Arizona Judicial Council
The Arizona Judicial Council met on Thursday, December 12, 2019 at the State Courts Building. Agendas and meeting information is available at https://www.azcourts.gov/ajc/Current-Meeting-Information.
The Council thanked Amy Love, Legislative Officer for her dedication and service to the Arizona Judicial Council. She will leave the AOC at the end of the year and take a Community Relations position at the Maricopa County Superior Court.
2020 Meetings Dates
Thursday, March 19, 2020 - Phoenix
Monday, June 22, 2020 – Tucson
Thursday, October 22, 2020 – Flagstaff
Thursday, December 10, 2020 - Phoenix
Arizona Commission on Access to Justice Update and Annual Report
Judge Larry Winthrop, Chair of the Commission on Access to Justice summarized the 2019 Commission Annual Report and provided an update on the anticipated and continuing projects for 2020. The Commission will continue to partner with the Public Information and Messaging Workgroup (PIM) to provide public awareness and resources in 2020 on consumer debt and debt collection actions. In 2019, PIM took on marketing and campaign efforts for eviction actions. The Commission will also work with the Task Force on Delivery of Legal Services on the approved recommendations to offer legal assistance at a lower cost and provide more court navigator programs.
Judge Winthrop noted that the Commission will have a leadership change in 2020.
The Council thanked Judge Winthrop for his many years of leadership on the Commission.
Implementation of the Mental Health Task Force Recommendations
Marcus Reinkensmeyer, Court Services Division Director presented background information on the Task Force and provided the 25 recommendations that were approved at the October 2019 Council meeting. He sought council support for legislative proposal 2020-17: Appointment of Experts; Misdemeanors, which amends language to permit one or more doctor(s) for misdemeanor Rule 11 cases at the discretion of the court.
The Council supports as presented.
A Mental Health Summit is also scheduled for March 2020.
Update on IV-E Funding
Caroline Lautt-Owens, Dependent Children Services Division Director updated the Council on recent federal changes in policy regarding Title IV-E Reimbursement (social security act) for child/parent representation in child welfare cases. She explained that the intended impact will enhance representation and parents and youths will be more engaged.
Arizona Violent Offense List for PSA Scoring and OST
Kathy Waters, Adult Probation Services Division Director requested the Council’s approval to add two new crimes to the Arizona Violent Offense List for Public Safety Assessment (PSA), on behalf of Pima County. The requested additions are:
- Depositing Explosives (A.R.A. 13-3104)
- Unlawful Mutilation (A.R.S. 13-1214)
The Council supports the additions.
FROST Risk Assessments Cut-Off Scores
Kathy Waters next presented the research and recommended changes to the adjustment of the Field Reassessment Offender Screening Tool (FROST) risk assessments cut-off scores for supervision of adult probationers.
The Council supports the changes as presented.
Judicial Branch Legislative Package
The Government Affairs Group presented the following 2020 legislative proposals for Council approval.
- Clerk of the Superior Court; Salary – Council supports
- Commission on Judicial Conduct; Clerk of the Superior Court - Council supports to withdraw the Clerk’s proposal and work with stakeholders to adopt a code of conduct for Clerks of Court, establish a Clerk Ethics Board, and create a training program for Clerks, Deputy Clerks and Supervisors
- General Stream Adjunctions – Council supports in concept
- Surcharge Distribution – Council supports
FASTAR Pilot Program
Judge Jeffery Bergin gave the second report on the FASTER Pilot program in Pima County.
The Second Progress Report to the AJC Regarding the FASTER Pilot is available here.
Arizona Youth Assessment System (AZYAS)
Joe Kelroy, Juvenile Justice Services Division Director presented on the recent changes to the Arizona Youth Assessment System (AZYAS). AZYAS was approved for statewide use in 2013 by the Arizona Judicial Council. In 2019, the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute conducted a study that determines AZYAS is a reliable and valid tool. Recommendations from the study suggest moving cut-off scores downward.
The Council supports the recommendations to adjust the cut-off scores for the risk categories.
Arizona Code of Judicial Administration (ACJA)
Amendments to ACJA code sections were presented.
ACJA § 6-105.01: Powers and Duties of Officers Evidence Based Practices – The Council supports
ACJA § 6-201.01: Standard Probation Evidence Based Practice (amendment) – The Council supports
ACJA § 6-202.01: Adult Intensive Probation Evidence-Based Practices (amendment) – The Council supports
ACJA § 5-301: Court Security Standards (new) – The Council supports
ACJA § 5-302: Court Security Officer Powers and Duties (new) – The Council supports
ACJA § 5-303: Personnel Practices (new) – The Council supports
ACJA § 5-304: Certification and Training (new) – The Council supports
ACJA § 5-305: Use of Force (new) – The Council supports
ACJA § 5-306: Firearms (new) – The Council supports
ACJA § 5-307: Use of Conducted Electrical Weapons (new) – The Council supports as presented with the understanding that adjustments will be made before the Chief Justice approves the code as well as possible refinement and clarification for requirements for armed and non-armed contract security staff which would be presented at the March 2020 Council meeting.
Arizona Supreme Court