Prisoners in Arizona Report

January 11, 2012

Pinal County attorney Jim Walsh and ASU Law Professor Carissa Hessick sit down with host Steve Goldstein to talk about the report Prisoners in Arizona: Truth-in-Sentencing, Time Served, and Recidivism, and what changes should or should not be made to make Arizona's prisoner system better.

Walsh says that, as a result of truth-in-sentencing, Arizona is a safer place. Hessick says that truth in sentencing hasn't reduced crime in all types of defendants. She argues that putting low-risk offenders in prison with more dangerous prisoners increases their likelihood of committing more crimes.  Walsh believes that we should be looking at problems right now, not problems that needed fixing two years ago...and we should find facts before deciding something is broken. Hessick thinks the data has been influenced by the people presenting it, and the report may not be reliable to base changes off of. Both agree crime rates have improved, but Arizona is still doing worse than the country average.