Prison Reform in Arizona: An Analysis of Approaches to Alleviate Overcrowding in Arizona Prisons
AuthorAbel, Annabelle Montgomery
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCurrently, Arizona prisons are facing an interesting issue regarding overpopulation. While numbers on arrests in the state and the state crime rate have both declined steadily in recent years, prison populations in the state continue to skyrocket, year after year. Largely a result of legislation’s attempt to “get tough on crime,” it appears that with crime rates down yet recidivism rates up to 50% and a huge strain on the state budget, the discussion needs to shift away from a general toughness on crime and onto statewide prison reform. Although many potential solutions exist to the overpopulation problem, the best potential solutions for change are rehabilitation services, the updating of release policies and a shift in the understanding of criminality and sentencing practices. By focusing on these areas, Arizona prisons could better serve the reported 93% of inmates with substance abuse problems, the 45% of inmates with mental health problems and the nearly 44% of nonviolent inmates currently taking up space in the state’s 16 prisons. Although change will take time, the greater level of effectiveness proven with the aforementioned solutions will eliminate overcrowding, save the state budget, and reduce recidivism without putting the public in danger.
Degree ProgramHonors College
Criminal Justice Studies