The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission was established in 1982. Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§41-2401 et seq.
The ACJC provides a cooperative exchange of information among various public and private agencies and analyzes issues related to criminal justice and law enforcement (Laws 2007, Chapter 21, Purpose). ACJC is required to monitor progress and implementation of criminal justice legislation; facilitate research among criminal justice agencies; facilitate efforts to share criminal justice information and data; prepare a biennial review report; and gather and disseminate information related to crime prevention to the public, local governments, law enforcement agencies and the Legislature.
The ACJC consists of nineteen members who serve either due to their position in state government or as appointed by the Governor. Appointed members serve terms of two years. The ACJC administers certain funds including the Victim Compensation and Assistance Fund; the State Aid to County Attorneys Fund; the County Jail Juvenile Improvement Fund and the Drug and Gang Enforcement Fund.
The ACJC was established in 1982 to facilitate exchange of information among criminal justice agencies, to maintain an archive, prepare reports, provide analyses of programs, the criminal justice system and the effectiveness of the criminal code, and make recommendations for revisions. Monies in the Criminal Justice Enhancement Fund, also established in 1982, are distributed to specific law enforcement and judicial agencies based on a statutory formula.
The ACJC and the Criminal Justice Enhancement Fund were created in 1982. See Laws 1982, Chapter 328 and Chapter 330. The measures outlined the duties of the ACJC and established an assessment on fines, penalties and forfeitures collected by the courts. Assessments, including an itemized statement, were required to be transmitted monthly to the county treasurer or city treasurer, as appropriate. The measures did not become effective unless both were enacted by the 35th Legislature, Second Regular Session (1982).
Laws 1985, Chapter 362 established the Victims Compensation Fund, administered by the ACJC and increased the number of members from 18 to 19, adding the chairman of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Laws 1987, Chapter 307 established the Drug Enforcement Account, administered by the ACJC, to be distributed to various agencies. The measure modified the membership of the ACJC, decreasing the number of members to 17, modified ACJC duties, and established the Drug Enforcement Task Force as an advisory group to ACJC.
Three measures were enacted in 1988 affecting the ACJC. Laws 1988, Chapter 15 placed the Arson Detection Reward Fund under the jurisdiction of the ACJC. Laws 1988, Chapter 194 modified the membership of the ACJC. Laws 1988, Chapter 268 transferred the Criminal Justice Information System to ACJC.
Laws 1989, Chapter 86 prescribed distribution of monies from the Drug Enforcement Account to certain programs, agencies and operations; required, rather than allowed, an annual audit of the Criminal Justice Enhancement Fund and modified the membership of ACJC to 19 members.
Laws 1990, Chapter 366 modified distribution of certain funds and established a Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Drug Policy (changed to Committee on Drug and Gang Policy in 1991) to review related activities, rules and effectiveness of ACJC programs related to drug offenders, enforcement, education and treatment. The measure also required the Arizona Auditor General to conduct a financial audit of the monies distributed from the Criminal Justice Enhancement Fund in fiscal year 1989. The audit was due by December 31, 1990. See also Laws 1991, Chapter 316.
Laws 1993, Chapter 255, the criminal code revision bill, contained extensive revisions. Among them, it changed the name of the Board of Pardons and Parole to the Board of Executive Clemency and made conforming changes to the ACJC.
Laws 1994, Chapter 18 transferred jurisdiction of the Arson Detection Reward Fund from ACJC to the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
Laws 2007, Chapter 163 transferred responsibilities for the Criminal Justice Information System from ACJC to the Department of Public Safety and required a biennial criminal justice review report, rather than an annual report.
Laws 2008, Chapter 69 requires the ACJC to compile information on best practices for cold case investigations.
The Victim Compensation and Assistance Fund, administered by the ACJC, supports programs that compensate and assist victims of crimes. Laws 2017, Chapter 125 allows a health care provider who provides medical services to a victim or claimant, to receive payment from the Fund and outlines requirements and limitations that apply to a participating healthcare provider.
A second measure enacted in 2017 appropriated $2,750,000 to ACJC for felony pretrial intervention programs. The monies, appropriated in FY 2017-2018, were exempt from lapsing. See Laws 2017, Chapter 286.
Laws 2018, Chapter 256 requires ACJC to submit an annual report to the Legislature comparing recidivism rates for persons who are incarcerated in a county jail to persons who are incarcerated in a prison. A second measure enacted in 2018 designated ACJC as the state agency to administer the federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which supports a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the justice system (https://www.bja.gov/jag). Laws 2018, Chapter 278.
- Arizona Revised Statutes
- Session Laws
- Laws 1982, Chapter 328 and Chapter 330
- Laws 1985, Chapter 362
- Laws 1987, Chapter 307
- Laws 1988, Chapter 15, Chapter 194 and Chapter 268
- Laws 1989, Chapter 86
- Laws 1990, Chapter 366
- Laws 1991, Chapter 316
- Laws 1993, Chapter 255
- Laws 1994, Chapter 18
- Laws 2007, Chapter 21 and Chapter 163
- Laws 2008, Chapter 69
- Laws 2017 Chapter 125 and Chapter 286
- Laws 2018, Chapter 256 and Chapter 278
Related collections at Arizona State Archives
RG 163 – Arizona Criminal Justice Commission