Truth-in Sentencing Laws: How they impact actual time served by inmates

Truth-in Sentencing Laws

Arizona Truth-in-Sentencing Laws were passed in 1993 pursuant to Senate Bill 1049, by the Arizona State Legislature. The laws revised Arizona Criminal Code the Truth-in-Sentencing Statutes under ARS § 13 – 101.7. The revised laws effected offenders who committed crimes after January 1, 1994. One of the provisions required a mandated 6 out of every 7 days of time to be served as ordered for a criminal conviction. The laws eliminated parole and many other early releases of inmates from prison, detention or parole, and converted to a more distinct set of mandated guidelines.

Earned Release Credits

Truth-in-Sentencing laws allow for an inmate to be eligible for earned release credits that could reduce their prison sentence up to a maximum 15% of the term for good behavior. Eligibility to earn release credits is based on designated classifications involving the following factors:

• Nature of the criminal offense (violent v. non-violent);
• Inmate’s threat to a victim or society;
• Disciplinary Sanctions for prison misconduct;
• Participation in work recommended;
• Participation in alcohol, drug, or other treatment program;
• Engagement in education, and training programs;
• Consistent and continued favorable evaluations
Effects on Probation and Parole in Phoenix AZ

• If a person is eligible for probation, the court may suspend the sentence and all for supervised probation. Probation Violations will result in reinstated to original sentencing of jail or prison and probation revocation.
• Parole is a supervised release outside of prison which takes place after an inmate has completed a portion of their sentence before the term is completed. The Parole Laws prior to January 1 1994 were more liberal, in that a person would be eligible for parole after serving one-half to two-thirds of their sentence. For those serving time who committed crimes prior to 1978 the inmates were eligible for parole after serving only one-third of the originally ordered sentence. Persons who were convicted of offenses prior to January 1, 1994 are still eligible for parole. Under the revised Laws of 1993, eligible parole dates are statutorily pre-determined based on the criminal offense and the laws in place at the time of the crime. The effects of the new law, in most cases, results in a longer prison term actually served before the inmate is eligible for release on supervised parole.

Supervised Community Service

The new Truth-in-Sentencing Laws also include provisions for Community Service, . whic takes place after the completed earned released date. Sometimes, the court will waive community service, and replace it with a term of probation. Community Service is usually made part of the imposed felony sentencing. It occurs in conjunction with the prison term. The number of days of the community supervised program is one day for every seven days of the sentence, as ordered by the court at the time of the initial sentencing.

Criminal Defense Attorney for Felony Charges Phoenix AZ

If retained, your criminal attorney will defend your felony or misdemeanor charges. They will make every effort to get a good resolution in your case. They will defend your charges, and guide you through the criminal justice system stages. You should discuss any concerns you have about the sentencing laws, in the event your charges can not be dismissed.

Article Resources:

http://static.nicic.gov/Library/012259.pdf
http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/13/00604.htm&Title=13&DocType=ARS
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/13/00101.htm&Title=13&DocType=ARS

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