Weekly Update

2020 Weekly Update: May 8th

Today, the Arizona Senate voted 24-6 in favor of sine die (or adjournment of the current legislative session). And, you guessed it: That means basically nothing since lawmakers in the House opposed to sine die are growing in numbers and have not voted to adjourn.

This legislative game of chicken might be riveting for political insiders, but for us at AFSC-Arizona and thousands of families across the state still holding out hope for the passage of sentencing reform, it doesn’t change a thing. HB 2808 and other #cjreform bills are finished for 2020. 

For details on the legislation that died this session because of the COVID-19 lockdown, we recommend this episode of The Gaggle podcast from The Arizona Republic. (A recap of HB 2808 begins at 11:13 of the episode.)

One Week Left!

Our ReFraming Justice Mutual Aid campaign ends next week on May 13th! Which means you still have plenty of time to donate soap, paper towels and gloves to people who are incarcerated in Arizona’s state prisons.

Click here to go directly to our Amazon Wish List, where you can donate supplies now! And thank you to everyone who has given so generously to this campaign to #ProtectPeopleInPrison. ❤️ 💙 💚

Your Voices Matter!

Last weekend, the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry (ADCRR) finally gave in to the overwhelming pressure applied by AFSC-Arizona, our coalition partners, families and the media to begin reporting the number of ADCRR staff infected with COVID-19. You can see the updated list by clicking here.

Of course, the data provided by the department is far from entirely adequate. ADCRR is reporting only positive cases “self-reported” by staff. On Monday, May 4th, the dashboard doubled its cases of infected staff from 46 to 93, only to redact those numbers later in the day. (Today, it’s 59.) And with Arizona last in the nation on testing for the virus, nobody really knows what the numbers mean anyway.

AFSC-Arizona will continue to work with our coalition partners to persuade ADCRR to make this data more accurate and comprehensive, and we’ll continue to work to keep people safe inside.

Isaacs on KJZZ-Phoenix

Earlier this week, AFSC-Arizona Program Director Caroline Isaacs was asked by NPR’s Phoenix affiliate KJZZ for an interview on The Show, hosted by Steve Goldstein. The topic? Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel’s recent op-ed for The Arizona Republic, claiming — without a shred of irony — that activists who are fighting to protect people in prison by getting them released during this pandemic are trying to exploit fear “to forward a political agenda”.

During her interview, Caroline, who tweeted on April 29th that Adel’s op-ed was “tone-deaf,” said: “If there ever was a moment in which this kind of political aggrandizing and pointing of fingers was inappropriate, this is it. And to come after people who are advocating for the health and safety, not just of people who are incarcerated, but for the staff who work in those facilities, for the surrounding communities and for all of Arizona is a little out-of-touch.”

You can listen to all of Caroline’s interview on The Show by clicking here.  

Patients can be screened for COVID-19 through video visits with MU ...

Free Video Visits!

Beginning Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 10th, ADCRR will provide one free 15-minute session of video visitation per week through at least June 13th, the current end-date of the suspension of in-person visits.

If your loved one has been allowed to have visits, and you are an “approved visitor,” ADCRR is scheduling video visits on Thursdays and Fridays for the following week. For more information, click here.  

Get Involved!

COVID-19 Take ActionAFSC-AZ will continue to focus on how to best help those impacted in our state prisons. You can contribute to the RFJ Mutual Aid project, amplify our work via social media, or TAKE ACTION with organizations from here in Tucson, around the state, and across the country.

Right now, you can help FAMM tell Gov. Ducey to grant clemency to the most vulnerable people in prison

Tell Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel to get people out of dangerous jail conditions now, by sending her a message via the ACLU of Arizona!

And you can join The S.T.A.R.T. Project for a “drive around protest” on Thursday, April 23, from 1p-1:30p outside the Pima County Adult Detention Center in Tucson!

In The News…

What Arizona must do to protect the most vulnerable from COVID-19
May 7th, 2020 by Matt Heinz, via Arizona Mirror

Plaintiffs In Prison Health Care Settlement Seek $400,000 Fine Against Arizona
May 6th, 2020 by Jimmy Jenkins, via KJZZ-Phoenix NPR

COVID-19 Claiming Lives Inside Arizona Prisons
May 6th, 2020 by Kathleen Kunz via Tucson Weekly

Supporters Hold Prayer Vigil At Perryville As COVID-19 Spreads In Arizona Prisons
May 6th, 2020 by Jimmy Jenkins, via KJZZ-Phoenix NPR

Arizona Juvenile Detention Center Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19
May 6th, 2020 by Jimmy Jenkins, via KJZZ-Phoenix NPR

Hundreds of prisoners released early due to COVID-19 concerns
May 4th, 2020 by Bud Foster, via KOLD News 13 Tucson 

Reform Leader: Maricopa County Attorney Position On Inmates Is ‘Tone Deaf’
May 4th, 2020 by Steve Goldstein, via KJZZ-Phoenix NPR

Cell lock fixes delayed as Arizona Department of Corrections officials change plans, pick different locks
May 4th, 2020 by Dave Biscobing, via ABC 15 Phoenix


Categories: Weekly Update

Leave a 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.