I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Monday, December 27, 2010

Arizona Prisoners: "Early Release" 2010.

A lot of people have been looking for information lately about the "early release" of state prisoners - specifically hoping that some will be paroled after serving only 65%, instead of the currently mandated 85%, of their sentence. I'm sorry to say, that doesn't appear to be what the deal is. That would require major sentence reform that the state legislature hasn't been willing to undertake in recent years.

It appears as if during one of the special sessions this past year, however, the legislature passed a bill which gave the Az Department of Corrections' Director, Charles Ryan, considerable leeway to release low-risk prisoners early as a means of easing the pressure on the budget. On October 1, 2010, Ryan issued a memo in response to this which details who might be eligible under what circumstances for what the rest of us tend to call "early release".

Here's the link to that memo, (also known as a Director's Instruction): DI#288. As best I can tell, no one's sentences are getting cut short, but you need to read it for yourself to determine how it applies to the situation you're involved in. It looks to me like the ADC is just cutting a handful of people loose from their parole tail so they go straight into their receiving county's hands for a term of probation, but I could be missing something.

Try using the current ADC Constituent Services Guidebook as a supplement to figure this out - if nothing else, it will direct you to the folks at the ADC central office who can better answer your questions.

Getting sentencing reform legislation next session is going to be hard. If you're the friend of family member of a prisoner, or otherwise interested in organizing with others on the issue of sentence reform and reduction, contact me soon. We have a better shot at it if we work together and draw in other members of our communities being decimated by the practice of mass incarceration and the lack of meaningful "correctional" programming going on during or after one's term of imprisonment. My contact info is in the side column of this page.

Sorry I don't have better news and didn't get this in your hands sooner. If anyone learns different from investigating this further, please contact me. If you write it up for us I'll post it as a guest blog.



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