The week in justice had a strange start on Sunday, and it occurred to us that an Office-wide discussion on the very definition of Criminal Justice Reform, and understanding the will of the People, could be helpful. We had that training on Thursday, and it was a recognition of both what has already begun and the journey ahead.
- The Civil Division is in constant contact with the County on the matter of evictions. There is the very real angst about the moratorium lifting, and there is also the hope of increased rental assistance. The County is working to expedite requests for rental assistance, and we had the chance to discuss Thursday how we can share resources from the University of Arizona and the Law School in providing labor to get the funding distributed out to where it most needs to go.
- On Tuesday I was able to join the Civil Division’s Health Law Unit in court to observe the fast and furious work necessary when our community needs to provide emergency services for someone in a metal health crisis. In a pandemic, the need for mental health services has, of course, increased across all disciplines, and our Unit is no exception, running between three different emergency court sites. A special thank you to Jonathan Pinkney, Cindy Nguyen and Tiffany Tom for taking me through the process of their incredible professional mission.
- And finally, the Office signed a data sharing agreement this week that looks to be incredibly helpful. ASU’s Department of Criminology has offered us PhD level support to work with our own Danny Lesandrini to take a massive capture of our data, so our new detention and plea policies will be based upon historical data and the mandate for reform.
For the nation, for the Old Pueblo, for my family, March 11, 2020, was the day we began to realize and acknowledge that the virus would have to be taken very seriously. For the good of the community, we all began to isolate, as hard as it was.
As I communicated Thursday to 287 brave soldiers for justice/laborers for peace at PCAO, we are in a better place today. Quite near 85% of our employees are now fully vaccinated, a percentage that protects them and the rest who cannot yet receive the vaccine. They have overwhelmed and impressed me with their commitment to each other, to community, to victims, to public safety, and to SERVICE.
These people are amazing, I tell you.
To be continued,