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Earned Release Credit Bill Approved By House Criminal Justice Reform Committee

A bill that would allow more people to earn an early release from prison by completing programming is progressing in the Arizona Legislature. 

House Bill 2713 would modify the earned release credits program to allow inmates sentenced for specific offenses to earn release credits at the rate of five days for every six days served.

The bill would also require the Arizona Department of Corrections to submit an annual report on the program.

J. Alexandria Hunt, who was formerly incarcerated, spoke in favor of the bill. “People who are demonstrating the desire to better themselves should have the ability to earn release credits, go home to their families and become positive contributors to their communities and local economies," she said.

The bill would not apply to people convicted of a crime deemed violent or dangerous. It passed the House criminal justice reform committee unanimously.

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.