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Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Why is a Prescott Criminal Justice Center necessary?

A 2016 study of Yavapai County’s jail system (Chinn Study, 2016) found Yavapai County needs a new Justice Center in the Prescott area because:

  • The County’s Camp Verde jail is at maximum capacity.
  • 65% of the arrests in the county occur in the Prescott area.
  • Inmates have the right to be tried in the community where taken into custody.
  • Transporting dozens of inmates daily from Camp Verde to Prescott is costing the citizens of Yavapai County over two million dollars ($2,000,000) every year.
  • Transporting large numbers of inmates in and out of the Prescott Courthouse for routine hearings represents a major safety and security risk for detention personnel, court personnel, and inmates.

How full is the Camp Verde jail?

The Camp Verde jail (the County’s only usable jail) has 600 beds, but prisoner classification reduces the maximum capacity to 500 inmates. The current average daily jail population is over capacity (over 500).

What services will be located at the new Prescott Criminal Justice Facility?

The Prescott Criminal Justice Center will be an approximately 106,000 square foot facility and will include:

  • A 152-bed adult detention facility.
  • Two (2) courtrooms for on-site court proceedings that will significantly reduce transportation to the Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott.
  • Supporting services including administration, medical, food service, laundry and building services.
  • A co-located non-custodial mental health facility.


  • Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) (2017)
    The CSU is designed to give a law enforcement officer dealing with a mental health patient experiencing crisis an alternative to taking the patient to jail. Patients in crisis are stabilized, treated, and connected with more permanent treatment. West Yavapai Guidance Clinic opened the CSU in 2017.
  • Pre-arrest Mental Health Diversion Strategies (2016)
    Pre-arrest diversion strategies are designed to keep patients out of the jail by diverting them to inpatient and outpatient programs managed by local mental health providers. The county developed diversion strategies in conjunction with local mental health providers West Yavapai Guidance Clinic and Spectrum Health and implemented by all Yavapai County law enforcement agencies in 2016.
  • Coordinated Release Program (2016)
    The Coordinated Release Program is designed to link jail inmates with mental health treatment providers as part of a comprehensive jail release plan. The program is a result of partnerships was forged with Spectrum Health and West Yavapai Guidance Clinic.
  • Reduce Recidivism Through Better Diagnosis and Treatment (2016)
    The Sheriff greatly strengthened mental health treatment within the jail, which (together with the Coordinated Release Program) reduced re-arrest and recidivism.
  • Crisis Intervention Training (2016)
    County law enforcement officers undergo 40 hours of intense training about the causes, affects, and treatment of mental illness. Strategies and techniques officers can use to keep patients out of jail and in treatment are emphasized.
  • Mental Health First-Aid (2016)
    Mental Health First-Aid is an 8-hour course designed to teach law enforcement, first responders, teachers and ordinary citizens how to identify a developing mental health crisis and how to respond. The program helps prevent a mental health issue from becoming a criminal justice issue.
  • Mobile Crisis Response Teams (2015)
    Mobile Crisis Response teams assist mental health patients on-site. On-site response is designed to provide immediate stabilization and help, and most important an alternative to taking the patient to jail.
  • Pre-trial Release and Diversion (2015)
    Pre-trial Release and Diversion Programs screen pre-trial inmates for possible community release pending trial. Releasing inmates that are not a threat to the community, likely to appear for trial, and are willing to address drug, alcohol and mental health issues reduces jail population immediately and prevents reincarceration (recidivism).
  • Veterans Courts (2015)
    America’s veterans often face unique challenges related to their service including homelessness, substance abuse and mental health. Rather than incarcerating veterans, Veterans Courts are designed to recognize the unique challenges and needs of veterans, and to reduce incarceration and recidivism of veterans through treatment and support.
  • Detention-only 287g Program (2008)
    Screening only those already arrested for crime, the 287g program reduces jail population by promptly identifying and transferring illegal immigrants to Federal custody.
  • Early Disposition Court (EDC) (2005)
    EDC is a criminal court process that identifies easily resolved cases and encourages prompt and just resolution, resulting in a sharp reduction in the number of inmates in jail awaiting trial.
  • Jail Medical Services Privatized (2003)
    Contracting with a private company to provide jail medical services reduced county jail costs as well as limiting the county’s liability expose.
  • Better Use of Civilian Staff and Volunteers (2003)
    This program recruits and trains less costly civilian staff and volunteers to perform routine tasks previously assigned to certified detention officers.
  • Inmate “Co-pay” programs (1999)
    Inmates with funds to pay are charged for part of the cost for food and medical services provided in the jail, saving taxpayer dollars.
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