The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) distributes Fill the Gap (FTG) funding to county attorneys and indigent defense agencies in all 15 counties. Laws 1999, Chapter 346 established the State Aid to County Attorneys Fund and the State Aid to Indigent Defense Fund (also known as Fill the Gap (FTG) funding) and provided an additional penalty assessment of 7% on every fine, penalty, and forfeiture imposed by the courts for criminal offenses, civil penalties, traffic violations and violations of Game and Fish laws. The legislative intent of the law was “that monies provided for county attorneys, the attorney general, indigent defense and courts pursuant to this act shall be used to improve the processing of criminal cases, so that progress can be made toward processing ninety percent of the criminal cases within one hundred days and ninety-nine percent of the criminal cases within one hundred eighty days. The legislature further intends that the criminal justice system, including the courts, prosecutors and indigent defense, in cooperation with the county board of supervisors in each county, shall continue to emphasize the enforcement of court orders and associated fees, fines, penalties, forfeitures, assessments and sanctions paid to the courts. This collaborative effort is expected to result in a minimum five per cent increase in collections and associated revenues from fiscal year 1999-2000 to fiscal year 2000-2001 and each year thereafter.”
These monies are distributed by ACJC to each county based on a composite index formula computed from the county’s current population and a three-year average of cases filed in each respective county’s superior court (A.R.S. 41-2409). ACJC is also required to report, by January 8th of each year, to each County Board of Supervisors, the Governor, the Legislature, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the Attorney General on the expenditure of the monies in the State Aid to County Attorneys Fund and State Aid to Indigent Defense Fund for the prior fiscal year and on the progress made in achieving the goal of improved criminal case processing.