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In May 2015, Pima County was chosen by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to participate in the Safety and Justice Challenge competition as part of an effort to improve our local justice system and safely reduce our jail population.
The County received a $150,000 planning grant during Round One of the competition and in 2016 received an additional $1.5 million grant in Round Two of the Challenge that will extend over two years.
This funding will support a plan to safely reduce jail admissions and length of stay, as well as address recidivism and disproportionate impact on low-income, minority and mentally ill adults. Local criminal justice system leaders developed this plan during a seven month process, which was funded by Round One of the Safety and Justice Challenge. Pima County is one of only 11 jurisdictions nationally that was selected for this Round Two grant after a highly competitive process.
The MacArthur Foundation funding will be used primarily to support diversion of non-dangerous individuals with substance abuse and/ or mental health problems from jail and into community treatment at their first appearance before the judge.