ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County limiting cases prosecuted to slow coronavirus spread

Apr 8, 2020, 11:05 AM | Updated: 3:32 pm

Correctional officers use alcohol hand sanitizer before entering the main cell block area at the Wo...

Correctional officers use alcohol hand sanitizer before entering the main cell block area at the Worcester County House Of Corrections in West Boylston, MA on Apr. 1, 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, inmates and correctional officers are taking measures to fight against the virus. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

(Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Maricopa County is working to lessen the number of cases in court to mitigate the community spread of coronavirus.

While the state is filing charges on fewer cases, they’re still prosecuting severe cases like child molesters, armed robberies and aggravated assaults Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Wednesday.

“We’re looking at the nature of the offense, the criminal history and the risk to the community and protecting victims so that we’re making sure that we’re only putting those that absolutely have to be in the system there,” Adel said.

The Arizona Department of Corrections reported its first two cases of coronavirus among inmates on Tuesday night. Out of 42,000 inmates, 60 had been tested which yielded 48 negative results with 10 pending.

“Along with our police agencies that are arresting less people and then they’re citing and releasing, we’re reducing the number of cases that we’re charging,” Adel said.

“Those that are already out of custody or haven’t been booked into jail, we’re waiting to charge those.”

For context, Adel said that during the week of March 9, there were around 760 cases charged.

Last week, they charged 90 cases, with five of those being homicides.

The county is working with defense attorneys on pre and post-convictions to look at release conditions. They’re looking to see if they can be working members of society without being a threat to community.

As of March 27, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone suspended the work furlough and release programs to mitigate the spread.

Additionally, the diversion programs that low-level offenders would generally be placed into have been temporarily suspended because of social distancing.

Phoenix Police have also adopted similar tactics. Chief Jeri Williams said her department is arresting fewer non violent offenders and instead handing out summonses in an effort to limit crowding in jails and person-to-person contact with officers.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Carlos Rivas is among the performers for this year's Scottsdale Jazz Festival. (Scottsdale Jazz Fes...

Damon Allred

Sounds of New Orleans hit Old Town for Scottsdale Jazz Festival

The jazz festival billed as "Arizona's Most Beautiful Jazz Event" is coming to the Scottsdale Civic Center in Old Town this week.

1 hour ago

Olivia Gerits (Chandler Police Department)...

KTAR.com

Missing 13-year-old Chandler girl found safe, 21-year-old man detained

A 13-year-old girl who was missing for more than a week was found safe and reunited with her family on Sunday afternoon.

3 hours ago

woman holds money and types into computer...

KTAR.com

Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from April 19-21

From freeway construction to street gang indictments, here are the biggest Valley news stories from over the weekend.

3 hours ago

University of Arizona President Robert Robbins is seen walking on the Tucson campus....

Associated Press

Robbins: Fiscal year 2025 UArizona budget deficit may be reduced by $110M

Outgoing University of Arizona president Robbins has announced “encouraging news” about the college’s finances.

5 hours ago

Two-time double lung transplant recipient, Teri Raymond, along with Dr. Ross Bremner hiking Camelba...

KTAR.com

Two-time double lung transplant recipient hikes for St. Joseph’s Norton Thoracic Institute

A two-time double lung transplant recipient, her son and surgeons hiked Camelback Mountain to raise funds to support lung transplants.

7 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Mesa Police Department, File)...

Damon Allred

Police investigating overnight homicide shooting in Mesa

Police are investigating an overnight incident in which they found a male individual unresponsive in Mesa, authorities confirmed.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Maricopa County limiting cases prosecuted to slow coronavirus spread