FWD.us Statement on the Passage of a Modified SB 1334 and the Urgent and Ongoing Need to Enact Significant Reforms to Address Arizona’s Imprisonment Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC –  FWD.us State Policy Manager Emily Levett issued the following statement after the Arizona Senate and House passed a modified version of Senate Bill 1334:

“While we are disappointed that yet another session will soon pass in Arizona where lawmakers fail to advance criminal justice reforms that will end the state’s imprisonment crisis, we want to congratulate the legislature for one small step in the right direction — the passage of Senate Bill 1334. SB 1334 passed this afternoon after a unanimous vote in the House and a vote of 27-3 in the Senate, and we urge Governor Doug Ducey to sign this modest reform into law.

“As introduced, SB 1334 would have ended Arizona’s uniquely harsh practice of counting prior convictions, ensuring that people cannot be sentenced under the repetitive enhancement if they have never before been convicted of a crime. What goes to the Governor today will not end that practice — but it will limit it in certain circumstances. Though we were disappointed to see this modest measure weakened further through the legislative process, it is a promising first small step and we hope it will signal far greater progress next legislative session.

“We are grateful to Representative Ben Toma and Senator J.D. Mesnard for their time and leadership in the passage of this bill.”

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