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Arizona Criminal Justice Commission: Fill the Gap FY 2006 Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2006
87 pages
This report presents an annual review of Arizona's Fill the Gap program for fiscal year 2006, providing resources to counties to improve case processing.
The Fill the Gap program began in 1999 to provide resources to all the county attorneys, the public defenders, and the courts to improve case processing. This was a result of law enforcement resources increased at the Federal and local level for needed manpower, which resulted in increased number of cases handled in court and increased case processing times. This created a gap between arrest and disposition. Additional funding was believed to have the potential for criminal courts in each county to meet the time processing mandates of the Arizona Supreme Court. The goal was to reduce the gap created by increased funding to other components of the criminal justice system. The Fill the Gap funding increased in fiscal year 2006 in 14 of the 15 counties; however, agencies are still struggling to meet State case processing standards. Agencies are working to improve technological capacity and interagency cooperation, while trying to increase staff levels, but do not have the resources necessary to meet the increased demands created by an increased caseload and recent court decisions. Agencies generally cited the need for more funding in meeting case processing goals. The purpose of this report was to fulfill the statutory requirement for the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission to report on the Fill the Gap funds. The report provides an explanation of the Fill the Gap program including State statutory authority, the appropriation formulas, and designated responsible parties, presents expenditures by organization, plans for future expenditures of the Fill the Gap funds, and suggestions on how to improve the program, and provides recommendations for improving criminal case processing and coordination among criminal justice entities. Tables and appendixes A-C