SB1067: This bill required the Department of Corrections to use a system of “graduated sanctions” to respond to technical violations of the terms of post-incarceration community supervision. Currently, revocations for technical violations (not new crimes) represent 18% of new admissions to prison in Arizona. The bill is based on the evidence-based practice referred to as “Swift, Certain & Fair.” It directs probation/parole officers to respond to technical violations with right-sized accountability measures, like requiring people who have positive drug tests to participate in more treatment programs or get tested more often. One serious sanction, short of revoking the person back to prison to do the remainder of their sentence, is a short-term jail stay (no more than 5 days at a time). This allows for a serious and immediate consequence for significant or repeated violations, but with some accommodations to ensure the individual does not lose their job or their family. The bill language instructs the supervising officer to make sure that any jail sanction is scheduled around the person’s work schedule.
SB1067 would have required DOC to develop a set of graduated sanctions short of revocation of community supervision.
“This is one of those best practices models nationally. DOC claims they already do this, so it shouldn’t be a problem for them to codify in statute,” [Caroline] Isaacs [program director for American Friends Service Committee] said.
[Donna] Hamm [Director of Middle Ground Prison Reform] said a problem with the bill is DOC could send someone to county jail for up to five days at a time and up to 30 days a year as a sanction.
That, she said, violates due process rights.
When a person’s community supervision is being revoked, they now have a right to go before the Board of Executive Clemency, have counsel and witnesses and an opportunity to challenge evidence.
Hamm also objected to giving the state the ability to extend a person’s community supervision.
“That’s illegal,” she said.
Isaacs said she tried to address Hamm’s concerns by requiring decisions about jail time go before the Board of Executive Clemency in an expedited process.
Hamm countered that the board doesn’t have the authority to do anything except revocations.