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Inn of Court Honors Recidivism Activist, Former Prosecutor

February 8, 2019

The Horace Rumpole Inn of Court, a society of judges and lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona, presents an award annually to two individuals, an Inn member and a non-Inn member, who have "quietly, but significantly, demonstrated a positive impact on our community by individual effort to live the ideals of the TOPs Awards' concept:  that it 'Takes One Person to Tackle One Problem to Transform our Phoenix for the betterment of all.'" The Inn hereby announces its 2018-2019 winners, who will be honored at the University Club in Phoenix on Wednesday evening, February 13, 2019.

Non-Member Honoree:

Frantz Beasley is President and Founder of AZ Common Ground, a nonprofit which has won widespread recognition for helping those with felony convictions move forward with their lives after release. But before his involvement helping others, Beasley was inmate No. 107110 at Arizona State Prison, incarcerated as a young man for two armed robberies and a kidnapping. He formed AZ Common Ground while still behind bars.

Beasley recognized that, when released from prison, ex-offenders face discrimination in employment, housing, education, welfare benefits, and the right to vote. The likelihood of black males going back to prison within three years of release is 70 percent, according to the National Institute of Justice.  Beasley assesses the risk factors and responsiveness of each person who comes to him and creates a case management plan. Those he has helped can continue to call on him for support. Beasley terms AZ Common Ground "a program for rebuilding [former inmates'] life and sometimes attempting to establish themselves for the first time."

Beasley was born in South Phoenix and lived through the height of the "crack" cocaine era. While he was growing up, he says, everyone was "either in prison, doped out or addicted, or they were dead." Now he sees 120 new faces each month, as his non-profit teaches people how to navigate the second phase of their conviction, the difficult reentry into life on the outside, off the streets. In the eyes of many of those he helps, he represents nothing less than freedom, hope, and redemption.  

Inn Member Honoree:

Over a lengthy career with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, Jerry Landau distinguished himself as a model prosecutor - tough, idealistic, meticulous, unfailingly fair - and as a skillful spokesman for his office at the Arizona Legislature. During that time, he contributed tireless efforts to virtually every Arizona criminal justice legislative reform, earning a reputation for integrity and dedication to the public interest. After joining the Administrative Office of the Courts as the Arizona Supreme Court's Governmental Affairs Director, Landau's reputation grew as his focus shifted to the courts and the judicial system, but always with a steadfast view to the public welfare. Landau has served on local and national boards and commissions too numerous to mention and has presented in virtually every type of law enforcement forum, local, national, and international.  A dedicated husband and dad, Landau also takes time to serve his faith community and other charities. As a lover of America's favorite pastime, he continually strives to give his minor league baseball team, the Hillsboro (Oregon) Hops, the winning advantage as a co-owner and booster. Within the law enforcement community and the entire legal profession, Landau is recognized as a true icon.