Tuesday January 22nd an alliance of people directly impacted by incarceration (those formerly incarcerated, family friends, etc.) will gather at 10 am at the Rose Garden, near the Arizona State Capitol with Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black.
The event, ReFraming Justice Day will be in support of House Bill 2270, co-authored by American Friends Service Committee, a leading group in support of Prison Reform with Quaker roots. The bill hopes to help not only individuals who have been incarcerated move on after their punishment but also to address Arizona Department of Corrections incarceration rate, the 4th highest in the country. Many of the solutions posed in the bill follow both red and blue state’s reforms that have decreased crime rates and incarceration rates.
Currently in Arizona, inmates must serve 85% of their sentence described as ‘truth in sentencing.’ Joe Watson, Communications Director for AFSC-AZ wrote in the Tucson weekly “the Just Sentencing bill [HB 2270] would reduce the 85-percent rule to 50 percent for people incarcerated for non-violent offenses, if enacted, and to 65 percent for those with more serious convictions—provided they participate in programming and exhibit positive behavior.”
The gathering at the Capitol hopes to not just work for the 42,000 currently incarcerated people in Arizona but also for the countless directly impacted people affected by Arizona’s draconian punitary justice system. According to the AFSC-AZ press release over 50 directly impacted persons have been attending trainings to talk to legislatures on issues including expungement (not available in Arizona), fair and proportionate reform legislation and the mandatory minimum “safety valve.”
The AFSC-AZ press release is available here: https://afscarizona.org/2019/01/14/orange-is-the-new-black-author-formerly-incarcerated-people-ready-for-historic-day-at-arizona-state-capitol/
Follow AFSC-AZ on Twitter: @afscaz or Web: https://afscarizona.org
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