Projects and Inititiatives

Our campaigns

Expungement - Reclaim your future

Just Communities Arizona (JCA) is one of seven Arizona organizations that received a grant from the Arizona Department of Health Services to help people get minor marijuana offenses taken off their records. With the passage of a voter initiative in 2020 to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana, a new legal path for expungement of previous offenses was created in Arizona. The expungement campaign, called Reclaim Your Future, offers free legal advice and services to help people fill out the paperwork to have their records cleared.
  • JCA conducts direct outreach to individuals who may be eligible for expungement.
  • We hire Expungement Advocates—directly impacted individuals who are leaders in their communities—to give educational presentations, conduct outreach, and collaborate with the legal services agency partners in the grant to refer eligible people for assistance.

Community safety research

What does safety look and feel like? Building on a our initial groundbreaking community co-research project developed by Dr. Grace Gámez, in collaboration with Flowers & Bullets in Barrio Centro, we are now working with leaders from predominantly Latinx, under-resourced and over-policed areas of Tucson to collect data on what residents define as “safety” and what investments would improve residents’ safety and wellbeing.

We are actively surveying people in person and online. If you live in Tucson, Arizona and are 18 or older, take the survey today!

The data we collect will be analyzed and fashioned into a report and related materials that will be available to everyone. We will return to each of the surveyed communities with the results and engage in cafecitos (conversations) with neighborhood residents to discuss the findings and determine what next steps they wish to take in order to enhancing their wellbeing and safety.

Complete the Reimagine Community Safety Survey

Repeal Felony Murder Rule

In Arizona a person can be charged and convicted of first-degree murder even if they did not actually kill the victim or even intend to commit harm. It’s called “Felony Murder,” and it means that if anyone dies while someone was committing a felony (such as robbery), that person can be charged as if they intentionally killed someone.

Unlike a normal murder charge, it is not necessary to prove that the defendant intended to kill or injure the victim or was even present where the murder occurred. An accidental killing, or killing of a person by police officers, during the commission of some felonies can be enough for an individual to be convicted of felony-murder. This charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison, and in some cases, even the death penalty. 

This outrageous law is excessive and does nothing to keep us safe. Why sentence someone for murder if they didn’t commit one? It is a perfect example of how our criminal code is overly harsh and intentionally misleading—labeling some behaviors as “violent” or “serious” when in truth, they were not. How is this justice? 

We’re working to get this crazy law removed from Arizona’s criminal code.

The Impact: Felony Murder

Read the stories of real people impacted by Arizona's unreasonably harsh felony murder laws.

Read

How do Arizonans define community safety?

Just Communities are...