Just watch - next legislative session, Ryan will be telling everyone how much we need a new supermax facility, and we'll drop all sorts of money into that because of this escape, but when the teachers come say they can't live on their pay, we'll take their health insurance and kids' schoolbooks away.
That's fascism in action, folks. We build only that which we we dare to envision. Force our public servants to come up with real solutions to the crisis of mass incarceration - not just another high tech prison full of isolation units. Most "reforms " of late have only served the criminal justice system, not the cause of justice. Let's do this right, and maybe the next generation won't have so many McCluskeys to fear.
Out-of-state prisoners could be placed at Kingman facility
Reporter: Steve Nuñez
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Nine On Your Side has learned the state has made room for 4,000 more prisoners. That's because Arizona is ending its out-of-state contracts with medium security prisons that hold more than 4,500 violent criminals.
Some of those out-of-state prisoners who are being transferred back to Arizona could be placed at the same medium security prison in Kingman, Arizona, where two murderers and a felon escaped from two weeks ago. 9OYS wants to know what is going on?
Governor Brewer, who has normally made herself available to the media, did not return our phone calls today.
But here's what we dug up on the state's prison situation. The state says its added 4,000 beds to its existing state-run prisons to increase its capacity.
We did the math. Two of those contracts, one in Colorado and one in Oklahoma, held a combined 2,826 prisoners. That means state-run prisons still have room to hold close to 1,200 more prisoners.
Nine On Your Side has also learned there's one more prison contract in Oklahoma that ends in September. That'll bring back an additional 1,724 prisoners, 58 of them who are murderers.
Again, do the math and that totals 4,550 new prisoners or 550 more violent criminals than the state can handle.
Earlier this week, Nine On Your Side also revealed the private-run medium security prison in Kingman has also added more beds to increase its capacity to 3500 prisoners.
9OYS reporter Steve Nunez asked the Department of Corrections if prisoners will be placed at the medium security prison in Kingman. DOC spokesperson Barrett Marson told us, "Kingman is a possibility."
Even the DOC wouldn't fully commit to giving us all of the answers to its recent investigation on The prison break.
However, it pointed to a newly released preliminary investigation that'll now force its contracted medium security prisons to do the following:
- Increase perimeter patrols at all medium and minimum units
- Security staff have been directed to be relieved at the security posts by the oncoming shift
The document also confirms that all contracted prisons including the one in Kingman have verbally committed to improving security practices and strictly complying with DOC policies.
While that may also point to the outcome of its internal investigation, Democrat lawmakers, like Kyrsten Sinema, tells 9OYS they'll keep up the pressure until Governor Brewer answers to people of Arizona.
"We feel that this issue is not very political. It's quite simple. Our state-run prisons have a great history of maintaining security, they're staff members have more training, they have more years on the job and they spend the money that's needed to keep our community secure. Private prisons, on the other hand, have a goal of making money," said Sinema.
Still, lawmakers from both parties want to know how John McClusky, Daniel Renwick and Tracy Province were able to get out of the prison near Kingman.
Democrats sent a letter to legislative leaders demanding hearings. Republican Russell Pearce says the public deserves answers but cautioned against rushing to judgment.
The DOC tells 9OYS the out-of-state prisons will foot the bill for transporting all remaining prisoners back to Arizona