Early 1990’s PROPERTY ACQUIRED BY CITY OF PRESCOTT & YAVAPAI COUNTY FOR REGIONAL LANDFILL PROJECT
The City of Prescott and Yavapai County acquire property in the vicinity of Prescott’s existing landfill and waste-water treatment plant for future regional landfill project, serviced by a regional connector road (Prescott Lakes Parkway).
1997-2003 CRIPA INVESTIGATION FINDS SERIOUS DEFICIENCIES IN YAVAPAI COUNTY JAIL
After a serious riot in the Gurley St. jail, the ACLU files a complaint against Yavapai County with the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging unsafe conditions and overcrowding in Gurley St. jail under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (“CRIPA”).
1998-1999 JAIL DISTRICT AND JAIL DISTRICT SALES TAX APPROVED
Voters approved both the formation of the Jail District and a ¼ cent per dollar sales tax for 20 years, to expire on June 30, 2020.
2001 DOJ REPORTS PROGRESS BUT NOTES DEFICIENCIES IN GURLEY ST. JAIL
The 2001 Department of Justice report noted that the Gurley St. jail remained fundamentally unsafe, was a fire hazard, and that the “linear” design was unsafe and required significantly more officers to maintain minimum inmate safety.
2003 CAMP VERDE FACILITY EXPANSION TO CURRENT CAPACITY (644)
The Camp Verde Detention expansion was completed using the modern “pod” design, which is safer and requires less manpower than “linear” designs.
2003 BOARD IDENTIFIES PRESCOTT LAKES PARKWAY PROPERTY AS SITE OF FUTURE PRESCOTT JUSTICE CENTER
Minutes from BOS and Prescott City Council meetings show discussions about use of the Prescott Lakes Parkway property for a County Criminal Justice complex.
2004 EARLY DISPOSITION COURT (EDC) BEGINS
Early Disposition Court is designed to resolve criminal cases early in the process, thus reducing jail population and unclogging court calendars.
2007 COUNTY/CITY LAND EXCHANGE
The County obtains Prescott’s Prescott Lakes Parkway property for the purpose of a justice center complex in exchange for the County’s land at the Prescott Rodeo grounds.
2008 “NO” VOTE ON JAIL SALES TAX INCREASE
Because the County was operating two separate jails, the BOS asks the voters to approve a ¼ cent per dollar sales tax increase to fund jail operations. Construction of a new facility was not part of the reasoning behind the request. The voters deny the increase.
2008 GURLEY ST. JAIL CLOSED
Amid a massive recession and without the additional revenue, Yavapai County is forced to close the Gurley St. jail. Prescott area law enforcement forced to drive arrestees to Camp Verde, depriving Prescott area cities of full police coverage.
2011 GURLEY ST. JAIL BEGINS USE AS A DAY-USE ONLY FACILITY
Sheriff Mascher begins using the Gurley St. jail as a booking and day-use holding facility. The Gurley St. jail is no longer safe for 24 hour a day use.
2013 JAIL POPULATION REGULARLY EXCEEDS 100% CAPACITY
Sheriff Scott Mascher informs the BOS that the Camp Verde jail is consistently at or over capacity during peak months. Projected county population growth will soon result in persistent overcrowding if new jail capacity is not added.
2014 “NO” VOTE ON JAIL SALES TAX INCREASE
Voters deny a referendum to increase the jail district sales tax by ¼ cent per dollar. Publicity pamphlet for election states that Yavapai County must have new jail capacity and mentions the likelihood of a property tax increase should the excise tax vote not pass.
2015 ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDY FINDS 17% OF SALES TAXES ARE PAID BY VISITORS TO THE COUNTY
The study was commissioned by the BOS to update sales tax information for the Board. The study, conducted by ASU’s Seidman Research Institute, found that an average of 17% of sales tax collected in Yavapai County was paid by visitors to the county.
2015-2016 INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT CONDUCTS STUDY OF YAVAPAI COUNTY DETENTION SYSTEM (CHINN REPORT)
The Chinn Report found:
- The Camp Verde jail was at maximum capacity
- 65% of all arrests occurred in the Prescott/Quad Cities area
- Inmates have a right to hearings and trials in the community where taken into custody
- Transporting inmates between Prescott and Camp Verde costs $2 million per year
- Daily movement of large numbers of inmates between Camp Verde and Prescott created major safety and security risks for the citizens of the county
The Chinn Report recommended:
- Yavapai County should implement several programs to reduce jail populations and strengthen efficiency of the criminal justice system, including:
- Develop pre-trial diversion programs
- Develop post-arrest diversion programs
- Expanded specialty courts
- Develop inmate assistance programs
- Reform bond practices
2016-2018 COUNTY IMPLEMENTS PROGRAMS TO REDUCE JAIL POPULATION AND COSTS
- Pre-arrest mental health diversion strategies for all Yavapai County law enforcement such as Mobile Crisis Response Teams and the formation of a Crisis Stabilization Unit developed in partnerships with mental health providers.
- Pre-trial release and diversion programs to expedite the release of inmates where release would not threaten the community.
- Innovative prosecution and sentencing programs to reduce recidivism
- 287g programs to promptly identify and transfer illegal immigrants to Federal custody.
- Privatization of jail medical services to reduce costs
- Use of less costly civilian staff and volunteers to perform routine tasks previously assigned to certified detention officers.
- Inmate “co-pay” programs to partially offset costs for food and medical services provided to inmates.
- A dedicated Behavioral Health Unit to facilitate the release of arrestees with mental health issues to treatment facilities and reduce recidivism.
- Implementation of Veteran’s Courts to facilitate the release of veteran arrestees and reduce recidivism.
- Implementation of Mental Health Court to facilitate the treatment of arrestees with mental health needs and reduce recidivism.
- Coordinated release programs linking offenders with mental health treatment providers upon release(“Reach Out”).
2018 “YES” VOTE ON EXTENSION OF JAIL SALES TAX
Voters approve a referendum to extend the ¼ cent per dollar sales tax until June 30, 2040
2019 PROPERTY TAX INCREASE TO FUND CRIMINAL JUSTICE CONSTRUCTION
As part of the 2019-2020 budget the BOS approved a property tax increase of .22 cents, or $31.00 per $100,000.00, in order to raise budget capacity to construct the needed criminal justice facility.
2019-2020 ARCHITECTS AND CONSTRUCTION MANAGERS SELECTED
Yavapai County issued tax-free municipal bonds at highly favorable interest rates (2.84%), raising $65 million to fund the criminal justice center project. The low interest rates were a direct result of the County’s AA credit rating, which was based on the County’s many years of sound fiscal management.
AUGUST 2020 CONSTRUCTION BEGINS