We are all entitled to our own opinions about how best to reform the criminal justice system. We are not entitled to our own facts about who is being prosecuted and imprisoned, and for what.
The facts, according to Pima County Superior Court and the Arizona Department of Corrections, are simple.
- In 2019 the Pima County Attorney’s Office charged more people with felonies than ever before.
- In Pima County last year, more people were charged with a felony drug offense as the most serious charge than with any other kind of felony offense, which has been true for fourteen of the last seventeen years.
- 70% of these drug offenses involved two grams of drugs or less — equivalent to two sugar packets. Examining September 2019 as an example, 36% of all felony cases filed by the Pima County Attorney that month were cases in which a drug offense was the most serious charge. 4% were for DUI, 1% were for domestic violence, and 9% were for other types of aggravated assault.
- More people are in Arizona prisons for drug offenses as their most serious charge than for any other offense, which has been true for years if not decades.
- Finally, Pima County sends more people to prison and jail and places more people on probation for drug possession as the most serious charge than for any other type of crime.
On the Environment
The Pima County Attorney’s office is divided into two departments: the Civil division and Criminal division.
The Civil division represents the Pima County Board of Supervisors, advises the County officials and staff on legal issues, and assists in drafting and negotiating contracts. As the next Pima County Attorney, I will do everything in my power to fight for the conservation of wildlife, plants, and habitat, as well as equitable access to clean air, land, and water.
Supervisor Bronson and the Late Supervisor Elías have championed conservation in Pima County through efforts like the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, and I will support these types of efforts by the Board of Supervisors. The Sonoran desert is the most biodiverse desert on earth, and we must do everything to protect it.
It is critical to have a County Attorney who understands the urgency of the climate crisis and this crisis does and will disproportionately affect low-income communities and communities of color. I will fight to hold corporations accountable for the role they play in the climate crisis.
- Equitable access to clean air, water, and land is a basic human right.
- Lending litigation support and investigative resources to make sure environmental risk is front and center as the County continues with responsible growth.
- Southern Arizona is rich in biodiversity. The Sonoran desert is the most biodiverse desert on earth, and we must do everything to protect our native wildlife and plant communities. Pima County has done an incredible amount of work to conserve wildlife habitat and biological corridors through their Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.