Media Contact

Analise Ortiz, ACLU of Arizona,, 480-709-0503

February 14, 2020

PHOENIX — The ACLU of Arizona Campaign for Smart Justice will gather at the state Capitol Wednesday for the Second Annual People Not Prisons Vigil—a candlelight ceremony to remember those who’ve died while in custody of the Arizona Department of Corrections.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Arizona State Capitol, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ, 85007

“There have been more than 100 people who’ve died in the Arizona Department of Corrections since the first People Not Prisons vigil we held last year,” said Smart Justice Organizer Kara Williams. “We are holding this vigil to remember them, and every other life lost to DOC, and to bring our community together for healing and empowerment.”

Since 2012, the ACLU of Arizona has been involved in ongoing litigation with the Arizona Department of Corrections over lack of basic medical and mental healthcare for people in state prisons. The poor healthcare conditions have led to death and needless suffering for people inside.

"We need to tackle Arizona's mass incarceration crisis from all angles," Smart Justice Campaign Manager Ruben Lucio said. “As our attorneys fight in the courtroom to address prison healthcare, we’re fighting at the Capitol to pass sentencing reform so people aren’t spending so much time incarcerated to begin with.”

The event will begin at 4:00 p.m. where people will gather outside the Capitol to ask lawmakers to support criminal justice reform legislation. At 6:00 p.m., candles will be lit, and a press conference featuring speakers who’ve been directly impacted by the criminal justice system will begin.