In light of the ongoing budgetary issues facing the State of Arizona, the Governor requested reports from several state agencies, including the Arizona Department of Corrections, containing proposals on how they could trim their budgets 15%. The governor's office made it clear that none of the proposals are currently being considered however the recently released details are causing quite a stir nonetheless.
The Arizona Department of Corrections is the official name for the state agency that runs our prison system. In Arizona, persons convicted of felony offenses such as possession of drugs for sale
and aggravated dui
may be required to serve a prison sentence as part of their punishment. There are several facilities located throughout the state and most persons don't know where they were serve the sentence for their criminal offense until after they are taken into department of corrections custody.
Arizona currently allows most inmates to earn early release credits which permits them to be released after roughly 85% of their sentence has been served. For years, there have been myths and rumors spread throughout the Phoenix criminal justice system and Maricopa county jail that this number would be reduced to 65%. Unfortunately, this rumor was nothing more than a hoax completely devoid of any truth - at least until now (maybe).
Included among the potential cost savings proposals submitted by the Department includes a increase in the amount of early release credits that an inmate can earn. According to news reports, this proposed modification could mean that prisoners could be sent home after serving as little as 50% of their time. It remains to be seen whether the Governor will adopt any of the proposed changes but most Phoenix Criminal Attorneys
will be watching the issue closely.