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Some doubt prosecutors' numbers on violent offenders

Some doubt prosecutors' numbers on violent offenders

  • Updated

In Tuesday's Arizona Daily Star, Howard Fisher wrote about a new report from state prosecuting attorneys that says the vast majority of prison inmates committed violent crimes.

The report from the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys Advisory Council says 70.7 percent of inmates in Arizona prisons are violent, up from 65.4 percent of the prison population in September 2009.

But not everyone buys the claim that most inmates committed some sort of violent offense.

The American Friends Service Committee, a group the studies prison issues, said the report inflates the numbers.

"The most serious problem with the report is the conflation of 'repeat' and 'violent' offenders — two categories that reflect very different classes of criminal," group officials wrote in response to the report.

The American Friends Service Committee response said repeat offenders, many with drug addictions and mental illnesses, were counted among the violent offenders.

The group also takes issue with the sourcing of the report, arguing the authors relied upon the Arizona Department of Corrections the data instead of the sentencing courts.

Read the story in Arizona Daily Star here.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@tucson.com. On Twitter @pm929.


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