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Arizona Since the Safe Communities Act

| October 22, 2012

In 2008, Arizona passed the Safe Communities Act, which authorized courts to adjust the sentences of probationers based on the recommendations of probation officers. The legislation also included performance incentives, which encouraged probation departments throughout Arizona to find better ways to ensure that probationers stick to the terms of their community supervision. Under the act, a portion of the savings from the probation improvements were returned to counties for reinvestment in drug courts, treatment, victims’ services, and criminal justice reforms. John Huppenthal is now the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, but in 2008, he was a Republican state senator who strongly supported the Safe Communities Act because it “create[d] a structure that gives [probationers] a really powerful incentive to stay clean, get a job and pay retribution to victims, to do a better job of avoiding the technical violations and to stay perfectly in alignment with what is a very tough probation.”

Since the act was signed into law, both revocations and new felony convictions have dropped in Arizona.

Arizona Since the Safe Communities Act


VIBRANT P. REDDY is Senior Fellow for criminal justice issues at the Charles Koch Institute. Previously, Reddy was the Senior Policy Analyst for both Right on Crime and the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Effective Justice. He has authored several reports on criminal justice policy and is a frequent speaker and media commentator on the topic. Reddy has worked as a research assistant at The Cato Institute, as a law clerk to the Honorable Gina M. Benavides of the Thirteenth Court of Appeals of Texas, and as an attorney in private practice, focusing on trial and appellate litigation. Reddy graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Plan II Honors, Economics, and History, and he earned his law degree at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and of the State Bar’s Appellate Section and Criminal Justice Section.