/ Modified apr 1, 2024 4:22 p.m.

Lesher: Past criminal justice reform efforts will shape new jail commission

The Pima County Administrator told the Board of Supervisors over the weekend that she is assembling a team of county staff to review justice reform efforts from at least the last seven years.

sups 2-20 Supervisor Rex Scott speaks about the Blue Ribbon Commission's final report at the Feb. 20, 2024 Board of Supervisors meeting.

When the Pima County Board of Supervisors decided against building a new jail in February, they recommended a new commission to reexamine potential jail reform.

Now, County Administrator Jan Lesher is saying the county needs to revisit the work that’s already been done in order to inform the purpose of the new commission, and who participates.

“There is work that has been done by earlier committees, commissions, task forces and organizations that provide insight into what has been reviewed, what has worked and perhaps even what has not worked…the scope of work and the potential membership of the next committee will be better identified following an analysis of these many documents,” she wrote.

According to the Friday memo, Lesher is currently assembling between 15 and 20 county staff to review these efforts as far back as 2018.

The Pima County Criminal Justice Reform Advisory Commission was formed that year, and continued until the pandemic interrupted its work in 2020. Lesher said the new commission will continue the efforts of the 2018 commission, in combination with the findings of the Blue Ribbon Commission.

The staff members in this latest team will represent 14 different stakeholders in the justice system, including the Sheriff’s Department, County Attorney’s Office, Behavioral Health, social services and more.

Lesher said the review team will produce a report by August 1, which will then inform member selection of the new Justice System and Infrastructure Review Committee.

Lesher also set a deadline of December 2025 to complete its work.

The Board is scheduled to discuss Lesher’s recommendations and the new commission at tomorrow’s meeting.

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