Arizona has some of the most restrictive sentencing laws in the country, with every person who is incarcerated required to serve a minimum 85 percent of his or her sentence— regardless of good behavior. This has resulted in a bloated prison population and massive state prison spending. AFSC-AZ is working to reduce the state prison population through strategic policy change.
- AFSC-AZ has helped draft and pass three bills relating to alternative sentencing for those with mental health diagnoses (HB2310) (HB2307) (HB2010).
- In 2016, AFSC-AZ helped pass a bill to expand eligibility for Transition Program that allows people to be released from prison 90 days early and receive comprehensive services, including drug treatment, housing, and job assistance.
- The Graduated Sanctions bill passed in 2017 helps reduce the number of people returning to prison for violations—which represent over 30% of the current prison population, by offering tiered options that address root causes and promote healing, not punishment.