, AN ADDITIONAL TEN YEARS.
A person whose record is sealed means their arrest, conviction, and incarceration information is not public record, but remains available to law enforcement and courts.

Was not heard in committee, will not move forward in bill process.
HB2236deferred prosecution program; definition.

Removes restrictions from deferred prosecution programs. Law currently allows prosecutors to prevent people who have previous or specific convictions from being able to avoid prison.

Assigned to Senate Judiciary – awaiting committee hearing date.
SB1171: criminal justice case information; reporting.

Provides a detailed structure of criminal justice data that must be collected and made public by the Attorney General and County Prosecutors offices.  Includes basic demographics and variables of prosecutors practices to understand where there may be biases in the system. This will help create better criminal justice policies. 
HB2250grants; behavioral health treatment services.

Establishes a community treatment and safety fund that will appropriate money for treatment to prevent incarceration, as well as after incarceration to help reduce recidivism. These funds are specifically allocated to the Department of Health Services, not the Department of Corrections. 

Awaiting committee hearing.
HB2608: overdose and disease prevention programs; requirements; standards.

Establishes harm reduction program for cities, towns, counties and NGOs that would provide needle exchanges, overdose prevention and peer support services, while reducing the risk of needle stick injuries to law enforcement. 

Assigned to Senate Health and Human Services committee – awaiting committee hearing date.
HB2045: correctional health services; prohibited contracts.

Prohibits the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) from contracting with private vendors to administer medical, mental health and dental care to incarcerated people beginning in June 2021 and transfers that responsibility back to ADC. 
HB2087 probation; technical violations; reinstatement

Allows for a reinstatement of probation when a technical violation occurs (not a new crime) instead of revocation to prison.

Assigned to House Judiciary on February 19th at 8:30am.
HB2234: sentencing; aggravating circumstances

Makes technical fixes to clarify the intent of the statute, but does not make a substantial change toward sentencing reform.
 
Passed in House Judiciary on February 5th. Awaiting House Floor vote.
HB2383: sentencing ranges; minimum; maximum; repeal

Makes technical fixes to “clean up” sentencing ranges prescribed by statute, while maintaining existing minimum, presumptive, and maximum sentencing levels. Removes some language that prosecutors can use to more easily elevate a charge to aggravating.
 
Assigned to House Judiciary on February 19th at 8:30am.
HB2755: schools; drug violations; reporting options

Allows school authorities to bypass law enforcement and instead move a student to a treatment program if they are caught with drugs in a drug free school zone.
 
Assigned to House Judiciary on February 19th at 8:30am.
SB1556 civil asset forfeiture; conviction; procedures

Requires a person to be convicted, with exceptions, before property that is seized and subject to forfeiture may be forfeited and makes corresponding changes to judicial proceedings. Modifies permissible use of Anti-Racketeering Revolving Fund monies.
 
Passed in House Judiciary on February 13th. Awaiting House Floor vote. 
HB2069: corrections oversight committee; ombudsman; duties.

Good: Establishes a much-needed oversight committee to hold ADC accountable.

Bad: Includes ADC director and excludes directly impacted people. 

Was not heard in committee, will not move forward in bill process.
HB2036: fentanyl; heroin; carfentanil; mandatory sentencing.

Establishes 10- and 15-year mandatory minimum sentences for people who sell heroin, fentanyl, and other opioids. It removes options for probation and community treatment, and does not allow judicial discretion. 

This bill is currently held, but may reappear in the Senate.
HB2140: prisoner injuries; monetary judgments; reimbursement.

Would require people who have been incarcerated to pay back medical care costs from their time in prison, even when the expense comes from negligence by the prison or their contracted labor company. If a person does not pay the fees they are at risk of being ineligible for rights restoration. 

Assigned to Senate Transportation and Public Service Committee- awaiting committee hearing date.
SB1172: sex offender registration; requirements; vehicles.

Increases surveillance forms for people who are convicted of sex offenses and reduces time period for people who are homeless to re-register from every 90 days to every 30 days.

Will be heard on Wednesday, March 18th, in the House Judiciary Committee. Call your Representative and tell them to VOTE NO on the floor!
HB2299: unlawful food or drink contamination
Makes it a Class 6 felony if someone does a stupid internet stunt.
 
Passed in House Judiciary on February 5th. Awaiting House Floor vote.
HB2538: health care workers; assault; prevention
Increases punishment for assault charges when the incident occurs specifically with health care workers. Creates increased criminalization of vulnerable populations. 

Will be heard on Wednesday, March 18th, in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Call the committee and tell them to VOTE NO.d committee assignment. 

Still wanna vibe on that RFJDAY2020 playlist we made?
Listen to it here on Spotify!

 

Did you miss out on anything from 2019?
Check out our Annual Report to catch up!

DONATE TO AFSC-AZ!

Categories: Weekly Update

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