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More Than Half Of Maricopa County Budget Goes To Public Safety, Criminal Justice
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has approved the budget for fiscal year 2018 and more than half of the $2.49 billion will be spent on criminal justice and public safety.
About $335 million is budgeted for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The detention fund includes all jail operations and accounts for about $220 million. That’s the single biggest budget category in the county. A big part of that piece of the pie goes to correctional officer overtime because the position is understaffed.
The county budgeted $26 million for compliance with orders related to the Melendres class-action lawsuit. Board of Supervisors Chairman Denny Barney says costs for the court-appointed monitor continued to go up.
“As the scope of the order was being defined, the role of the monitor increased over time in terms of the oversight that was being provided under the direction of the federal judge,” Barney said.
Spending is also going toward the construction of a new jail and the purchase of a new radio system for county officials.
Other public-safety costs include $140 million for probation, $85 million for the Superior Court, $90 million for the County Attorney's Office, and $135 million for the public defender’s office.