WHAT is wrong with those people, anyway?
The next family who sues the state after the Haas' are done with us will have a whole body of people to blame, now, who were willfully indifferent to the safety of both the surrounding community and the staff and prisoners inside these places. Looking at how the rest of Arizona's private prisons are running, the next suit will probably be the survivor of a prisoner who gets murdered by another prisoner, or raped and beaten by guards, like what's been happening in CCA's Saguaro Correctional Center in Eloy.
Of course, they aren't doing that much better in the state prisons, either. They need some serious legislative oversight, folks.
Chuck Ryan's tone in this press release is a little self-righteous: the ADC just had their own escape attempt at ASPC-Tucson on Christmas Day that no one likes to talk about. One guy was on the roof and the other was cutting through a fence when they got caught. We didn't see a big public investigation of their security protocol there.
It doesn't bode well that the only people we can really market to private prisons anymore are non-violent offenders and immigrants. That means CCA, GEO et al - as well as all these private prison towns that will need a constant supply of warm bodies to fill their cells -- will be lobbying for more punitive sentencing laws for drug, property and immigration offenses, so we can fill all the new beds we're giving the industry. Doesn't it alarm folks that no one has any incentive to actually bring down crime rates in this state?
Our government is getter bigger and badder in all the wrong places. At $20,000 a prisoner, those 5,000 new beds are going to cost us another $100,000,000 per year, increasing the corrections' base budget by at least 10%. That's staggering. We'll need more police and prosecutors, too. The profit-motive embedded in the punishment end of our criminal justice system supports continued victimization and progressive criminalization, and these prisons are sucking precious resources from areas where crime could actually be prevented. The public's interests are not being well-represented in this legislature.
Needless to say, a whole lot of people would be working more productively in our communities if their health and mental health needs were taken care of on the front end, and a good many lives could be salvaged if our corrections' funds went into rehabilitation and treatment. Sadly, Arizona's priorities are inverted. For the sake of boosting a few rural economies with prison jobs - and padding their legislative districts with non-voting bodies - we're about to lock up a whole bunch more people like Shannon Palmer and Marcia Powell - as well as Good Samaritans - as dangerous criminals and throw away the key.
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
1601 W. JEFFERSON
PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85007
PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85007
JANICE K. BREWER GOVERNOR CHARLES L. RYAN DIRECTOR
NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
March 24, 2011
ADC to restart loading Kingman prison
Phoenix, AZ. - Following an extensive security review, the Arizona Department of Corrections next week will resume sending prisoners to a privately-operated facility in Kingman.
ADC ordered significant security and operational improvements after a July 30, 2010, escape of three inmates from the 3,400-bed facility. ADC conducted several security inspections of the Management and Training Corp.-operated prison and has determined the company is prepared to securely house inmates in accordance with ADC policies.
“The prison is now adhering to ADC security policies and is ready to house more inmates,” ADC Director Charles L. Ryan said.
Ryan said he will keep in place restrictions that prevent the Kingman prison from receiving inmates convicted of murder or attempted murder, or those who have a history of escape attempts. Additionally, a seasoned ADC deputy warden has been assigned to oversee daily operations at the MTC facility.
“The security failures that led to the escape cannot be allowed to occur again,” Ryan said. “The state will insist that MTC continue following ADC policies.”