PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today signed legislation to update the community notification procedures required of the Arizona Department of Corrections when planning a new correctional facility or changing the status of a current facility. The legislation, House Bill 2133, is the result of collaboration between the Governor’s Office, the state legislature, and community advocates to ensure local communities have a voice in the process.
“It was very helpful to have parents and community members involved in this process,” said Governor Ducey. “We always want to be listening to and involving the community, while providing more opportunity for the public to take part in these decisions. I’m proud that we were able to achieve that with this legislation.”
“Parents deserve a seat at the table for decisions that will affect their communities and families,” said Julie Read, a community advocate who co-authored the legislation. "We want Community Corrections to work and, in order for this to happen, the community needs to be considered a partner. This legislation rightly gives parents and community members a voice. We are thankful for the work the Governor's Office, Department of Corrections and the legislators put into this legislation and look forward to continuing our work together."
“To me, the most important thing is my ability to keep my kids and family safe,” said Ann O'Brien, a community advocate who co-authored the legislation. "I think these new notification requirements will benefit parents and the state by fostering a better understanding around decisions like this. I appreciate that Governor Ducey listened to our concerns and worked with us to achieve this solution."
House Bill 2133 establishes new community notice requirements at the Arizona Department of Corrections, including:
- 45 days' written notice sent to property owners within a two-mile radius, state legislators who represent the area, members of the county board of supervisors, members of the local school board or charter school governing board, and operators of any child care facility within a five-mile radius;
- A hearing held in the city or town of the proposed site where community members can provide input;
- A published notice in the local paper advertising the community hearing;
- And the online publication of comments received and the hearing minutes posted within five days of the hearing.