/ Modified dec 15, 2021 11:31 a.m.

Pima County Attorney's Office will not prosecute minor drug possession cases

Policy from start of the pandemic is revived as vaccination rate levels off and COVID cases spread inside the jail

360 pima county jail A Pima County correctional officer glances inside a cell at the county jail.
AZPM Staff

Pima County Attorney Laura Conover has reinstituted a policy against prosecuting minor drug possession and paraphernalia charges.

The original policy was put in place by Conover's predecessor, Barbara LaWall, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the health risk to the jail's staff and inmates, by potentially reducing the number of inmates in the jail.

Conover dropped the policy after taking office, just as COVID-19 vaccines were coming out.

But now she says with the vaccination rate leveling off and COVID cases spreading inside the jail, the policy is being revived.

She asked police agencies to divert minor possession and paraphernalia cases to treatment services.

Her office will continue to charge drug cases if a felony is involved, such as breaking and entering.

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