Earlier today, Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel testified before the Arizona House of Representatives Appropriations Committee in support of SB1064. The strike everything amendment (earned release; credits; prisoners) modifies the earned release credits program available to eligible prisoners and was passed out of committee.
Comments provided by County Attorney Adel:
“Good Morning Madam Chair and members of the committee. I am Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel and I am here this morning in support of the strike everything amendment to SB1064.
This amendment represents sensible and meaningful sentencing reform that increases the amount of earned released credits an inmate convicted of a drug offense or a non-violent crime can earn, while keeping promises made to crime victims.
I believe strongly that those who want to do better and be better should have the opportunity to do so. And, I think we can do this while ensuring we keep our promise to victims of crime.
The language before you should be familiar, a similar bill passed out of the house earlier this session. However, the amendment before you contains a critical and necessary change. The applicability clause has been revised to make the changes to the calculation of earned release credits for non-drug offenses prospective. This change is essential to honoring the constitutional rights and voices of crime victims.
A prospective application of this reform means that victims previously assured by prosecutors and judges that their offender would serve a specific amount of time, can rely on promises made. Offenders serving sentences for drug and non-violent offenses can more quickly avail themselves to the prison transition program and begin their entry into our community.
Ensuring that individuals have access to education and drug treatment programs is critical to our economy and to the overall safety of our communities because reducing recidivism benefits everyone.
We appreciate the sponsor honoring the voices of victims in this important reform and I would be happy to answer any questions the committee may have about the amendment.”
Link to bill: https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/55leg/1R/proposed/H.1064COBB.DOCX.htm
A summary of the bill can be found here: https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/55leg/1R/summary/H.SB1064_032621_APPROP_SE.DOCX.htm