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As violent crime skyrockets, Pima County plans to set more criminals free

May 1, 2024

Violent crime is skyrocketing in Pima County, but officials are too busy planning to release lawbreakers onto the streets to actually do anything about it.

With the county jail falling into disrepair, the Pima County Board of Supervisors’ grand solution is to establish a commission that will study how officials can reduce the facility’s population — i.e. by setting criminals free. “There are too many people in the jail,” Supervisor Matt Heinz has said, suggesting the county should aim to cut the detention center’s population in half by 2030.

It couldn’t be happening at a worse time. In 2023, Tucson police reported a 75% spike in violent crime, with aggravated assaults rising 88 percent, homicides rising 107%, and sexual assaults rising a whopping 188%. In fact, violent crime rates in Tucson are 95% higher than the national average, the latest statistics show, making Tucson more dangerous than all but 8% percent of U.S. cities.

Read the rest of the op-ed here.

Austin VanDerHeyden is the Municipal Affairs Liaison at the Goldwater Institute.



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