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Maricopa County Attorney Changes Charging Policies To Reduce COVID-19 Exposure

Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel
Maricopa County Attorney's Office
Allister Adel

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office says it will change it’s charging decisions to address the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The County Attorney’s Office says it is trying to walk the line between stopping the spread of the coronavirus while ensuring the security of the community.

To that end, spokesperson Jennifer Liewer said County Attorney Allister Adel "has directed prosecutors to prioritize charging decisions to reduce the number of people interacting with the court system."

Liewer said they are also responding to motions on a case by case basis from defense counsel who seek to modify release conditions related to complications from COVID-19.

Calling it a fluid situation, Liewer said the courts have discretion over these decisions.

A spokesperson for the Superior Court did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

→  Read The Latest News On The Coronavirus Disease 

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Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.