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Arizona Criminal Justice Commission

Arizona Criminal Justice Commission

How is your agency structured?

Established in 1982, the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) operates under statutory guidelines. The commission is comprised of 19 members, with 14 appointed by the governor from county or elected offices and the remaining five leading state criminal justice agencies. Members serve two-year terms with potential reappointment. The Commission staff is headed by an Executive Director and its 22 employees perform various functions. Key departments within ACJC include:

  • Criminal Justice Systems Improvement: Emphasizing records improvement, NICS and crime lab enhancements.

  • Crime Victim Services: Administration of federal and state victim compensation programs.

  • Drug, Gang, and Violent Crime Control: Overseeing crime control programs, justice grants and crime prevention.

  • Finance: Focus on budget management, fiscal reporting and program audits.

  • Data & Analysis Center (SAC): Responsible for research projects and the Arizona Youth Survey.

  • Public Information & Legislative Liaison: Manages media relations, public info and legislative policies.

  • Electronic/Technology Support: IT support for the agency and statewide criminal justice entities.

Which federal and state grants does your agency administer?

ACJC manages a range of grants including:

  • National Criminal History Improvement Program (NCHIP)

  • NICS Act Record Improvement Program

  • Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grant Program

  • Full-service Forensic Crime Lab Grant

  • Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Compensation Grant

  • State Victim Assistance Grant

  • State Justice Statistics Program for Statistical Analysis Centers

  • Byrne Justice Assistance Program (Byrne JAG)

  • Drug, Gang, and Violent Crime Control Grant

  • Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program

  • John R. Justice (JRJ) Grant Program

  • Project Safe Neighborhood (PSN) Grant

  • State Crisis Intervention Program Grant

  • Alternative Prosecution and Diversion Grant

What are your top three current priorities or focus areas?

Data Collection and Accessibility: ACJC prioritizes collecting data from the criminal justice system and ensuring that this information is accessible to stakeholders in a user-friendly manner.

Innovative Use of Grant Funding: The Commission emphasizes the creative utilization of grant funds to bring about meaningful improvements within the criminal justice system.

Educating Stakeholders: ACJC significantly emphasizes educating stakeholders about successfully applying for grants and efficiently managing these resources.

What is the main thing you would like other NCJA members to know about your agency?

The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission stands out due to its small yet innovative team. Despite the size, the staff employs creative and resourceful methods to acquire, distribute, and share resources, aiming to uplift Arizona's criminal justice system. Every team member is deeply motivated and dedicated, all working tirelessly to align their efforts with the agency's mission of enhancing public safety in Arizona. Their commitment, combined with the agency's innovative approach, ensures that resources are maximized to create safer communities and a more effective criminal justice system in the state. Here are some examples of the staff’s work:

  • AZPOINT: One of our proudest achievements, the Arizona Protective Order Initiation and Notification Tool, facilitates users in filing petitions for Orders of Protection, Injunctions Against Harassment, and Injunctions Against Workplace Harassment.

  • Arizona Youth Survey (AYS): Administered biennially to 8th, 10th, and 12th-grade students, AYS evaluates youth substance use, gang affiliation, and other risk behaviors. By understanding the factors linked to these behaviors, we can tailor our interventions more effectively.

  • Victim Support: Our steadfast commitment to victims of crime is evident through our victim compensation and assistance initiatives, ensuring that they receive the necessary resources and support during their time of need.

  • Battling Drug, Gang, and Violent Crime: Our innovative use of funding resources has been pivotal in countering drugs, gangs, and violent crime across the state.

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