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Chief Justice Scott Bales will be attending a Coconino County Board of Supervisors work session to discuss the Merit Selection of Judges and the Justice for All Initiative with the Board and Superior Court Judge Dan Slayton.
The meeting will be held at 1:15 p.m. on April 24 at the Coconino County Administrative Building, located at 219 E. Cherry.Chief Justice Bales issued the Task Force on Fair Justice for All: Court-Ordered Fines, Penalties, Fees and Pretrial Release Policies, in March of 2016. The initiative addresses the more prominent financial hardships faced in the Arizona courts system, such as the inability to post bail or other court imposed fines. One of the 65 recommendations replaces court imposed fines with community service or comprehensive payment plans.
“Coconino County is very supportive of justice reform,” said Supervisor Liz Archuleta. “We are very grateful Chief Justice Bales is coming to Coconino County and engaging with the Board of Supervisors during our work session. Coconino County has been a fierce advocate of the Justice for All Task Force recommendations, especially changing the way bail is administered. People are losing their jobs, their homes and their families before they’ve even been convicted of a crime, all because they can’t afford to escape the cycle or don’t have the privileges or means to do so.”
The Board, Judge Slayton, and the Chief Justice will also deliberate the Merit Selection of Judges. This process, used in Maricopa, Pima and Pinal Counties, selects judges for the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the superior courts based on appointment rather than election. The governor appoints state judges from a pool selected by an unbiased judicial nominating commission.
“I look forward to presenting this proposal to the Board of Supervisors,” said Judge Slayton. “The Chief Justice’s counsel and insight will provide the Board with significant information necessary to making their decision.”
The public is invited to attend the work session, watch the live stream on coconino.az.gov or the County’s Facebook page, facebook.com/coconinocounty.