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FY2009 Fill the Gap Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2010
87 pages
This report presents data and trends on the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission's (ACJC's) distribution of Fill the Gap (FTG) funds to county attorneys and indigent defense agencies throughout the State for the purpose of improving case processing.
The formula for distributing FTG funds to each county is based on the average number of cases filed over a 3-year period as well as the population of each county. Funding for fiscal year 2009 FTG decreased for all recipients because of the State's budget shortfall. All agencies had a decline in funding, ranging from a low of 4 percent and a high of 29 percent compared to fiscal year 2008. At the beginning of fiscal year 2009, agencies were initially awarded $2,051,700 in fine revenue funds, but the Arizona legislature reduced the total available to $1,728,399.82. Currently, the majority of agencies have yet to meet the requirements specified by the Arizona Supreme Court. Several agencies are well below the standard of completing 90 percent of felony cases within 100 days and 99 percent of felony cases within 180 days. Agencies have reported the following factors as impacting case processing: excessive motions to continue cases, reduced staffing and increased turnover, increased volume of cases, and failure to coordinate with other agencies involved in the case-processing system. Still, agencies report that without FTG funds, case processing statistics would be significantly below the current level. This report recommends ways to improve case processing times and documenting progress made. One of the four recommendations is that counties not reporting progress in improving case processing times should examine ways in which other counties have succeeded in reducing case processing times. 96 tables and appended FTG funding, summary of the use of FTG funds in fiscal year 2009, events positively and negatively affecting case processing, Arizona revised statutes authorizing FTG funding, State aid to county attorney expenditures by county and to indigent defense expenditures by county.