Anyway, this is just the mainstream media coverage; I'll comment on all the private prison public hearings separately. If anyone gets a private prison built in their town soon, though, I'd bet it will probably be Coolidge.
---------from the Arizona Republic--------
Coolidge voices desire to land new prison
August 19, 2011
COOLIDGE - Coolidge leaders pushed hard Thursday for a private prison to be built in their city.
Beneath a huge banner reading "New Prison Facility (Jobs)," dozens of city boosters in blue "Coolidge - The Right Choice" T-shirts supplied by the city packed the City Council chambers for the last of five public hearings around the state about a proposed private-prison expansion.
"Our unemployment rate has risen to 20.4 percent," said Mayor Thomas Shope, "and 400 to 800 new jobs would put a substantial dent in that."
He added that the city could use the tax boost, which he estimated at $2 million a year
Management and Training Corp. of Centerville, Utah, is proposing to build a 3,000- or 5,000-bed facility in Coolidge under contract with Arizona's Department of Corrections. The company is one of four bidders.
Shope said city leaders and most of the community solidly support MTC's proposal and are confident the company could provide good security.
But MTC's security lapses in last year's escape of three convicts from its Kingman prison did not go unnoted, again drawing fire from the family of slain couple Gary and Linda Haas. Federal prosecutors accuse two of the escapees of kidnapping, killing and then burning the Oklahoma couple.
"They were murdered because MTC could not do its job," said Vivian Haas, Gary's mother, echoing comments she made Tuesday at a hearing in San Luis.
Haas, who traveled three days by car from Missouri to testify, asked the Corrections Department not to reward MTC for its failures.
A parade of subsequent speakers from Coolidge, both official and unofficial, though, largely supported MTC, expressing more interest in gaining jobs and economic benefits than about any risks involved.
As in several earlier hearings, those speakers opposing the proposal or raising questions about the need for a private-prison expansion were mostly from elsewhere.
"When's the last time you took a shopping trip to Florence or Eloy?" asked Susan Maurer, a retired director of corrections for New Jersey who now lives in Tubac, warning that other economic development wouldn't necessarily follow.
Peggy Plews, a human-rights activist, took a different tack.
"If you get a prison here, please take responsibility for the people in the prison," she asked residents, encouraging them to set up community oversight of any prison. "Be the town that cares about human rights."
MTC is a privately held company that operates 20 prisons across seven states, with a capacity for about 25,300 inmates. In Arizona, it operates the Kingman prison, which can hold about 3,500 medium- and minimum-custody inmates, and the Marana facility, which can hold about 500 minimum-custody inmates. Thursday's hearing was the last of five on expansion plans proposed by four companies: MTC, which also has proposed an alternative location in San Luis; Corrections Corp. of America, which proposes to use two facilities near Eloy that currently house inmates from other states; Geo Group Inc., which has proposed to build prisons either in San Luis or Goodyear; and LaSalle Corrections, which is proposing a 1,000-bed facility in Winslow.
Department of Corrections officials say they expect to make their final contract award or awards sometime after Sept. 16.