State of Our State 2015: Whitepaper I

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November 2015
David Berman

'First Aid to the Wicked': A Look Back at Penal Reform in Arizona

November 2015 / During the Progressive Era of the first two decades of the 20th century state lawmakers throughout the country gave considerable attention to penal reform. Arizona was no different, with George W.P. Hunt, the state’s first governor, taking the lead in doing what he could to combat or head off similar conditions. Hunt tried to make the prison system more humane and to use prisons for reformation rather than punishment. He also devoted much energy to the abolition of the death penalty.