Study Details Costs Of High Arizona Imprisonment Rate

By Jimmy Jenkins, Steve Goldstein
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 3:06pm
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 2:34pm
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Arizona Department of Corrections
Arizona inmates.

Arizona has the fourth-highest per capita imprisonment rate in the country and a new report details the factors putting people behind bars.

On the heels of a similar report released by the ACLU, FWD.US is out with a study of the causes for Arizona’s high imprisonment rate.

Felicity Rose is Director of Research and Policy for the nonprofit, which bills itself as dedicated to reforming the country’s criminal justice and immigration systems.

“The main drivers that we found are more people being sent to prison for non-violent crimes for their first felony conviction and people staying in prison for a very long time compared to other states," Rose said.

Rose says the annual number of non-violent offenders admitted to Arizona prisons has gone up 80 percent since the year 2000, with drug possession being the number one crime.

Arizona is the only state where any amount of marijuana possession can be charged as a felony.

The analysis is based on 30 years of records from the Arizona Department of Corrections.

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