Attorney to Cease Prosecution of Some Crimes

Attorney to Cease Prosecution of Some Crimes

( – Jails have seen quite a few cases of coronavirus over the past two years, often leading to difficult decisions about how to house inmates safely and keep transmission rates low. One Arizona county is responding to a new surge of coronavirus cases in its local penitentiary by declining to prosecute minor drug offenses to keep additional people out of jail during this time.

On Tuesday, December 14, Pima County Attorney Laura Conover announced her office will no longer charge people who police arrest for “simple drug possession, paraphernalia, or related personal-use incidents.” She hopes this action will reduce the spread of coronavirus at this time and keep inmates and jail staff healthier during the current spike in cases.

If someone commits a felony or has a previous felony on record, attorneys will prosecute them. If not, Conover suggested the agencies “deflect” the lawbreakers to drug treatment facilities nearby. One American shared the news on Twitter:

While some drug offenders are happy to head to rehab rather than jail, many wonder if criminals will take advantage of this change in policy and communities will see an uptick in drug use. The county attorney promised to review the policy in 60 days. Hopefully, they’ll find a balance between letting lawbreaking citizens avoid punishment and keeping criminals safe in jail by then.

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