alston-lela-9791

Sen. Lela Alston

Democrat

Senate District 24

Click any question to view the candidate’s response.
Click here to learn more about the issues mentioned in these questions.​

SUPPORT

Arizona’s justice system is long overdue for reform. Our prisons are overcrowded with individuals that are victims of disparities throughout the process. Allowing non-dangerous offenders to serve 50 percent of their sentences is a necessary reform that will improve our prison system, strengthen our communities, and begin to address the problems we see throughout our criminal justice system.

SUPPORT

Mandatory minimums have led to over-policing, overcrowding, racial disparities in Arizona’s justice system, and don’t help deter drug offenses or treat the underlying conditions that can cause addiction. Repealing minimums is a necessary step in addressing the injustices our system has place on some individuals and communities. No case is the same, with different factors that should be taken into consideration and the courts should be able to consider these variables when coming to decisions.

SUPPORT

I would support repealing mandatory minimums for non-dangerous offenses. Mandatory minimums have led to an overburdening of the prison system, allowed the private prison industry to unjustly profit off of those serving time, and unfairly targeted minority communities. Repealing mandatory minimums is a must if we are going to have a truly fair and equal criminal justice system.

SUPPORT

Our justice system should be focused on rehabilitation, not trying to maximize sentences of individuals, especially first-time offenders. I support eliminating Hannah priors to for the reasons you give. Utilizing multiple charges in one indictment to increase someone’s sentence is unfair.

SUPPORT

Oversight of any department or facility that receives taxpayer money is good governance. The individuals in the care of ADCRR, whether in state-run or privately-run prisons, deserve to have a system that acts in their best interests and can be held accountable. Private prisons especially have an incentive to undercut their costs to increase their profits. While I am in favor abolishing private prisons in Arizona and making all correctional facilities operated directly by the state, as long as there are privately-run prisons, there should be independent oversight of them. The incidences we have been seeing in Arizona’s prisons makes the need for independent oversight clearer than ever and the state should be doing all it can to guarantee that the health and rights of individuals are ensured in our prisons.

SUPPORT

Forcing unnecessary bureaucracy on a seriously or terminally ill individual is simply cruel. I am fully supportive of giving the courts the power to grant release to seriously or terminally ill people. These individuals should be able to spend their time comfortably and with dignity with their loved ones.

SUPPORT

I would support this legislation. At some points, individuals simply don’t need to be in prison, even if they still have time remaining on their sentence. Elderly individuals who no longer pose a threat to society should be allowed back into society and continue with their lives. Elderly prisoners who have a serious but non-terminal health issue are not in the condition to be imprisoned and can safely be transferred to other facilities or the care of others.

OPPOSE

This piece of legislation was wrong for the same reason mandatory minimums in general are wrong – it did not take into account other factors, such as the amount of fentanyl or heroin, when applying mandatory sentences across the board. I opposed this piece of legislation in the 2020 session and will continue to oppose bills that seek to impose mandatory minimums.

SUPPORT

Arizona should adopt a “second look” law. Our prison system is overburdened and overcrowded. Many of the individuals serving prison sentences do not need to be in prison and don’t pose a threat to the public. Many sentences are also already too long and deserve to be reexamined. People also change over time and we should take their behavior into consideration when reexamining their sentence. If our rehabilitation and reformation efforts are working, there should be positive development in the individual that makes them safe to bring back into society.