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
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.