WASHINGTON, DC — A new analysis from FWD.us finds that pending legislation would shed Arizona’s status as one of the top 10 imprisoning states in the nation. House Bill 2270, sponsored by Representative Walt Blackman (R – Snowflake), would allow people to earn their way home from prison sooner by following the rules and participating in treatment and programming. The bill is projected to reduce the prison population by 8,300 beds — or 19 percent — by 2028, dropping Arizona from the fourth highest imprisoner in the nation to the eleventh.
“Arizona is facing an imprisonment crisis. A key reason why are the state’s disproportionately long prison terms, among the highest in the nation,” said Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us. “These prison terms have separated families, hurt the state’s economy, and cost taxpayers billions of dollars without leading to safer communities. Passing HB 2270 would be an important first step forward towards addressing this crisis.”
HB 2270 must be heard and voted out of the originating committee, House Judiciary, by next Friday, February 22, 2019 if the bill is to progress forward.
This impact projection of HB 2270 was conducted by corrections data experts using individual-level data acquired from the Arizona Department of Corrections covering over 30 years and almost a half a million records.