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Legislature Announces Creation of Ad Hoc Study Committee on Juvenile Justice

Speaker of the House J.D. Mesnard (R-17) and Senate President Steve Yarbrough (R-17) today announced the creation of an Ad Hoc Study Committee on juvenile justice policies.

Speaker Mesnard has appointed House Majority Leader John Allen (R-15) and Representatives Heather Carter (R-15) and Tony Navarrete (D-30) to the committee, and President Yarbrough has appointed Senators Karen Fann (R-1), Nancy Barto (R-15), and Lupe Contreras (D-19).

In addition to members of the Legislature, the committee’s membership also includes Richard Bohan of Maricopa County, Jimmy Jayne of Coconino County, Craig Sullivan of the County Supervisors Association of Arizona, Commissioner Lisa Atkins of the Arizona State Land Department, Jerry Landau of the Arizona Supreme Court, Director Jeff Hood of the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, Director Charles Ryan of the Arizona Department of Corrections, and community members Ann O’Brien and Julie Read.

“It’s encouraging to have both the executive and legislative branches working together to create consensus on an issue as impassioned as juvenile justice,” said Majority Leader Allen. “I thank Speaker Mesnard for creating this committee and look forward to getting to work.”

“I introduced SB 1406 the previous session, which sought to establish a juvenile corrections and justice reform study committee,” said Senator Fann. “I look forward to working with stakeholders to study the current state of juvenile justice in Arizona and to facilitate necessary and judicious reforms.”

“There won’t be any easy answers for this committee,” said Representative Carter. “However, juvenile justice in Arizona is an issue in desperate need of reform, and I’m excited about working with my colleagues, stakeholders, and the community.”

“Juvenile justice policy is complex. Any attempt at reform should be met with diligence by a group of competent and thoughtful stakeholders,” said Senator Barto. “I appreciate the opportunity to work with such a group as we move forward with well-reasoned juvenile justice reform.”

The purview of the committee will include:

  • Juvenile justice policies in Arizona.

  • The state’s needs and best options to rehabilitate youths in custody.

  • Trends and projections to better understand the future needs of the state and counties.

  • The current status of the Adobe Mountain Facility, composition of youths at the facility, and options for the future of the entire facility.

  • The potential future options for youths currently housed at the Adobe Mountain Facility.

  • An overview of the Department of Juvenile Corrections, including funding mechanisms and the relationship between counties and the State of Arizona regarding juvenile corrections.

  • The usage of state land following any adjustments made to the Adobe Mountain Facility.

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