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Arizona Gov. Ducey to address criminal justice reform in State of the State Address

(Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said he wants to focus on reducing criminal recidivism rates in 2017, a key point in his third State of the State Address on Monday.

“I think we can do a better job, and you’re going to see a commitment to that,” Ducey told KTAR News.

Ducey said reducing the recidivism rate in Arizona starts with reforming the criminal justice system and ensuring that prisoners have the ability to succeed once they are released.

“We need to look at the people that have paid their debt to society,” Ducey said. “When they come out of our prison system, do they have the opportunity for employment?”

Ducey said criminal justice reform starts with handling non-violent offenses, drug offenses and people facing addiction differently than traditional violent crimes.

Arizona pays about $1 billion per year to house its more than 43,600 prisoners, Ducey said. He wants to “look at how we are handling our Department of Corrections” and reduce the cost for taxpayers.

A portion of Ducey’s speech will highlight the successes made during his first two years in office, including decreasing the state’s debt, passing Proposition 123 to settle a lawsuit over K-12 school funding and building a strong business environment in the state.

“It’s up to us as policymakers to not only make responsible decisions, but to know where a dollar can make a difference, in terms of investment,” Ducey said.

Ducey’s third State of the State Address will air live on Monday at 2 p.m. Arizona time.

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