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  • Public meeting planned on County's jail population reduction plan

    May 26, 2016 | Read More News
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    Pima County will be providing an update to the public on how it will be implementing strategies funded by the MacArthur Foundation to safely reduce the jail population and address racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

    ​WHAT: Learn more about Pima County’s award of a $1.5 million Safety and Justice Challenge grant for strategies designed to reduce the jail population.  
    WHEN: June 2, 2016 from 3 to 5 p.m.
    WHERE: YWCA at 525 N. Bonita Avenue
    In April, the County received $1.5 million from the MacArthur Foundation to help implement strategies like expanded risk screening for all misdemeanor defendants to increase post-booking releases from jail; adding substance abuse and mental health screening before the initial court appearance to provide the judge safe options for release to treatment instead of jail; enhancing automated call, text and email court-date reminder systems that can reduce failure to appear rates; and special weekend warrant resolution courts. 

    Pima County also plans to create a Community Collaborative to help implement the reforms. The group will be composed of justice system actors and community representatives, including individuals who previously were incarcerated, and will be responsible for regularly meeting and reviewing data monitoring results and advising on adjusting strategies as needed.

    JailPima County’s jail population averaged 2,136 inmates a day in 2014 very close to its full capacity of 2,377 inmates. Annual jail costs average nearly $66 million a year.

    As many as 80 percent of jail inmates are in pretrial status. Warrants for failure to appear in court (93 percent of which relate to underlying misdemeanor charges), misdemeanor charges like shoplifting and DUIs, and lower-level felony charges, such as possession/use of a dangerous or narcotic drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and aggravated criminal damage are some of the main drivers of the pretrial jail population. 

    Check out the Pima County Safety and Justice Challenge website at www.pima.gov/safetyandjustice and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter