Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SB1131 Amendment to the Transitional Program

Please help me get this Senate Bill passed into law.

Here's where your help comes in: go to http://www.votesmart.org/ and enter in your zip code (if you are an AZ resident) if not you can use mine it's 85207

Then you can click on "Current Officials" you're looking for the State Legislative

State Legislative
Representative Kirk Adams - State House
District 19 (Republican)
Representative Rich Crandall - State House
District 19 (Republican)
Senator Chuck Gray - State Senate
District 19 (Republican)

Send them a quick e-mail that goes something like this: (feel free to copy and paste!)

I am in favor of the Senate Bill 1131 becoming a law. As a tax payer I am concerned with the amount of money the State of Arizona is spending in corrections especially when compared with the spending on education. It concerns me that these inmates have no incentive to be released early since AZ changed the truth in sentencing law in 1994 to a mandatory 85% time served. With the Department of Corrections budget cuts this year and funds appropriated for inmate programs and education being eliminated, the overcrowding, the cost to house an inmate, and the understaffed facilities from layoffs, something needs to be done. I believe that this amendment to the current transitional program will be a push in the right direction to relieve the state of the extra cost to house these inmates in their last few months of incarceration. It will help with behavior issues as well, giving inmates some kind of incentive to work towards to be released early. There is much more, in my opinion, that needs to be done to ease up on the mandatory minimum sentences and the budget shortfalls this department is up against with the influx of incarceration. Arizona is locking up people more each month than they are releasing people. Something must be done. This is a good first step.

Thank you for supporting my request.

SB 1131 Prisoners; Transition Program Proposes changes in the program (previously established in HB 2298 of 2007) whereby some eligible prisoners are released up to 90 days early from their earliest release date and are provided transition services. This bill proposes to extend eligibility to participate in the program beyond just drug offenders (the only ones who are currently eligible). Other qualifications/requirements remain in place (which end up disqualifying some offenders who will never be allowed to be classified) including that the offender must be classified as "low risk" to the community; not have been convicted of a violent crime; have made satisfactory progress on his/her "correctional" plan, etc. Also, provides what is already in the law -- that 5% of all gross wages for prisoners not convicted of a DUI will fund the transition program.

Also, do not get your hopes up too much on this because the department of corrections has an internal score called a GV score (general violence) score anything higher than a 3 probably wouldn't qualify for this bill if it were to pass. This number is based on statistics and is not a changable number. There are many factors that go into calculating this score; age, crime, gang affiliation, times in prison, tickets, behavior ect...he can get this score from his counselor.


Anonymous said...

Who can I contact at the AZ DOC to learn the exact formula for the GV score and other related information? Is there a policy in which it is contained? I will support this bill. Thank you.

mjsmommy said...

I am also trying to find out how computation is made for a GV score. My SO is being denied to apply for 1291 because he meets all but half of one requirement (his GV score is a 2/4)... stupid DOC seems to think a 45 (46 at release) man who has never committed a violent crime, is not gang affiliated, and had 6 months sober PRIOR to incarceration (they opened a scratch charge and he was sober before they even re opened it) is too high of a risk for violent recidivism...