Lawmakers take on what has been impossible — sentencing reform

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

Two state lawmakers hope to do what has proven politically impossible for decades: Convince colleagues to consider sentencing reform.

Reps. David Stringer, R-Prescott, and Kirsten Engel, D-Tucson, are heading a group to look at why Arizona locks up a higher proportion of people than all but four other states.

Related: Judge calls Arizona prison health care system ‘corrupt’

“You have to go to the Deep South to find higher rates,” Stringer told Capitol Media Services. And Stringer, a former criminal defense attorney, questions whether having more than 42,000 people in state prisons is justified.

“People in Arizona are not that bad,” he said.

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