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Afsc Arizona Private Prison Assessment 2012

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Private Prisons:
The Public’s Problem
A Quality Assessment of Arizona’s
Private Prisons
February, 2012
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Arizona Program
103 N. Park Avenue, Suite #111
Tucson, AZ 85719
520-623-9141
afscaz@afsc.org
  
Illustration by Jeffrey Collins

The   American   Friends   Service   Committee   (AFSC)   is   a   Quaker   organization   that   in-­‐‑
cludes  people  of  various  faiths  who  are  committed  to  social  justice,  peace,  and  humani-­‐‑
tarian  service.  Our  work  is  based  on  the  principles  of  the  Religious  Society  of  Friends,  
the  belief  in  the  worth  of  every  person,  and  faith  in  the  power  of  love  to  overcome  vio-­‐‑
lence   and   injustice.   AFSC   was   founded   in   1917   by   Quakers   to   provide   conscientious  
objectors  with  an  opportunity  to  aid  civilian  war  victims.    The  Arizona  office  of  AFSC  
was  established  in  1980  and  focuses  on  criminal  justice  reform.  

About the Author
Caroline  Isaacs  is  the  Program  Director  for  the  American  Friends  Service  Committee  of-­‐‑
fice  in  Tucson,  Arizona.    She  has  worked  at  AFSC  for  over  15  years,  focusing  on  criminal  
justice  reform  in  Arizona.    Isaacs  has  a  Bachelor’s  in  Political  Science  from  the  College  of  
Wooster  and  a  Master’s  in  Social  Work  from  Arizona  State  University,  where  she  teaches  
as  an  adjunct  faculty  member  and  serves  as  a  Field  Student  Liaison.  

Acknowledgments
The  American  Friends  Service  Committee  expresses  profound  appreciation  to  all  the  im-­‐‑
prisoned   men   and   women,   ex-­‐‑prisoners,   and   their   family   members   whose   lives   are   im-­‐‑
pacted  every  day  by  Arizona’s  criminal  justice  system.    Their  words  and  testimonies  make  
this  a  powerful  document,  from  which  change  is  possible.    
Our   sincere   gratitude   to   Maureen   Milazzo,   who   compiled,   sorted,   and   analyzed   piles   of  
data   for   the   report.      We   are   also   grateful   to   Eisha   Mason,   King   Downing,   Alexis   Moore,  
Richard  Erstad,  and  Aaron  Crosman  for  their  assistance  in  editing  this  report.  
Thanks   to   Ken   Kopczynski   and   Frank   Smith   at   Private   Corrections   Working   Group   for  
their  support  of  our  efforts  in  Arizona  and  to  Grassroots  Leadership  for  their  assistance.  
AFSC  would  also  like  to  acknowledge  the  wonderful  work  of  all  of  our  persistent  volun-­‐‑
teers,  committee  members,  and  interns.  

Published by
American  Friends  Service  Committee-­‐‑Arizona  
103  N  Park  Avenue,  Suite  #111  
Tucson,  AZ  85719  
520.623.9141  
afscaz@afsc.org    
©  2012  American  Friends  Service  Committee.    
This   work   is   licensed   under   a   Creative   Commons   Attribution-­‐‑NonCommercial-­‐‑NoDerivs   3.0   Unported  
License.  To  view  a  copy  of  this  license,  visit  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-­‐‑nc-­‐‑nd/3.0/  or  send  a  letter  
to  Creative  Commons,  444  Castro  Street,  Suite  900,  Mountain  View,  California,  94041,  USA.  
Printed  copies  of  this  report  are  available  from  the  AFSC’s  Arizona  Criminal  Justice  program.    
Available  online  at:  http://afsc.org/arizona-­‐‑prison-­‐‑report.

Table of Contents
Executive  Summary  .........................................................................................................................  i  
Introduction  and  Overview  ...........................................................................................................  1  
   Purpose  of  this  Report  .............................................................................................................  1  
   Department  of  Corrections’  2011  Biennial  Comparison  of  Private  and  Public  Prisons  .  3  
   Methodology  .............................................................................................................................  6  
Background  and  History  ..............................................................................................................  10  
   Arizona  Prison  Population  Growth  .....................................................................................  12  
   2010:    Unprecedented  Prison  Expansion  in  Arizona  .........................................................  15  
   Arizona’s  Cost  Comparison  Study  ......................................................................................  19  
   Who’s  Doing  Business  In  Arizona?  ......................................................................................  22  
Performance  Measure  I:  Safety  and  Security:  ...........................................................................  29  
   State-­‐‑Contracted  Private  Prison  Security  Assessments  ....................................................  30  
   Security  Assessments  of  CCA  Facilities  ..............................................................................  40  
   Assaults:    Inmate-­‐‑on-­‐‑Inmate  .................................................................................................  41  
   Assaults:    Staff  on  Inmate  ......................................................................................................  47  
   Riots  ..........................................................................................................................................  49  
   Escapes  .....................................................................................................................................  57  
   Conclusions  .............................................................................................................................  59  
Performance  Measure  II:  Staffing  ...............................................................................................  60  
   Staffing:    State  Contracts  ........................................................................................................  62  
   Staffing  in  CCA  Prisons  in  Arizona  .....................................................................................  67  
   Conclusion  ...............................................................................................................................  69  
Performance  Measure  III:  Programs  and  Services  ...................................................................  70  
   Deaths  in  State-­‐‑Operated  Facilities:  .....................................................................................  70  
   Deaths  in  Privately  Operated  State  Prisons  ........................................................................  71  
   Recidivism  ...............................................................................................................................  74  
   Conclusion  ...............................................................................................................................  79  
Performance  Measure  IV:  Transparency  and  Accountability  ................................................  80  
   Transparency  ...........................................................................................................................  80  
   Accountability  .........................................................................................................................  82  
   Are  Prison  Corporations  Are  Writing  Arizona’s  Laws?  ...................................................  84  
   Private  Prison  Influence-­‐‑Peddling  in  Arizona  ...................................................................  86  
   Conclusion  ...............................................................................................................................  93  
Conclusions  ....................................................................................................................................  95  
Recommendations  .........................................................................................................................  97  

  

Executive Summary
Arizona   has   enthusiastically   embraced  
prison  privatization,  with  13%  of  the  state  
prison  population  housed  in  private  facili-­‐‑
ties  (the  11th  highest  percentage  in  the  na-­‐‑
tion).      Motivated   by   a   belief   that   private  
enterprise   could   build   and   manage   pris-­‐‑
ons  safely  and  at  lower  cost  than  the  state,  
the   legislature   has   mandated   construction  
of   thousands  of   private   prison  beds.      Lit-­‐‑
tle   was   done   over   the   years   to   test   actual  
performance   of   private   prisons   or   to   de-­‐‑
termine  their  cost  effectiveness.    
In   the   summer   of   2010,   three   inmates   es-­‐‑
caped   from   the   privately   operated   King-­‐‑
man   prison,   killed   two   people,   and   shat-­‐‑
tered   the   myth   that   private   prisons   can  
keep   us   safe.   Since   that   time,   more   evi-­‐‑
dence   has   come   to   light   unmasking   the  
truth   about   the   private   prison   industry   in  
Arizona:   It   is   costly,   plagued   by   security  
problems,   and   in   some   cases   is   violating   state  
and  federal  law.  State  leaders  have  failed  in  
their  responsibility  to  protect  the  public,  to  
provide   adequate   oversight   of   this   indus-­‐‑
try,   or   to   hold   the   corporations   accounta-­‐‑
ble  for  their  failures.  
This  report  is  the  first  of  its  kind  in  Arizo-­‐‑
na.      To   date,   no   independent   analysis   of   the  
performance  and  quality  of  all  private  and  pub-­‐‑
lic   prisons   has   been   undertaken.      Such   an  
analysis   is   long   overdue,   given   that   pri-­‐‑
vate  prisons  have  operated  in  Arizona  for  
decades,  and  the  state  has  invested  billions  
of  taxpayer  dollars  into  this  industry.    The  
people   of   Arizona   have   had   little   or   no  
evidence   that   these   prisons   are   safe,   cost  
effective,  or  competent  at  fulfilling  the  job  
taxpayers  pay  them  to  do.  

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

When  AFSC  learned  that  the  state  had  not  
properly   monitored   and   reported   on   pri-­‐‑
vate   prison   operations   since   state   law  
mandated   it   in   1987,   AFSC   undertook   its  
own   investigation   into   the   private   prison  
industry   in   Arizona.      The   Arizona   De-­‐‑
partment   of   Corrections   (ADC)   later   an-­‐‑
nounced  that  it  would  complete  the  statu-­‐‑
torily-­‐‑required   biennial   comparison   re-­‐‑
view,  which  was  released  on  December  21,  
2011.      
The   ADC   study   contains   very   little   meth-­‐‑
odological  information  or  supporting  data,  
suffers   from   inconsistent   data   collection  
procedures,   and   overlooks   important  
measures   of   prison   safety.      By   contrast,  
AFSC’s   report   incorporates   data   that   was  
omitted  or  deemed  to  be  outside  the  scope  
of  the  ADC  review,  including  security  au-­‐‑
dits  of  private  prisons  before  and  after  the  
Kingman   escapes   and   data   on   six   prisons  
operated   by   Corrections   Corporation   of  
America  that  are  located  in  Arizona  but  do  
not   contract   with   the   state,   putting   them  
outside  state  oversight.      
In   addition,   AFSC’s   analysis   incorporates  
additional   performance   measures   which  
have   emerged   as   important   aspects   of   the  
debate   over   prison   privatization:   recidi-­‐‑
vism,  accountability,  and  transparency.  
The   most   common   measurement   of   the  
effectiveness  of  a  prison  is  its  ability  to  re-­‐‑
duce  recidivism.    Yet  private  prison  corpora-­‐‑
tions   flatly   refuse   to   measure   their   recidivism  
rates.  
The   issues   of   accountability   and   transpar-­‐‑
ency   made   headlines   in   2010   when   it   was  
Page  i

  
revealed   that   lobbyists   for   Corrections  
Corporation   of   America   may   have   had   a  
hand   in   drafting   SB   1070,   Arizona’s   con-­‐‑
troversial   anti-­‐‑immigrant   bill,   which   po-­‐‑
tentially  represented  millions  of  dollars  in  
revenue  for  the  corporation  through  lucra-­‐‑
tive  immigrant  detention  contracts.      
Since   then,   more   and   more   evidence   has  
surfaced   revealing   the   various   prison   cor-­‐‑
porations’   efforts   to   buy   influence   with  
state   and   federal   governments,   particular-­‐‑
ly   through   the   involvement   of   the   Ameri-­‐‑
can  Legislative  Exchange  Council  (ALEC),  
a  group  whose  members  consist  of  elected  
officials   and   corporate   lobbyists.   ALEC  
holds   conferences   at   exclusive   resorts  
where  legislators  and  corporate  represent-­‐‑
atives   draft   model   legislation   that   mem-­‐‑
bers   introduce   in   their   various   home  
states.      Yet   this   activity   is   not   considered  
lobbying   under   many   states’   law,   and   the  
reimbursements  ALEC  provides  to  legisla-­‐‑
tors   (and   their   spouses)   for   travel   and  
lodging   at   these   conferences   are   not   re-­‐‑
ported  as  political  contributions.  
Most   importantly,   AFSC’s   analysis   found  
patterns   of   serious   safety   lapses   in   all   the  
private  prisons  for  which  data  was  availa-­‐‑
ble.    Together,  this  data  demonstrates  a  set  
of   problems   endemic   to   the   industry   that  
could   lead   to   future   tragedies   like   the  
Kingman  escapes.    
Malfunctioning   security   systems   go   unre-­‐‑
paired   for   months,   leading   staff   to   ignore  
safety   protocols.      Under-­‐‑trained   guards  

combined   with   poor   state   oversight   leads  
to   assaults,   disturbances,   and   riots.   For-­‐‑
profit   prison   staff   members   are   too   often  
unprepared,   or   unwilling,   to   intervene   in  
these  events,  and  risk  losing  control  of  the  
facilities.   Insufficient   rehabilitation   pro-­‐‑
grams,   educational   opportunities,   or   jobs  
for  the  prisoners  provide  idle  time  for  con-­‐‑
flicts   to   brew.      The   result   is   facilities   that  
are  unsafe  for  the  people  living  and  work-­‐‑
ing   inside   them,   as   well   as   the   surround-­‐‑
ing  community.  
Regardless   of   differing   political   views,   most  
Arizonans   want   the   same   thing   from   their  
prisons:    Increased  public  safety.    
Yet  the  state  has  deliberately  obscured  in-­‐‑
formation   that   would   cast   private   prisons  
in   a   negative   light.      It   is   critical   that   the  
people   of   Arizona   and   our   elected   repre-­‐‑
sentatives   have   solid,   objective   data   on  
which   to   base   important   decisions   about  
the   future   of   our   prisons.      Billions   of   tax-­‐‑
payer   dollars   and   the   safety   of   our   com-­‐‑
munities  hang  in  the  balance.      
ADC   cancelled   the   Request   for   Proposals  
(RFP)   for   5,000   private   prison   beds   in   De-­‐‑
cember   2011,   but   issued   a   new   RFP   for  
2,000  private  prison  beds  in  early  February  
2012.    The  taxpayers  of  Arizona  deserve  an  
honest   accounting   of   what   we   stand   to  
gain  and  lose  if  we  continue  to  follow  the  
“tough   on   crime”   mantra.   This   report   of-­‐‑
fers   new   insights   and   original   data   that  
reveals   the   truth   about   for-­‐‑profit   prisons  
in  Arizona.      

Key Findings
1. Arizona  does  not  need  more  prison  beds.  
Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

Page  ii

  
Arizona’s  prison  population  grew  by  only  65  prisoners  (net)  in  2010  and  actually  declined  
by  296  prisoners  in  FY2011—the  two  lowest  growth  rates  on  record  (dating  back  to  1973).    
ADC  projects  zero  growth  in  the  adult  prison  population  for  fiscal  years  2012  and  2013.      

2. Arizona  is  wasting  money  on  prison  privatization.  
ADC   cost   comparison   reviews   of   public   and   private   prisons   found   that   in   many   cases,  
private  prisons  cost  more  than  their  public  equivalents.    Between  2008  and  2010,  Arizona  
overpaid  for  its  private  prisons  by  about  $10  million.    If  the  requested  2,000  medium  secu-­‐‑
rity  private  prison  beds  are  built,  Arizona  taxpayers  can  expect  to  waste  at  least  $6  million  
on  privatization  every  year.  

3. All   prisons   in   Arizona   for   which   security   assessment   information  
was  available  had  serious  security  flaws.  
The  Arizona  Auditor  General  found  a  total  of  157  security  failures  in  the  5  private  prisons  
under  contract  with  ADC  for  just  the  first  three  months  of  2011,  including  malfunctioning  
cameras,  doors,  and  alarms;  holes  under  fences;  broken  perimeter  lights  and  cameras;  and  
inefficient  or  outright  inept  security  practices  across  the  board  by  state  and  private  correc-­‐‑
tions  officers  and  managers.  

4. Private  prisons  have  serious  staffing  problems.  

Many   of   the   problems   in   private   prisons   stem   from   low   pay,   inadequate   training,   poor  
background  screening  procedures,  high  rates  of  turnover,  and  high  staff  vacancy  rates.  
These   problems   contribute   to   larger   safety   problems   in   private   facilities,   where   inexperi-­‐‑
enced  and  undertrained  guards  often  are  unprepared  or  unwilling  to  handle  serious  secu-­‐‑
rity  breaches  or  disturbances.  

5. For-­‐‑profit  prison  corporations  do  not  measure  recidivism  rates.  
The  main  purpose  of  a  prison  is  to  reduce  crime.    The  only  measurement  available  of  how  
well  a  prison  performs  this  function  is  its  recidivism  rates.    None  of  the  corporations  op-­‐‑
erating  in  Arizona  measure  recidivism.  

  

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

  

Page  iii

  

6. For-­‐‑profit   prison   corporations   are   buying   influence   in   Arizona  
government.  
The  companies  operating  prisons  lobby  aggressively,  make  large  political  campaign  con-­‐‑
tributions,  and  secure  high-­‐‑level  government  appointments  for  corporate  insiders.  

7. For-­‐‑profit   prison   corporations   are   not   accountable   to   Arizona   tax-­‐‑
payers.  
They   are   not   subject   to   the   same   transparency,   reporting   or   oversight   requirements   as  
government  agencies.    For  the  six  private  prisons  that  do  not  contract  with  the  state  of  Ar-­‐‑
izona,  there  is  virtually  no  state  oversight  whatsoever.  Attempts  to  hold  the  corporations  
accountable  are  sometimes  thwarted  by  threats  of  legal  action.    
  
  

The  solution  is  greater  public  control  over  prisons  in  Arizona,  not  less.  
Given  that  private  prison  corporations  are  
not  required  to  make  their  records  public,  
it   was   impossible   to   present   a   full   quanti-­‐‑
tative   comparison   of   public   and   private  
prisons  housing  similar  types  of  offenders.    
Instead,   this   report   presents   the   detailed  
information  that  has  been  collected  on  the  
many   failings   of   private   prisons   in   Arizo-­‐‑
na,   to   help   state   leaders   make   informed  
decisions  about  Arizona’s  prisons.    If  any-­‐‑
thing,   this   report   points   to   the   need   for  
further   study   and   analysis   of   the   cost,  
quality,   and   performance   of   the   private  
prison   industry.      The   fact   that   this   data   is  
so   difficult   to   obtain   reveals   the   lack   of  
transparency  and  accountability  of  private  
prisons  in  Arizona.  
The   ADC   is   far   from   blameless   in   the  
troubles  plaguing  the  private  prisons  con-­‐‑
tracting  with  the  state,  and  AFSC  has  sub-­‐‑
stantial   criticisms   of   the   Department’s  
management   of   its   own   facilities.      Rather  
than   a   simplistic   black-­‐‑and-­‐‑white   assess-­‐‑
Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

ment,   this   report   reveals   that   all   prisons   in  
Arizona   require   more   oversight   and   monitor-­‐‑
ing   to   ensure   that   the   public   is   protected   and  
getting   its   money’s   worth.      It   is   clear   that  
simply   handing   over   control   of   prisons   to  
private   corporations   does   not   provide  
higher  quality  or  effectiveness,  but  instead  
creates   a   new   set   of   problems   that   are   of-­‐‑
ten  harder  to  eradicate.  
There   is   ample   evidence   of   systemic,  
chronic  and  endemic  failures  in  the  privat-­‐‑
ization  of  incarceration.  These  failures  put  
the   public   at   risk.   They   compromise   the  
integrity   of   our   legislative   process   and  
they   undermine   the   state’s   ability   to   fund  
programs  that  support  education  and  oth-­‐‑
er  important  state  services.    
Fortunately,   states   like   Texas,   Mississippi,  
and  South  Carolina  point  the  way  toward  
a  long-­‐‑term  solution:    Sentencing  reform.      
Over   half   of   US   states   have   reduced   their  
prison   populations   through   evidence-­‐‑
Page  iv

  
based   reforms   utilizing   diversion,   alterna-­‐‑
tive   sentences,   and   reform   of   parole   and  
probation.      These   states   have   not   only   saved  
millions  of  taxpayer  dollars,  but  reduced  crime  
rates  significantly.  

completely  unnecessary  by  reserving  pris-­‐‑
ons   for   those   who   truly   need   to   be   sepa-­‐‑
rated  from  society  and  by  using  a  range  of  
less   expensive   and   more   effective   inter-­‐‑
ventions  with  the  rest.  

Arizona   legislators   could   render   the   need  
for  more  prison  beds—public  or  private—
  
  
  

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

Page  v

  

Recommendations
Immediate Measures
The  Governor  or  Legislature  should  institute  an  immediate  moratorium  on  new  pris-­‐‑
on  construction.    Existing  RFP’s  should  be  cancelled,  no  new  RFP’s  should  be  issued  
and  no  new  state  beds,  private  or  state,  should  be  funded.  
2. Existing  contracts  with  private  prison  operators  should  be  closely  reviewed  in  light  of  
the  findings  in  this  report  and  the  report  issued  by  the  Arizona  Department  of  Correc-­‐‑
tions.      In   particular,   the   state   should   consider   cancelling   contracts   for   those   private  
prisons  that  are  found  to  be  more  expensive  or  of  poorer  quality  than  equivalent  state  
beds.  
3. The  Secretary  of  State  and/or  the  Attorney  General  of  Arizona  should  investigate:    
a. Expense   reimbursement   policies   of   the   American   Legislative   Exchange   Council  
(ALEC)  and  for-­‐‑profit  prison  corporations  to  Arizona  legislators,  pursuant  to  ARS  
41-­‐‑1232.03:  ‘Expenditure  reporting;  public  bodies  and  public  lobbyists;  gifts’.  
b. ALEC’s  legal  status  as  a  non-­‐‑profit  organization.  
c. The  role  of  lobbyists  or  other  for-­‐‑profit  prison  industry  representatives  in  the  crea-­‐‑
tion  of  specific  legislation  in  Arizona,  including  ALEC’s  model  legislation.  
1.

Additional Measures
All   prison   and   detention   facilities   in   Arizona   should   be   subject   to   permanent   review  
and  monitoring  by  an  independent  body  empowered  to  hold  the  prison  operator  and  
the  state  accountable  and  enact  necessary  reforms.  
2. The   legislature   should   pass   legislation   that   enacts   strict   oversight   and   reporting   re-­‐‑
quirements   for   those   private   prisons   located   in,   but   not   contracted   with,   the   state   of  
Arizona.    These  rule  must:  
a. Require  immediate  notification  to  local  and  state  authorities  in  the  event  of  a  major  
incident  that  threatens  the  health  and  safety  of  the  prisoners,  staff,  or  the  public.  
b. Allow  state  inspectors  to  enter  the  facility  at  any  time.  
c. Prohibit   acceptance   of   high   security   prisoners,   prisoners   convicted   of   class   1   or   2  
felonies,  or  prisoners  with  a  history  of  escape,  assaults  on  staff  or  other  inmates,  or  
rioting.  
d. Require  information  about  any  prisoners  prior  to  their  arrival  in  the  facility  to  be  
reported   to   the   Department   of   Public   Safety   and   the   Department   of   Corrections,  
including   their   names   and   identifying   information,   the   crime   for   which   they   are  
incarcerated,  and  the  state  or  federal  entity  that  convicted  and  sentenced  them.  
e. Require   all   privately   operated   prisons   in   Arizona   to   provide   the   Department   of  
Public   Safety   and   the   Department   of   Corrections   with   a   monthly   report   on   the  
prisoner  count,  the  capacity  of  the  facility,  and  information  on  their  staffing  levels.  
f. Require  all  privately  operated  prisons  in  Arizona  to  make  their  records  public  to  
the  same  extent  that  is  required  of  the  Department  of  Corrections  and  county  jails.  
g. Report  all  assaults,  disturbances,  deaths,  and  hospitalizations.  
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The  Legislature  should  require  all  prisons  in  Arizona—public  and  private—to  public-­‐‑
ly  report  their  recidivism  rate  annually  
4. All   state   contracts   with   for-­‐‑profit   prison   operators   should   include   the   following   re-­‐‑
quirements  (current  contracts  should  be  amended  at  the  earliest  opportunity):  
a. The  state  may  cancel  a  contract  without  cause  with  90  days  notice.  
b. The   state   may   assess   damages   using   the   formula   in   Attachment   A   for   non-­‐‑
compliance   with   contract   requirements,   including:      Security   and   control,   use   of  
force,  escapes,  employee  qualifications  and  training,  operating  standards,  mainte-­‐‑
nance  and  repairs,  food  service,  and  medical  care.  
c. The  private  operator  must  demonstrate  compliance  with  all  Department  of  Correc-­‐‑
tions  policies.  
d. The  state  has  unimpeded  access  to  all  areas  of  a  facility  at  all  times,  including  un-­‐‑
announced  visits.  
e. The  state  may  assess  damages  for  staff  vacancies  and  high  turnover  rates.  
f. The  state  may  view  facility  cameras  from  a  remote  site.  
g. The   Director   of   the   Department   of   Corrections   may   take   over   control   and   opera-­‐‑
tion  of  the  facility  if  there  are  substantial  or  repeated  breaches  of  contract  or  if  the  
Director  determines  that  the  safety  of  the  inmates,  staff,  or  public  is  at  risk.  
5. Arizona  should  follow  the  recommendations  of  the  state  Auditor  General  and  the  ex-­‐‑
ample   of   states   like   Michigan,   Texas,   and   Mississippi   and   enact   sensible   reforms   to  
their   criminal   sentencing   laws   to   safely   reduce   prison   populations.   Through   expan-­‐‑
sion  of  diversion  and  early  release,  use  of  non-­‐‑prison  alternatives  and  reduction  of  pa-­‐‑
role   violation   revocations,   these   states   have   saved   millions   of   taxpayer   dollars   and  
significantly  reduced  their  crime  rates.1  
3.

                                                                                                                
  Office  of  the  Auditor  General,  Department  of  Corrections-­‐‑Prison  Population  Growth,  September,  2010,  

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Introduction and Overview
Quakers   have   a   long   history   of   involvement   in   prison   reform   efforts,   dating   back   to   the  
18th   century.      The   American   Friends   Service   Committee   (AFSC),   a   Quaker   organization,  
has   worked   for   reform   of   the   criminal   justice   system   since   the   early   20th   century.      That  
work  has  always  focused  on  the  need  for  an  effective  and  humane  criminal  justice  system  
that   emphasizes   rehabilitation   over   punishment.      AFSC’s   Arizona   Criminal   Justice   Pro-­‐‑
gram  advocates  for  a  reduction  in  the  state’s  prison  population  through  careful  sentencing  
reform.    In  recent  years,  a  key  focus  of  that  effort  has  been  to  oppose  continued  prison  ex-­‐‑
pansion  and  to  educate  the  public  on  the  risks  inherent  in  prison  privatization.  
For  35  years  AFSC’s  office  in  Arizona  has  followed  the  rise  of  prison  privatization.    AFSC  
staff   have   organized   public   events,   met   with   the   Arizona   Department   of   Corrections  
(ADC),  worked  to  educate  legislators,  and  given  public  testimony.    State  leaders  have  dis-­‐‑
played   shocking   indifference,   and   sometimes   outright   hostility,   toward   the   suggestion  
that   these   facilities   be   monitored   and   investigated   to   ensure   that   they   are   safe,   efficient,  
and  accountable.  

Purpose of this Report
Astonishingly,  no  comprehensive,  independent  study  has  been  conducted  that  compares  
the  performance  of  public  and  private  prisons,  either  nationally  or  in  Arizona.    The  closest  
national  research  is  a  2001  study  by  the  Bureau  of  Justice  Assistance  (BJA),  which  found  a  
significantly   higher   rate   of   prisoner-­‐‑on-­‐‑prisoner   assaults   in   private   prisons   (66%   more)  
than  in  public  prisons.  Inmate-­‐‑on-­‐‑staff  assaults  were  49%  higher  in  the  private  prisons.2  
In  the  summer  of  2011,  the  Arizona  Republic  reported3  that  a  section  of  the  state  law  gov-­‐‑
erning  privatization  of  prisons,  ARS  41-­‐‑1609.01,  was  being  violated  by  the  ADC.    The  law  
stipulates   that   private   corporations   must   have   qualifications,   experience,   and   personnel  
sufficient  to  carry  out  the  terms  of  the  contract;  must  be  able  to  comply  with  “applicable  
correctional  standards”;  and  must  have  a  history  of  successful  management  of  other  facili-­‐‑
ties.    It  further  requires  that  proposals  for  new  private  prisons  must  offer  cost  savings  to  
the   state   and   offer   a   level   of   service   equivalent   to   that   provided   in   state-­‐‑run   facilities   in  
order   to   be   accepted.      In   order   to   ensure   that   these   requirements   are   met,   the   statute   re-­‐‑

                                                                                                                
  Bureau  of  Justice  Administration,  Emerging  Issues  on  Privatized  Prisons,  February  2001;  
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/181249.pdf  
2

  “Arizona  prison  oversight  lacking  for  private  facilities,”  Arizona  Republic,  August  7,  2011  

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Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

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quires  that  a  detailed  comparison  study  of  public  and  private  prisons  be  completed  every  
two  years.  4  
In  September  2011,  AFSC  sued  Governor  Jan  Brewer  and  ADC  because  of  their  failure  to  
comply  with  state  law  for  more  than  two  decades  by  not  reviewing  private  prisons  as  re-­‐‑
quired  by  that  law.5  The  suit  sought  an  injunction  to  force  ADC  to  hold  off  on  awarding  
new  prison  contracts  until  the  review  study  was  completed.    While  the  suit  was  initially  
denied   on   procedural   grounds,   AFSC   appealed,   and   effectively   forced   the   ADC   to   con-­‐‑
duct  the  required  study.  The  first  such  comparison  review  was  released  by  ADC  on  De-­‐‑
cember  21,  2011.  
Following  release  of  their  report,  ADC  cancelled  an  RFP  for  5,000  minimum  and  medium  
security  private  prison  beds  for  male  prisoners,  citing  declining  prison  populations.  ADC  
then  announced  that  it  would  release  a  revised  RFP  for  only  2,000  medium  security  beds  
and   will   also   seek   to   build   500   additional   state-­‐‑run   beds   for   maximum-­‐‑security   inmates.    
The  new  RFP  was  issued  on  February  2,  2012.  
Before   ADC   began   working   on   their   report   and   concerned   that   any   ADC   study   would  
likely   be   incomplete,   AFSC   began   an   independent   study   of   private   prison   performance  
during   the   spring   of   2011.   In   particular,   AFSC   feared   the   ADC   study   would   omit   infor-­‐‑
mation  that  may  be  damaging  to  the  prison  corporations  to  avoid  incurring  the  wrath  of  
state  legislators  supportive  of  the  industry.  
In  addition,  AFSC  was  aware  that  any  ADC  study  would  not  include  the  six  Corrections  
Corporations   of   America   prisons   located   in   Arizona   that   do   not   contract   with   the   state  
and  therefore  are  not  under  state  jurisdiction.    News  reports,  correspondence  with  prison-­‐‑
ers   and   their   families,   lawsuits,   and   published   research   have   clearly   demonstrated   that  
there   are   very   serious   problems   in   these   facilities   that   deserve   close   scrutiny.   Therefore,  
they  are  included  in  this  report’s  analysis  of  private  prisons  in  Arizona.  
This  report  is  a  needed  step  toward  transparency  and  accountability  of  private  prisons  in  
Arizona.    A  robust  public  debate  is  critical  to  ensure  that  taxpayer  dollars  are  wisely  spent  
and  public  safety  is  preserved.    It  is  the  hope  of  the  American  Friends  Service  Committee  
that  the  compilation  of  this  data  will  encourage  further  study  by  independent,  expert  bod-­‐‑
ies  to  answer  the  critical  questions  about  prison  privatization:    Is  it  safe?    Is  it  working?    Is  
it  cost-­‐‑effective?  
                                                                                                                
  Full  text  of  the  law  can  be  found  on  the  Arizona  State  Legislature’s  web  site:  
http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/41/01609-­‐‑01.htm    Sub-­‐‑Sections  (K)  and  (M)  cover  the  required  re-­‐‑
porting.  
4

  http://afsc.org/resource/arizona-­‐‑department-­‐‑corrections-­‐‑lawsuit-­‐‑resources  

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Department of Corrections’ 2011 Biennial Comparison of
Private and Public Prisons

The   Arizona   Department   of   Corrections   finally   released   their   first   required   comparison  
review  on  December  21,  2011,  after  some  20  years  of  delay.6  
The  ADC  Biennial  Comparison  has  serious  methodological  problems  and  omits  key  safety  
inspection  data.    It  fails  to  provide  a  coherent  analysis  or  answer  serious  questions  about  
cost  and  security,  questions  that  are  crucial  to  make  informed  choices  about  the  future  of  
prisons  in  our  state.  
The   report   deems   all   the   state'ʹs   contracted   private   prisons   –   except   the   unit   at   the   King-­‐‑
man   prison   from   which   three   people   escaped   in   2010   –   to   be   “comparable”   to   state-­‐‑run  
prisons  in  quality  and  cost.  ADC  provides  very  little  explanation  of  the  methodology  used  
to  arrive  at  this  conclusion,  and  practically  no  source  data  to  allow  independent  verifica-­‐‑
tion  of  its  findings.  
ADC  used  three  sets  of  data  in  its  comparison:  
•

•
•

Fiscal   year   2010-­‐‑2011   correctional   operations   comparative   data.      This   is   statistical  
data  reporting  the  numbers  of  escapes,  lost  keys,  confiscated  drugs  or  cell  phones,  
fights,  assaults,  riots,  etc.  
Fiscal  year  2010-­‐‑2011  inmate  grievance  data  related  to  issues  such  as  legal  access,  
mail  and  property,  and  medical  care.  
Calendar  year  2011  annual  audit  comparative  data.    This  appears  to  be  the  newly  
developed   Green-­‐‑Amber-­‐‑Red   evaluation   system   ADC   recently   developed   in   re-­‐‑
sponse  to  criticism  after  the  Kingman  escapes.  

It   is   significant   that   ADC   chose   not   to   incorporate   data   from   security   audits   conducted  
shortly  after  the  2010  escapes  from  the  Kingman  prison.    These  inspections  revealed  wide-­‐‑
spread  and  serious  security  failings  in  all  state-­‐‑operated  and  private  prisons.    In  particu-­‐‑
lar,   the   audits   found   malfunctioning   alarms,   cameras,   and   perimeter   lights   and   sensors;  
insufficient   searches   of   both   staff   and   inmates,   and   inaccurate   inventories   of   weapons,  
tools,  and  keys.  The  ADC  Biennial  Comparison  also  does  not  incorporate  data  on  deaths  
in  custody,  suicides  or  homicides.      

                                                                                                                
  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Biennial  Comparison  of  “Private  Versus  Public  Provision  of  Ser-­‐‑
vices  Required  per  A.R.S.  §  41-­‐‑1609.01,  December  21,  2011;  
http://www.azcorrections.gov/ARS41_1609_01_Biennial_Comparison_Report122111_e_v.pdf  
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While  a  number  of  different  per-­‐‑
formance   measures   are   used,  
ADC   does   not   explain   how   they  
are   weighted.   It   appears   that   se-­‐‑
curity  issues  are  scored  the  same  
as   less   critical   performance   cate-­‐‑
gories,  like  food  service.  It  seems  
that  if  a  private  prison  has  a  high  
rate   of   assaults   or   riots,   but   de-­‐‑
cent   food,   it   is   considered   com-­‐‑
parable  to  a  state  run  prison.  
There   is   very   little   analysis   of-­‐‑
fered   as   to   the   significance   or  
meaning  of  ADC’s  findings.    De-­‐‑
spite   a   paucity   of   documenta-­‐‑
tion,   there   were   clear   patterns  
evident   that   raise   important  
questions  about  the  performance  
of   private   prisons  in   several   are-­‐‑
as.      For   example,   every   private  
prison  was  found  to  be  perform-­‐‑
ing   below   the   state   on   the   issue  
of   staffing.      Across   the   board,  
private   prisons   were   found   to  
have  higher  turnover  and  vacan-­‐‑
cy   rates,   and   their   guards   fre-­‐‑
quently   scored   lower   on   core  
competency  tests.      

  
Staffing:  
•

•
•

•
•

•

Central  Arizona  Correctional  Facility:    
Higher  vacancy  rates  in  2010  and  2011,  
higher  turnover  rate  in  2011,  lower  Correc-­‐‑
tions  Officer  (CO)  test  scores  in  2010  and  
2011,  and  lower  CO  supervisor  test  scores  
in  2010.  
Phoenix  West:    Significantly  higher  turno-­‐‑
ver  and  vacancy  rates  in  2010  and  2011.  
Florence  West:    Higher  vacancy  rates  in  
2010  and  2011,  higher  turnover  rate  in  2011,  
and  lower  correctional  officers  supervisor  
test  scores  in  2010  and  2011  
Kingman  Hualapai:    Higher  vacancy  rate  in  
2010  and  higher  turnover  in  2010  and  2011  
Kingman  Cerbat:  Higher  turnover  rate  in  
2011  and  lower  core  competency  test  scores  
in  2011  
Marana:    Turnover  rate  in  2011  was  56.8%  
(compared  to  Graham  unit  at  12.5%)  

Inmate  discipline:  
•
•
•
•

CACF:    Higher  levels  of  major  and  minor  
inmate  violations  in  2010  and  2011  
Phoenix  West:    higher  number  of  minor  
and  major  violations  in  2010  and  2011  
Florence  West:    More  reported  major  and  
minor  violations  in  2010  
Kingman  Hualapai:    Significantly  higher  
number  of  major  and  minor  violations  in  
2011  

In   addition,   four   out   of   the   six  
state-­‐‑contracted   private   prisons  
had   higher   levels   of   inmate   dis-­‐‑
  
ciplinary   reports   for   major   and  
Table  1:  A  Summary  of  staffing  and  disciplinary  issues  
minor   violations.   The   im-­‐‑
raised  in  the  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections  Biennial  
portance   of   staffing   and   inmate  
Comparison  Report.  
discipline   is   never   made   clear   in  
the   report.   Yet   these   measures  
provide   an   indication   of   the   overall   safety   and   security   of   a   prison.      For   example,   high  
numbers   of   disciplinary   tickets   given   to   prisoners   may   indicate   that   the   inmates   do   not  
have   enough   programming   to   occupy   their   time   or   that   the   officers   are   not   adequately  
monitoring  the  prisoners  to  prevent  rule-­‐‑breaking  and  defuse  conflicts.      

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High  turnover  and  vacancy  rates  may  reflect  that  the  pay,  benefits,  or  work  environment  
are  not  good  enough  to  keep  qualified  guards  on  staff.    High  vacancy  and  turnover  rates  
also   can   lead   to   having   inexperienced   guards   who   are   not   adequately   trained   to   handle  
serious  incidents.  Security  audits  found  that  80%  of  the  staff  at  the  Kingman  prison  prior  
to  the  2010  escapes  were  new  or  newly  promoted.7,  8  
The   report   also   presents   a   cost   comparison   of   the   various   units   appears   to   contradict   its  
own  past  cost  audits.    
ADC  has  completed  a  cost  comparison  report  annually  since  2005,  which  has  consistently  
found   that   private   prisons   are   generally   not   saving   the   state   of   Arizona   money.      These  
findings   were   echoed   by   the   state   Auditor   General,   who   in   2009   used   ADC’s   data   to   re-­‐‑
port  that  minimum  security  private  prison  beds  cost  an  average  of  $121  more  per  prisoner  
per  year  than  equivalent  state  beds,  and  medium  security  private  beds  were  a  whopping  
$2,834  more.9    
However,   the   comparison   included   in   ADC’s   2011   Biennial   Comparison   report   presents  
the  costs  in  a  radically  different  method,  one  that  allows  it  to  claim  that  the  private  prisons  
costs  are  “comparable”  to  those  of  the  state.    It  does  this  by  presenting  a  cost  range  as  op-­‐‑
posed  to  an  average  cost.    By  presenting  the  range  of  least  to  most  expensive  state  prison  
beds  in  the  two  security  levels,  it  can  then  claim  that  the  private  prisons  costs  fall  within  
this  range  and  are  therefore  comparable  to  the  state.  
The   ADC   report   contains   one   important   revelation:   Two   of   our   state   private   prisons   –  
GEO   Group'ʹs   Central   Arizona   Correctional   Facility   and   Management   and   Training   Cor-­‐‑
poration'ʹs  Cerbat  Unit  at  Kingman  –  are  exempt  from  a  state  statute  that  requires  private  
prisons  to  provide  an  equivalent  or  better  level  of  quality  than  the  state.  State  legislators  
apparently   don'ʹt   care   whether   these   are   good   prisons.   They   don'ʹt   care   whether   they   are  
safe  prisons.  They  just  want  them  to  be  private  prisons.    
It  is  clear  that  this  study  was  specifically  designed  to  show  the  state’s  private  prisons  in  a  
good  light,  in  spite  of  the  evidence  of  widespread  security  problems  that  have  surfaced  in  
the  past  year.    The  report  also  fails  to  offer  any  analysis  of  the  various  findings  or  to  offer  
any  plans  for  improvement  of  services.    The  people  of  Arizona  are  left  with  a  vague  and  
shallow  set  of  tables  that  assure  us  that  private  prisons  are  providing  a  “comparable”  level  
of  cost  and  quality  to  state-­‐‑run  prisons.      
                                                                                                                
  Charles  Ryan,  “Cure  Notice”  memo  to  MTC,  December  29,  2010.      

7

  See  section  Performance  Measure  II:  Staffing,  for  more  information  on  staffing  issues.  

8

  Arizona  Auditor  General,  Performance  Audit,  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Prison  Popula-­‐‑
tion  Growth,  September,  2010.  REPORT  NO.  10-­‐‑08  
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The  ADC  report  does  not  answer  the  questions  at  the  heart  of  the  debate  –  are  private  prisons  safe?  
Are  private  prisons  well  run?    
If  we  wish  to  understand  how  safe  and  effective  the  prison  system  in  Arizona  is,  it  is  clear  
that  ADC  run  prisons  should  not  be  the  only  basis  of  comparison.  Recent  data  show  high  
levels  of  assaults,  suicides,  and  homicides.  There  are  also  threats  of  legal  action  over  wide-­‐‑
spread  denial  of  basic  medical  and  mental  health  care.  
State  prisons  have  major  problems  that  need  to  be  addressed,  and  all  prisons—public  and  
private—must  be  held  to  a  higher  standard  of  performance.  An  independent  expert  body  
should  develop  clear  and  concrete  performance  standards  and  measurement  criteria  that  
all  prisons  can  be  evaluated  on  regularly.    
The   glaring   oversights   in   the   report   are   further   evidence   that   ADC   cannot,   or   will   not,  
hold  the  private  corporations  accountable  for  their  serious  and  chronic  failures.  

Methodology

It   is   virtually   impossible   to   conduct   a   comprehensive   quantitative   comparison   between  
private  and  public  prisons  operating  in  the  state  of  Arizona.    This  is  due  to  a  number  of  
factors  including  the  variations  in  size,  types  of  inmate,  security  levels,  programs  provid-­‐‑
ed,  and  record  keeping  policies  and  procedures  among  the  various  facilities.    This  dilem-­‐‑
ma  is  acknowledged  repeatedly  in  the  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections’  own  compari-­‐‑
son  review:  
“…exact  private  prison  unit  versus  state  prison  unit  comparisons  are  not  possible  
due   to   inherent   complexities   resulting   from   the   many   differences   in   operating  
structure   and   requirements.   This   is   equally   true   when   comparing   facilities   and  
when  comparing  cost.”10  
Further   complicating   matters,   there   is   no   law   or   other   requirement   that   private   prisons  
collect  the  same  data  that  state  prisons  are  required  to  collect  or  to  make  this  information  
public.   As   private   corporations,   they   are   not   subject   to   public   information   laws   that   re-­‐‑
quire   government   agencies   to   disclose   information—even   though   they   are   performing   a  
government  function  and  are  paid  with  taxpayer  dollars.    This  made  it  particularly  diffi-­‐‑
cult  to  gather  reliable  information  on  the  six  private  prisons  operating  in  the  state  of  Ari-­‐‑
zona  which  do  not  contract  with  the  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections.    One  of  the  pur-­‐‑
poses   of   this   study   is   to   illustrate   this   deficiency   and   encourage   policy   to   enforce   collec-­‐‑
tion  of  data  using  the  same  methods  applied  to  state  institutions  that  will  allow  for  accu-­‐‑
rate  comparisons  to  be  completed.    
                                                                                                                
  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Biennial  Comparison  of  Private  Versus  Public  Provision  of  Ser-­‐‑
vices  Required  per  ARS  41-­‐‑1609.01  (K)(M),  December  21,  2011,  note  11  
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As  a  result,  AFSC  has  endeavored  to  collect  as  much  available  data  from  the  greatest  di-­‐‑
versity  of  sources,  in  order  to  provide  as  complete  a  picture  as  possible  of  the  quality  of  
the  state’s  for-­‐‑profit  correctional  facilities.    This  report  is  a  combination  of  qualitative  and  
quantitative  data.      
Every   effort   was   made   to   collect   official   data   from   the   facilities   themselves.   Because   pri-­‐‑
vate,  for-­‐‑profit  corporations  are  not  subject  to  the  Freedom  of  Information  Act  or  equiva-­‐‑
lent  state  laws  that  require  disclosure  of  documents  to  the  public,  AFSC  instead  sent  pub-­‐‑
lic  records  requests  to  the  government  agencies  that  have  send  their  prisoners  to  private  
correctional  facilities  in  Arizona:  Arizona,  Hawaii,  California,  and  Washington  states.  
AFSC’s   records   request   solicited   data   that   could   most   reliably   reflect   the   safety,   perfor-­‐‑
mance,   and   effectiveness   of   the   various   facilities.      Specifically,   AFSC   requested   statistics  
on:  
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Homicides  
Disturbances,  fights,  or  riots  
Escapes  
Assaults  on  staff  
Assaults  on  inmates  by  other  inmates    
Assaults  on  inmates  by  staff    
Employee  turnover  rate    
Employee  vacancy  rates    
Major  conduct  report  rule  violations  
Serious  staff  misconduct,  including  inappropriate  sexual  and  other  staff/inmate  re-­‐‑
lationships.   Arrests,   criminal   charges   or   legal   proceedings   against   current   staff  
members  
11. Lawsuits  concerning  conditions  of  confinement  
An  example  of  the  public  records  requests  that  were  sent  to  the  Departments  is  included  
as  Attachment  B  to  this  report.11  
Data  on  the  US  Department  of  Immigration  and  Customs  Enforcement  was  gleaned  from  
the  agency’s  webpage  and  also  provided  by  third  parties  who  have  been  researching  con-­‐‑
ditions  in  these  facilities,  most  notably  the  American  Civil  Liberties  Union.    
Despite  AFSC’s  efforts  to  be  as  specific  as  possible  in  the  parameters  of  its  request,  the  da-­‐‑
ta  received  can  best  be  described  as  “piecemeal.”    Arizona,  Hawaii,  and  Washington  sent  
compiled  statistics  rather  than  the  source  documents.    The  date  ranges  are  often  different,  
making   proper   comparison   difficult   or   impossible.      In   many   cases   states   provided   only  
                                                                                                                
  Supporting  data  is  available  through  AFSC’s  web  site:  http://afsc.org/arizona-­‐‑prison-­‐‑report  

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some  of  the  information  requested.    California  provided  an  extensive  amount  of  data,  of-­‐‑
ten  in  original  source  documents.    This  data  had  to  be  compiled  in  order  for  it  to  be  com-­‐‑
pared  to  the  aggregate  statistics  provided  by  the  other  states.  
Further   complicating   matters,   the   Arizona   Department   of   Corrections’   response   to   our  
information  request  did  not  correlate  the  data  by  facility  or  unit.  In  some  cases  there  is  no  
way  to  know  whether  an  incident  occurred  in  a  public  or  privately-­‐‑operated  state  prison.    
It   is   worth   noting   that   the   ADC’s   recently-­‐‑released   Biennial   Comparison   report   includes  
data  that  was  requested  by  AFSC  but  which  was  not  provided  in  the  ADC’s  response.    For  
example,   ADC   provided   AFSC   with   assault   data,   but   it   was   not   correlated   by   unit,   so   it  
was  impossible  to  determine  whether  the  assaults  were  taking  place  in  public  or  private  
prisons.    In  addition,  the  ADC  did  not  provide  some  data  that  was  specifically  requested,  
including  statistics  on  riots,  fights,  and  disturbances;  staff  turnover  and  vacancy  rates;  and  
major   conduct   rule   violations—all   of   which   are   included   in   ADC’s   Biennial   Comparison  
review.  
Other  documentation  used  in  this  report  includes:  
1. Reports,   research,   and   other   official   documents   from   the   Arizona   Department   of  
Corrections,  including  security  inspections  and  other  documents  on  private  prison  
security   that   were   obtained   by   the   Arizona   Republic   through   a   public   records   re-­‐‑
quest  and  made  available  on  the  Republic’s  website.    
2. Reports  released  by  state  and  federal  governmental  agencies,  such  as  the  US  Gen-­‐‑
eral  Accounting  Office  and  the  Arizona  Auditor  General    
3. Reports  and  studies  by  national  organizations  such  as  the  ACLU,  Justice  Policy  In-­‐‑
stitute,   Justice   Strategies,   Private   Corrections   Working   Group,   Detention   Watch  
Network,  Grassroots  Leadership,  and  the  Institute  for  Money  in  State  Politics  
4. Published  newspaper  and  magazine  articles  
5. Letters   and   testimonies   from   prisoners,   formerly   incarcerated   people,   and   their  
families  
Any   comparison   of   public   and   private   facilities   must   take   into   account   the   fact   that   the  
populations  in  these  facilities  are  fundamentally  different.    For-­‐‑profit  prison  corporations,  
as   a   rule,   do   not   operate   close   custody   or   maximum   security   units   and   refuse   to   house  
prisoners  with  major  disciplinary  problems,  mental  health  issues,  or  major  medical  prob-­‐‑
lems   requiring   ongoing   treatment.      These   populations   are   not   only   much   more   costly   to  
house,  they  also  require  specialized  services  that  the  corporations’  staff  are  not  trained  to  
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AFSC   has   previously   done   extensive   research,   published   in   a   2007   report,   Buried   Alive,  
documenting  the  tendency  for  prisoners  with  serious  mental  health  issues  to  collect  disci-­‐‑
plinary   infractions   and   wind   up   in   higher   security   units,   including   supermax   isolation  
units.12      Combined   with   the   harmful   mental   health   impacts   of   the   sensory-­‐‑deprivation  
conditions   in   maximum   and   supermax   units,   it   is   unsurprising   that   these   units   have   a  
high  rate  of  suicide.      
All   of   these   factors   put   together   mean   that   the   rate   of   assaults,   suicides,   and   deaths   will  
generally  be  higher  in  higher  security  units  or  units  that  provide  mental  health  treatment.    
This  in  turn  skews  these  statistics  in  favor  of  private  prisons.  
AFSC  made  every  attempt  to  present  an  accurate  comparison.    But  given  the  incomplete  
and  inconsistent  reporting,  it  was  impossible  to  separate  out  the  data  by  security  level  or  
year  in  every  case.    The  fact  that  this  information  is  so  difficult  to  obtain  should  give  Ari-­‐‑
zona   taxpayers   pause.      The   people   of   this   state   deserve   a   complete   accounting   of   the   re-­‐‑
turn  on  their  billion  dollar  investment  in  Corrections.    We  encourage  the  State  of  Arizona  
and  other  independent  research  groups  to  further  explore  these  complex  issues  in  order  to  
provide  a  more  complete  picture  of  prison  safety  in  Arizona.  To  support  other  researchers  
and  to  validate  our  claims,  the  materials  gathered  by  AFSC  in  the  process  of  developing  
this  report  are  available  online:  http://afsc.org/arizona-­‐‑prison-­‐‑report.  

                                                                                                                
  Caroline  Isaacs  and  Matthew  Lowen,  Buried  Alive:  Solitary  Confinement  in  Arizona’s  Prisons  and  
Jails,  American  Friends  Service  Committee  –  Arizona,  May  2007;  
http://afsc.org/sites/afsc.civicactions.net/files/documents/Buried%20Alive.pdf  
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Background and History
Arizona’s  experiment  with  for-­‐‑profit  incarceration  began  in  the  early  90’s  when  the  state  
faced   the   first   of   many   prison   overcrowding   crises.      Arizona’s   first   privately-­‐‑operated  
prison  was  the  Marana  Community  Correctional  Treatment  Facility,  a  minimum-­‐‑security  
prison  for  people  with  substance  abuse  problems.  
In  August  2010,  the  Arizona  Republic,  gave  a  succinct  history  of  the  practice  in  Arizona:  
Rapid   growth   began   in   2003   and   the   years   immediately   following,   when   Arizona   was  
again  wrestling  with  prison  overcrowding.    
To  ease  the  shortage,  Republican  lawmakers  agreed  to  build  2,000  new  prison  beds,  com-­‐‑
promising  with  a  reluctant  Gov.  Janet  Napolitano,  a  Democrat,  to  make  half  of  them  pri-­‐‑
vate.    
Around   the   same   time,   nearly   a   dozen   other   states   grappling   with   the   same   issues   began  
shipping  their  inmates  to  private  facilities  elsewhere  in  the  country.    
Arizona,  with  cheap  land  and  a  receptive  political  climate,  became  a  go-­‐‑to  destination  for  
private-­‐‑prison   operators,   who   began   accepting   inmates   from   as   far   as   Washington   and  
Hawaii.    
Today,  Arizona  houses  20.1  percent  of  its  prisoners  in  private  facilities,  according  to  state  
data  from  July.  Exactly  how  many  inmates  are  here  from  other  states  is  unclear.  
Last  year,  lawmakers  took  the  unprecedented  step  of  exploring  the  privatization  of  almost  
the   entire   Arizona   correctional   system,   passing   a   bill   that   would   have   turned   over   the  
state'ʹs  prisons  to  private  operators  for  an  up-­‐‑front  payment  of  $100  million.  The  payment  
would  have  helped  the  state  close  a  billion-­‐‑dollar  budget  gap.    
The  bill,  which  also  included  a  host  of  changes  related  to  the  state'ʹs  budget,  was  signed  by  
Gov.  Jan  Brewer,  but  the  language  relating  to  prison  privatization  was  repealed  in  a  later  
special  session.    
The   state   now   has   an   open   contract   for   the   construction   and   operation   of   5,000  
new  private-­‐‑prison  beds.13    
                                                                                                                
  Casey  Newton,  Ginger  Rough  and  JJ  Hensley  “Arizona  inmate  escape  puts  spotlight  on  state  pri-­‐‑
vate  prisons,”  Arizona  Republic,  August  22,  2010;  
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The  State  of  Arizona  operates  10  prison  complexes:  Florence,  Eyman,  Tucson,  Yuma,  Per-­‐‑
ryville,   Safford,   Winslow,   Phoenix,   Lewis,   and   Douglas.      There   are   five   additional   state  
prisons   that   are   managed   by   for-­‐‑profit   prison   corporations   who   are   contracted   with   the  
ADC  to  hold  Arizona  prisoners:  
1. Marana  Community  Correctional  Treatment  Facility  
Operated  by:  Management  and  Training  Corporation,  Ogden,  Utah  
2. Arizona  State  Prison—Phoenix  West  
Operated   by:      GEO   Group,   Boca   Raton,   Florida.   (formerly   Correctional   Services  
Corporation)  
3. Arizona  State  Prison—Florence  West  
Operated   by:      GEO   Group,   Boca   Raton,   Florida.   (formerly   Correctional   Services  
Corporation)  
4. Arizona  State  Prison—Kingman    
Operated  by:  Management  and  Training  Corporation,  Ogden,  Utah  
5. Arizona  State  Prison—Central  Arizona  Correctional  Facility  (CACF)  
Operated  by:  GEO  Group,  Boca  Raton,  Florida.14  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/08/22/20100822arizona-­‐‑private-­‐‑
prisons.html#ixzz1lNn8ufqI  
  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  ADC  Prisons;  
http://www.azcorrections.gov/prisons/prisons_1.aspx.  
14

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Figure  2:  Map  of  Arizona  state  and  private  prisons,  with  populations.    Source:  Arizona  Department  of  Cor-­‐‑
rections15     

Arizona Prison Population Growth
                                                                                                                
  http://www.azcorrections.gov/prisons/prisons_1.aspx  

15

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According  to  the  Arizona  Auditor  General,  the  number  of  felony  adult  offenders  in  Ari-­‐‑
zona  state  prisons  grew  by  nearly  12  fold  between  1979  and  2009.    The  report  notes  sever-­‐‑
al  factors  for  this  large  growth,  including  population  growth,  sentencing  policies,  and  un-­‐‑
employment.  This  growth  caused  the  cost  of  the  system  to  balloon  from  just  over  4  per-­‐‑
cent  of  the  state’s  budget  in  1979  to  just  over  11  percent  in  2011.    The  report  also  notes  that  
according  to  “a  2010  federal  Bureau  of  Justice  Statistics  report,  Arizona  ranked  third  na-­‐‑

Figure  3:  Comparison  of  Western  States'ʹ  Average  Annual  Prison  Population  Growth.    Office  of  the  Auditor  
General,  Prison  Population  Growth,  REPORT  NO.  10-­‐‑08,  September,  2010.    

tion-­‐‑wide  and  first  among  western  states  in  its  average  annual  prison  population  growth  
rate  between  2000  and  2008.”16  
To  accommodate  this  rapid  growth,  the  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections  increasingly  
turned   to   the   private   prison   industry—contracting   for   thousands   of   private   prison   beds.    
                                                                                                                
Office  of  the  Auditor  General,  Performance  Audit,  Department  of  Corrections,  Prison  Population  
Growth,  Report  No.  10-­‐‑08,  September,  2010.  
16

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As  of  June  2010,  the  ADC  held  contracts  for  5,680  beds  in  five  private  prisons  in  Arizona,  
roughly  14  percent  of  the  total  state  prison  population.  Arizona  has  the  12th  highest  rate  of  
prisoners   in   private   facilities   among   US   states   (there   are   the   17   states   without   private  
prisons).17  
Prison Population Projections
The   explosive   prison   population   growth   observed   through   the   last   decade   appears   to  
have   slowed   dramatically,   both   nationally   and   in   Arizona.      Arizona’s   prison   population  
grew  by  only  65  prisoners  (net)  in  2010  and  actually  declined  by  296  prisoners  in  FY2011—
the  two  lowest  growth  rates  on  record  (dating  back  to  1973).18    The  Department  of  Cor-­‐‑
rections   projects   zero   growth   in   the   adult   prison   population   for   fiscal   years   2012   and  
2013.19    The  decline  is  attributed  to  a  number  of  factors,  including  a  national  drop  in  crime  
as   well   as   the   impact   of  
several   reforms   in   Arizona,  
including   the   2008   Safe  
Communities   Act,   which  
reduced   technical   revoca-­‐‑ 30	
  
tions   of   probation   and   pa-­‐‑ 25	
  
role   as   well   as   a   dramatic   20	
  
decrease   in   the   Maricopa  
15	
  
24	
  
County  Jail  population.      

US	
  States	
  with	
  Declining	
  
Prison	
  Populations	
  

10	
  

5	
  

14	
  

19	
  

9	
  
The   Governor’s   proposed  
0	
  
2013   budget   allocates   $60  
2006	
  
2007	
  
2008	
  
2009	
  
million   for   prison   construc-­‐‑
tion.      Although   the   De-­‐‑ Figure  4:  Since  2006  the  number  of  states  with  a  declining  prison  popula-­‐‑
partment   of   Corrections   tion  has  increased  dramatically.
acknowledged   the   lack   of  

                                                                                                                
Guerino,  Paul,  Paige  m.  Harrison,  and  William  J.  Sabol,  Prisoners  in  2010,  U.S.  Department  of  Jus-­‐‑
tice,  Bureau  of  Justice  Statistics,  December  2011,  NCJ236096,  Table  20,  Page  31  
http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p10.pdf  
17

“Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Fiscal  Year  2011  ADC  Data  and  Information”  PowerPoint  
presentation,  January  14,  2011,  http://www.azcorrections.gov/data_info_081111.pdf  
18

  Janice  K.  Brewer,  Executive  Budget  Summary,  Fiscal  Year  2013.  January  2012:  
http://www.azospb.gov/documents/2012/FY2013-­‐‑ExecutiveBudget-­‐‑Summary.pdf    
19

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growth  in  the  overall  prison  population,  it  now  claims  that  it  needs  2,000  private  prison  
beds   for   sex   offenders   and   protective   segregation   inmates   and   500   maximum   security  
beds  (built  and  operated  by  the  state).20  
In   truth,   the   state   could   avoid   any   spending   for   additional   prison   beds   by   following   the  
lead  of  a  number  of  other  states  in  making  reforms  to  its  criminal  sentencing  laws  to  re-­‐‑
duce   prison   populations.      Over   25   states,   including   conservative-­‐‑leaning   states   like   Mis-­‐‑
sissippi  and  South  Carolina,  have  safely  reduced  their  prison  populations  and  reaped  im-­‐‑
pressive  cost  savings.    The  2008  Safe  Communities  Act  is  a  clear  example  to  lawmakers  in  
Arizona   that   such   reforms   can   be   successful   and   will   not   incur   the   wrath   of   “tough   on  
crime”  constituents.      
Potentially,  such  reforms  could  produce  a  dramatic  decrease  in  Arizona’s  prison  popula-­‐‑
tions,  as  they  have  in  other  states.    Since  2005  the  number  of  states  with  declining  prison  
population  levels  has  grown  steadily  –  from  nine  in  2006,  14  in  2007,  19  in  2008,  to  24  in  
2009.21  
Given   this   reality,   it   is   likely   that   Arizona   simply   will   not   need   any   additional   prison  
beds.    It  can  safely  reduce  the  prison  population  to  use  the  beds  it  already  has  more  effi-­‐‑
ciently  and  put  non-­‐‑dangerous  offenders  in  community  programs  where  they  will  get  the  
services  they  need  at  a  fraction  of  the  cost.    The  state’s  budget  struggles  make  it  hard  for  
any  legislator  to  advocate  spending  millions  on  prison  construction  as  the  state’s  educa-­‐‑
tion,  healthcare  and  social  services  systems  teeter  on  the  brink  of  collapse.  

2010: Unprecedented Prison Expansion in Arizona
The   2010   criminal   justice   budget   reconciliation   bill   was,   without   a   doubt,   the   most   dra-­‐‑
matic   and   unprecedented   effort   toward   wholesale   privatization   of   Arizona’s   prison   sys-­‐‑
tem.    Embedded  in  that  law  are  four  different  privatization  mandates:  
1. The  sale  of  existing  prison  buildings  to  private  investors,  which  the  state  will  then  
lease  from  those  investors  (the  “sale-­‐‑lease  back”  provision)  
2. The  privatization  of  existing  state  prison  complexes  
3. The  construction  and  operation  of  5,000  new  prison  beds  by  for-­‐‑profit  prison  com-­‐‑
panies  
4. The   privatization   of   medical   care   and   food   service   throughout   the   Arizona   De-­‐‑
partment  of  Corrections.  
                                                                                                                
  Janice  K.  Brewer,  Executive  Budget  Summary,  Fiscal  Year  2013.    January  2012.  Accessed  at:    
http://www.azospb.gov/documents/2012/FY2013-­‐‑ExecutiveBudget-­‐‑Summary.pdf    
20

  Greene,  Judy  “Turning  the  Corner:    Opportunities  for  Effective  Sentencing  and  Correctional  
Practices  in  Arizona,”  Arizona  Attorneys  for  Criminal  Justice,  January  2011  
21

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The  “sale-­‐‑lease  back”  provision  applied  to  a  wide  range  of  buildings  owned  by  the  state,  
including   the   capital   building.   According   to   the   Arizona   Department   of   Administration,  
the  prison  buildings  that  have  been  sold  include:  
•
•
•

Arizona  State  Prison  Complex-­‐‑Florence:    Administration,  Central  Unit,  North  Unit  
and  South  Unit  
Arizona  State  Prison  Complex-­‐‑Eyman:    Browning  (formerly  SMUII)  and  Meadows  
Units.22  
Arizona  State  Prison  Complex-­‐‑Tucson:    Winchester  and  Manzanita  Units23  

The  underwriting  firms  listed  as  participating  in  these  transactions  include  Morgan  Stan-­‐‑
ley,  Citigroup,  Wells  Fargo,  Goldman  Sachs,  and  JP  Morgan.    The  state  reportedly  made  
$298,705,000  on  the  sale  of  these  buildings.24  
No  specific  information  on  the  privatization  of  medical  and  food  contracts  with  the  ADC  
was  available  at  the  time  of  this  report.    The  ADC  issued  the  Request  for  Interest  (RFI)  and  
received   responses,   but   the   statutory   language   mandating   privatization   of   medical   ser-­‐‑
vices   was   later   amended   by   additional   legislation   passed   in   the   2011   session.      That   bill,  
HB2154,   revoked   the   requirement   that   the   bids   submitted   by   vendors   provide   medical  
services   at   or   below   the   cost   of   medical   services   in   fiscal   year   2008.      Instead,   it   requires  
that  the  Department  pay  only  the  rate  paid  by  AHCCCS,  the  state  Medicaid  program.  
Beyond   that,   the   only   quality   assurance   requirement   is   that   ADC   should   “award   a   con-­‐‑
tract  to  the  best  qualified  bidder.”    Interestingly,  it  also  forbids  the  Arizona  Department  of  
Corrections  from  bidding  for  the  contract,  ensuring  that  it  will  be  awarded  to  a  for-­‐‑profit  
corporation  rather  than  the  state.25  
The  privatization  of  entire  state  prison  complexes  was  by  far  the  most  extreme  aspect  of  
the  bill.    No  other  state  has  ever  contracted  with  a  for-­‐‑profit  corporation  to  manage  an  en-­‐‑
tire   state   complex.      This   is   because   complexes   generally   include   various   prison   units   of  
                                                                                                                
  SMU  stands  for  “Special  Management  Unit,”  one  of  the  state’s  super-­‐‑maximum  security  units.    
Meadows  Unit  houses  sex  offenders.  
22

  Arizona  Department  of  Administration,  Preliminary  Official  Statement,  Certificates  of  Participa-­‐‑
tion,  Series  2010B.    http://www.onlinemunis.com/Statement/upload/Arizona.COP.FOS.6.15.10.pdf    
23

24

Arizona  Department  of  Administration,  Certificates  of  Participation,  Series  2010A  

  Arizona  State  Legislative  Information  System,  HB2154,  Amended  Senate  Fact  Sheet,  Appropria-­‐‑
tions,  4/19/11  As  passed.    
http://www.azleg.gov//FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/50leg/1r/summary/s.2154approp_asp
assed.doc.htm&Session_ID=102    
25

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

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different  security  levels,  from  minimum  all  the  way  to  supermax.    The  higher  the  security  
level,  the  more  expensive  a  unit  is  to  operate.      

Arizona	
  2011	
  Appropria-ons	
  
11.19%	
  
Department	
  of	
  Correc7ons	
  
10.50%	
  

Universi7es/Regents	
  

41.19%	
  
All	
  Other	
  Agencies	
  
15.69%	
  

Total	
  Health	
  Services	
  
(includes	
  AHCCCS)	
  
Department	
  of	
  Educa7on	
  

21.42%	
  

Figure  5  Data  from  Arizona  Auditor  General  report  of  Prison  Population  Growth.  26   

  

In  the  end  it  was  the  for-­‐‑profit  prison  industry,  not  the  Arizona  State  Legislature  nor  the  
state  Department  of  Corrections  that  killed  the  proposal.    There  was  simply  no  interest  in  
managing  state  prison  complexes.    The  Legislature  was  forced  to  rescind  that  the  portion  
of  the  budget  bill.  
The   Request   for   Proposal   (RFP)   for   5,000   new   beds   was   taken   much   more   seriously   by  
private  interests.    The  ADC  received  bids  from  four  corporations  when  it  was  initially  is-­‐‑
sued:  Corrections  Corporation  of  America  (CCA),  GEO  Group,  Management  and  Training  
Corporation  (MTC),  and  Emerald  Corrections.27    The  state  cancelled  the  process  after  the  
escapes   from   the   Kingman   prison   in   July   2010,   but   reissued   the   RFP   in   January   of   2011,  
saying  that  it  had  inserted  stricter  safety  requirements  from  the  vendors.    The  specifics  of  
                                                                                                                
  Office  of  the  Auditor  General,  Performance  Audit,  Department  of  Corrections,  Prison  Population  
Growth,  Report  No.  10-­‐‑08,  September,  2010.  
26

27

“Four  companies  respond  to  prison  proposal  request,”  The  Daily  Courier,  6/2/10.  

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the  bids  are  not  public  information  at  this  time,  but  ADC  identified  the  corporate  vendors  
and  bed  capacities  in  notices  to  the  legislature:28  
•
•
•
•

CCA  (currently  operating  Eloy  –  1,500  beds  and  3,000  beds;  total  of  4,500  beds).  
GEO  (currently  operating  Yuma–  2,000  or  3,000  beds;  Perryville  2,000,  3,000,  4,000  
or  5,000  beds).    
LaSalle/Southwest  Corrections  (currently  operating  Winslow  –  1,000  beds).    
MTC  (currently  operating  Yuma  -­‐‑  3,000  beds,  Coolidge  -­‐‑  3,000  or  5,000  beds).29    

After  several  delays,  the  department  again  canceled  the  RFP  on  December  22,  2011,  citing  
the   reduction   in   the   prisoner   population.   Director   Charles   Ryan   announced   that   the   De-­‐‑
partment  would  re-­‐‑issue  a  new  RFP  for  2,000  beds  and  would  also  request  funding  from  
the   legislature   to   build   500   state-­‐‑operated   maximum   security   beds.30      The   RFP   for   2,000  
medium  security  private  prison  beds  was  released  on  February  2,  2012.  
The   Governor’s   2013   budget   proposal   included   $50   million   for   500   maximum   security  
beds  and  $17.9  million  in  fiscal  2014  for  a  privately  run  prison  to  house  medium-­‐‑security  
prisoners.    But  these  are  just  the  construction  costs.      
  
The  Department  of  Corrections  reports  that  the  average  daily  per  capita  cost  of  a  medium  
security  private  prison  bed  in  2010  was  $53.02.31    For  2,000  beds,  that  adds  up  to  $106,040  
per  day,  or  $38,704,600  per  year.    This  is  an  extremely  conservative  estimate,  as  per  diems  
generally  increase  every  year.  
  
The  average  adjusted  per  capita  daily  cost  of  a  maximum  security  bed  (excluding  complex  
detention  and  minors  units)  was  $54.60.    Multiplied  by  500  beds,  the  new  maximum  secu-­‐‑
rity  unit  would  cost  a  minimum  of  $9,964,956  per  year.    Again,  this  is  a  very  conservative  
estimate,  based  on  what  are  now  outdated  cost  assessments.      
  
The  ADC  budget  was  over  $1  billion  in  2011.    In  a  year  of  drastic  spending  cuts  to  health  
care,   social   services,   and   education,   ADC   was   the   only   state   agency   whose   budget   was  
increased—by   10%.      ADC   consumes   over   11%   of   the   state’s   General   Fund,   more   than  
                                                                                                                
  ADC,  Notification  letter,  intent  to  contract  for  5000  bed  private  prison  facility,  July  14,  2011;  
http://www.azcorrections.gov/adc/divisions/adminservices/5000bedPrivPrisonNotifLetters.pdf  
28

Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  “5,000  bed  RFP  timeline,  7/26/2011;    
http://www.azcorrections.gov/adc/divisions/adminservices/5000bedrfptimelineREV5_072611.pdf    
29

  “Corrections  ends  plans  for  private  prisons  to  house  5,000  inmates,”  Arizona  Capitol  Times,  De-­‐‑
cember  2,  2011  
30

  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  FY2010  Operating  Per  Capita  Cost  Report,  April  13,  2011  

31

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higher  education.    More  and  more,  Arizonans  are  beginning  to  re-­‐‑evaluate  their  priorities,  
and   question   whether   these   priorities   are   shared   by   the   representatives   who   write   the  
state  budget.  

Arizona’s Cost Comparison Study
While  some  supporters  of  private  prisons  are  motivated  by  an  ideological  belief  in  privat-­‐‑
ization   of   any   and   all   government   services,   most   genuinely   believe   that   private   prisons  
will  save  the  state  money.    However,  solid  proof  of  the  cost  effectiveness  of  correctional  
privatization  has  yet  to  be  provided  by  any  reliable,  large-­‐‑scale  study.    Most  governmen-­‐‑
tal   reports   on   cost   effectiveness   have   concluded   that   the   results   are   mixed   at   best.      The  
first  such  report  was  produced  by  the  US  General  Accounting  Office  in  1996,  and  was  a  
review   of   existing   studies   on   cost   comparisons.      The   GAO   concluded   that   these   studies  
had  major  methodological  flaws  that  made  it  impossible  to  conclude  anything  about  the  
cost  effectiveness  of  such  prisons.32  
From  2005-­‐‑2007,  the  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections  under  Director  Dora  Schriro  con-­‐‑
tracted  with  a  private  research  firm,  Maximus,  to  do  a  cost-­‐‑comparison  study  of  Arizona’s  
public   and   private   prisons.      This   was   significant   for   two   reasons:      First,   it   was   Arizona-­‐‑
specific.      Second,   it   was   an   “apples-­‐‑to-­‐‑apples”   comparison,   examining   prison   units   with  
similar  inmate  populations.      
The   Maximus   study   corrected   for   differences   in   populations   and   a   variety   of   functions  
provided  by  state  prisons  but  not  by  privately  operated  prisons.    These  include  things  like  
inmate   discharge   payments,   inmate   transportation,   kennels   for   security   dogs,   and   wild  
land   fire   crews.      Finally,   the   study   included   depreciation   of   state   prison   buildings   as   an  
expense  to  the  daily  prison  bed  costs  since  private  prisons  include  the  costs  of  financing  
and  depreciation  in  their  daily  per  diem  rates.  
When  Charles  Ryan  succeeded  Schriro  as  Director,  he  continued  the  practice  of  conduct-­‐‑
ing  cost  comparisons,  but  chose  to  do  the  research  in-­‐‑house.    The  studies  continue  to  fac-­‐‑
tor  in  those  hidden  costs  that  are  not  accounted  for  in  the  per-­‐‑diem  rates  charged  by  pri-­‐‑
vate  vendors.    The  results  across  the  last  six  years  are  consistent:    All  told,  Arizona  is  not  
saving  money  on  privatization;  in  fact  it  is  overpaying  for  these  units.  
200833  

                                                                                                                
  US  General  Accounting  Office,  Private  and  Public  Prisons:    Studies  Comparing  Operational  Costs  
and/or  Quality  of  Service  GAO/GGD-­‐‑96-­‐‑158  (Washington,  DC:GPO,  1996)  
32

  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Revised  FY2008  Operating  Per  Capita  Cost  Report,  September  
28,  2010.    http://www.azcorrections.gov/adc/reports/ADC_FY2008_PerCapitaRep.pdf    
33

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Cost   differential   per   pris-­‐‑
oner/per  year*  

Avg.   Daily   Popula-­‐‑
tion  

Savings/(Overpayment)  

Minimum    

($120.53)    

2,888  

($248,098)  

Medium  

($2,615)  

1,368  

($3,577,580)  

TOTAL  LOSS:    $3,925,768  
*Scenario  IV  

  

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

  

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200934  
  

Cost   differential   per   pris-­‐‑
oner/per  year*  

Avg.   Daily   Popula-­‐‑
tion  

Savings/(Overpayment)  

Minimum    

($84.01)    

2,962  

($248,830)  

Medium  

($2,609)  

1,334  

($3,478,918)  

TOTAL  LOSS:    $3,727,749  
*Scenario  IV  

  
201035  
  

Cost   differential   per   pris-­‐‑
oner/per  year*  

Avg.   Daily   Popula-­‐‑
tion  

Savings/(Overpayment)  

Minimum    

$10.96  

2,979  

$32,642  

Medium  

($1,680)  

1,648  

($2,768,887)  

TOTAL  LOSS:    $2,736,245  
*Only  one  cost  scenario  was  offered  in  the  Department’s  report  in  2010,  but  it  appears  to  be  closest  to  Scenario  
IV  in  the  2009  report.      

  
These   figures   demonstrate   that   the   state   overspent   on   private   prisons   by   an   average   of  
$3.5   million   every   year.      Arizona   wasted   over   $10   million   on   private   prisons   in   those  
three  years  alone.      
All  of  the  proposed  2,000  new  private  prison  beds  in  the  newly  issued  RFP  would  be  me-­‐‑
dium-­‐‑security,  which  are  much  more  expensive.    2010  ADC  cost  estimates  put  the  average  
daily  cost  of  a  medium  security  private  prison  bed  at  $53.02  per  day36.    For  2,000  beds,  that  
adds  up  to  $106,040  per  day  or  $38,704,600  per  year—$3,358,000  more  than  state  medium  
security  beds.  

                                                                                                                
  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Revised  FY2009  Operating  Per  Capita  Cost  Report,  September  
28,  2010.    http://www.azcorrections.gov/adc/reports/ADC_FY2009_PerCapitaRep_revised.pdf    
34

  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  FY2010  Operating  Per  Capita  Cost  Report,  April  13,  2011.    
http://www.azcorrections.gov/adc/reports/ADC_FY2010_PerCapitaRep.pdf    
35

  ibid  

36

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Using  the  2010  cost  figures  provided  by  the  Department,  if  the  new  prisons  are  built,  Ari-­‐‑
zonans  can  expect  to  overpay  for  private  prisons  by  at  least  $6  million  every  year.      

Who’s Doing Business In Arizona?
There  are  six  additional  private  prisons,  all  operated  by  Corrections  Corporation  of  Amer-­‐‑
ica   and   all   located   in   Pinal   County   (Florence   and   Eloy   areas).      These   are   private   prisons  
located   in   AZ,   but   which   have   no   contract   with   the   Arizona   Department   of   Corrections.    
They  typically  contract  with  the  federal  government  (Immigration,  Federal  Marshalls)  or  
other   states’   departments   of   corrections   (Alaska,   Hawaii)   to   house   their   prisoners   here.    
The   Arizona   Daily   Star,   at   the   opening   of   Red   Rock   Correctional   Center,   remarked   that  
Tennessee-­‐‑based  CCA  is  now  the  town  of  Eloy’s  largest  employer.  
1. Central  Arizona  Detention  Center,  Florence,  AZ  
Contracted  with:    US  Marshals  Service,  US  Immigration  and  Customs  Enforcement  
(ICE),  State  of  Hawaii  
2. Eloy  Detention  Center,  Eloy,  AZ  
Contracted  with:    Federal  Bureau  of  Prisons  and  ICE  
3. Florence  Correctional  Center,  Florence,  AZ  
Contracted  with:    US  Marshals  Service,  ICE,  State  of  California,  State  of  Washing-­‐‑
ton  
4. La  Palma  Correctional  Center,  Eloy  Arizona  
Contracted  with:    California  Dept.  of  Corrections  
5. Red  Rock  Correctional  Center,  Eloy,  AZ  
Contracted  with:    Prisoner  population  no  longer  listed  on  CCA  webpage.    Former-­‐‑
ly  listed  as:    State  of  Hawaii,  Alaska,  Washington.  
6. Saguaro  Correctional  Center,  Eloy,  AZ  
Contracted  with:    State  of  Hawaii  
  
Prisoner Exporter: Hawaii
From   FY   2000   to   FY   2010,   Hawaii’s   prison   population   grew   16   percent,   from   5,118   to  
5,921.  But  given  that  these  are  islands  and  real  estate  is  a  very  precious  commodity,  it  has  
been   next   to   impossible   to   approve   prison   construction.      As   a   result,   the   state   ships   its  
prisoners   to   privately-­‐‑managed   facilities   in   the   “lower   48.”      Approximately   one-­‐‑third   of  
Hawaii’s  prison  population  is  housed  in  out-­‐‑of-­‐‑state  facilities  on  the  mainland.  The  cost  of  
housing  these  offenders  out-­‐‑of-­‐‑state  was  $45  million  in  FY  2010.37  

                                                                                                                
  Hawaii  Department  of  Accounting  and  General  Services,  State  Procurement  Office.  (2011).  Con-­‐‑
tract  55331.    http://webdev5.hawaii.gov/spo2/health/contracts/index.php.  
37

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Native   Hawaiians   make   up   the   highest   percentage   of   people   incarcerated   in   out-­‐‑of-­‐‑state  
facilities.  In  2005,  of  the  6,092  people  who  were  in  state  custody,  which  includes  people  in  
jails,  29  percent  (1,780)  were  in  facilities  operated  by  other  states  or  private  companies  on  
behalf  of  states.  Of  the  people  in  out-­‐‑of-­‐‑state  facilities,  41  percent  are  Native  Hawaiian.  
Prisoner Exporter: California
In  May  of  2011,  the  US  Supreme  Court  ruled  that  overcrowded  conditions  in  California’s  
prison   system   violated   the   8th   Amendment   protections   against   cruel   and   unusual   pun-­‐‑
ishment.    The  5-­‐‑4  ruling  ordered  the  state  to  cut  its  prison  population  by  over  30,000  in-­‐‑
mates.  The  problem  is  not  new,  and  the  case  itself  was  initiated  in  1990.    For  some  time,  
the  state  had  attempted  to  relieve  overcrowding  by  sending  its  prisoners  out  of  state,  in-­‐‑
cluding  three  contracts  with  CCA  in  Arizona.    It  is  unclear  to  what  extent  this  practice  will  
increase  as  part  of  the  package  of  reforms  the  state  was  ordered  to  implement  
This  report  does  not  include  information  about  privately-­‐‑operated  county  jails,  tribal  facil-­‐‑
ities,  or  juvenile  detention  centers  in  Arizona.  
Prisoner Exporter: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
A  significant  source  of  business  for  private  prison  corporations  operating  in  Arizona  is  the  
federal   government,   particularly   the   US   Department   of   Immigration   and   Customs   En-­‐‑
forcement  (ICE).    The  ACLU  reports  that,  through  contracts  with  private  corporations  and  
local  county  jails,  ICE  detains  3,000  immigrants  on  any  given  day  in  Arizona—a  58  %  in-­‐‑
crease  over  the  last  six  years.  These  men,  women  and  children  represent  10  percent  of  the  
United  States’  detained  immigrant  population.”38    

                                                                                                                
  In  Their  Own  Words,  American  Civil  Liberties  Union  of  Arizona,  June  2011  

38

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

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Inmates	
  in	
  Private	
  Prisons	
  2000-­‐2009	
  	
  
140,000	
  
120,000	
  

State	
  
Federal	
  

100,000	
  
80,000	
  
60,000	
  
40,000	
  
20,000	
  
0	
  
2000	
  

2001	
  

2002	
  

2003	
  

2004	
  

2005	
  

2006	
  

2007	
  

2008	
  

2009	
  

Figure   6   Private   Prison   population   2000-­‐‑2009,   based   on   West,   Heather   C,.   and   William   J.   Sabol,   Sarah   J.  
Greenman,  Prisoners  2009,  appendix  table  19  http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p09.pdf  

On  the  federal  level,  private  prison  companies  control  49%  of  the  beds  used  for  immigra-­‐‑
tion  detention,  while  only  7-­‐‑8%  of  federal  criminal  detainees  are  held  in  for-­‐‑profit  prisons.  
39  
The   federal   bureau   of   Immigration   and   Customs   Enforcement   has   seen   an   incredible   in-­‐‑
crease   in   the   use   of   detention,   and   the   bulk   of   this   expansion   has   been   handled   by   con-­‐‑
tracting   with   for-­‐‑profit   prison   corporations.      The   combination   of   increased   immigration  
enforcement   by   the   federal   government   with   state-­‐‑based   measures   like   Arizona’s   infa-­‐‑
mous   SB1070   have   made   immigrant   detention   one   of   the   industry’s   most   profitable   sec-­‐‑
tors.      

                                                                                                                
  Emily  Tucker,    Detention  Watch  Network  PowerPoint  presentation  October  2011  

39

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40

There  are  a  total  of  five  long-­‐‑term  detention  centers  in  Arizona  that  are  ICE-­‐‑operated  or  
under  contract  with  ICE  to  detain  immigrants:  
•
•

•
•
•

Florence  Detention  Center  (ICE-­‐‑Operated).  717  beds,  both  men  and  women  
Pinal   County   Adult   Detention   Center,   also   known   as   the   Pinal   County   Jail.      ICE  
has  an  Inter-­‐‑Governmental  Agreement  with  Pinal  County  to  house  immigrants  in  
the  jail,  which  houses  625  male  detainees  
Eloy  Detention  Center  (CCA).    A  1,500-­‐‑bed  detention  center  for  men  and  women  
Florence  Correctional  Center  (CCA)  
Central  Arizona  Detention  Center  (CCA)41    

For  the  purposes  of  this  report,  we  will  focus  only  on  those  facilities  operated  Corrections  
Corporation  of  America  (CCA):    Eloy  Detention  Center,  Florence  Correctional  Center,  and  
Central  Arizona  Detention  Center.      
  

  

                                                                                                                
  ibid  

40

  In  Their  Own  Words,  American  Civil  Liberties  Union  of  Arizona,  June  2011    

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The Corporations
The   three   correctional   corpora-­‐‑
tions   currently   operating   in   Ari-­‐‑
zona   are   the   three   largest   in   the  
nation.      All   three   submitted   bids  
for   the   now-­‐‑canceled   RFP   to   con-­‐‑
struct   and   manage   an   additional  
5,000   prison   beds   in   Arizona,   and  
all  are  expected  to  submit  bids  for  
the  new  RFP  for  2,000  beds.  
Corrections  
Corporation  
of  
America  (CCA):    CCA  is  the  larg-­‐‑
est   private-­‐‑prison   company   in   the  
U.S.,   housing   about   80,000   federal  
and   state   prisoners   in   66   facilities  
across  19  states  and  the  District  of   Figure  7:  Sources  of  revenue  for  CCA.    From:  Gaming  the  System,  
Columbia.   A   publicly-­‐‑traded   Justice  Policy  Institute,  page  7:  http://afsc.org/document/gaming-­‐‑
company,   CCA   reported   net   in-­‐‑ system  
come   of   $157   million   on   $1.67   bil-­‐‑
lion   in   revenues   for   2010.42   It   has  
no   contracts   ADC,   but   houses  
federal  inmates  and  inmates  from  
Hawaii,   California   and   Washing-­‐‑
ton   at   six   prisons   in   Eloy   and  
Florence.  
GEO  
Group  
(formerly  
Wackenhut):      A   publicly-­‐‑traded  
company,   GEO   is   the   second  
largest  private  prison  company  in  
the   US.      It   operates   about   80,000  
prison   beds   at   116   federal,   state  
and   local   prisons   and   treatment  
facilities   in   the   U.S.   and   three  
other   countries.   On   August   12,   Figure  8  Sources  of  revenue  for  GEO.    From:  Gaming  the  System,  Jus-­‐‑
tice  Policy  Institute,  page  8:  http://afsc.org/document/gaming-­‐‑system  
2010   the   GEO   Group   acquired  
Cornell   Companies—a   for-­‐‑profit  
private  prison  company  with  revenues  over  $400  million  in  2009—in  a  merger  estimated  
                                                                                                                
  “Arizona  prison  businesses  are  big  political  contributors,”  Arizona  Republic,  September  4,  2011  

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at  $730  million.    The  acquisition  Cornell  by  GEO  signifies  a  change  in  the  landscape  of  the  
private  prison  industry  the  majority  of  private  prisons  now  under  management  of  either  
GEO  or  CCA.43    GEO  reported  $62.8  million  in  net  income  on  $1.27  billion  in  revenues  for  
its   most   recent   fiscal   year   ending   Jan.   2nd.   It   operates   three   prisons   under   contract   with  
the  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections:  the  Central  Arizona  Correctional  Facility  (medi-­‐‑
um   security)   in   Florence,   and   the   minimum-­‐‑security   Phoenix   West   and   Florence   West  
prisons.44  
Management   and   Training   Corporation   (MTC):   A   privately-­‐‑held   company,   MTC   oper-­‐‑
ates  20  prisons  in  seven  states,  with  a  capacity  of  26,000  prisoners.  It  does  not  publicly  re-­‐‑
lease   financial   data.   It   began   in   1981   operating   federal   Job   Corps   centers.   MTC   operates  
two   prisons   under   contract   with   the   Arizona   Department   of   Corrections,   a   medi-­‐‑
um/minimum  security  facility  in  Kingman  and  a  minimum-­‐‑security  facility  at  Marana.45  
Each   of   these   for-­‐‑profit   prison   corporations   has   clear   and   long-­‐‑standing   patterns   of   dis-­‐‑
turbances,   staffing   and   management   issues,   escapes,   and   other   serious   problems.   A   re-­‐‑
view   of   published   news   accounts   of   incidents   in   private   prisons   reveals   troubling   pat-­‐‑
terns.  AFSC  has  collected  news  reports  on  each  of  the  for-­‐‑profit  prison  corporations  oper-­‐‑
ating  in  Arizona  for  over  five  years.    The  patterns  are  consistent:  
•
•

•
•
•

Riots,  fights,  assaults,  and  other  disturbances  
For-­‐‑profit  prison  staff  being  investigated,  arrested,  charged,  and  convicted  of  crim-­‐‑
inal   acts   including   smuggling   drugs   and   other   contraband;   sexual   assaults   and  
sexual   relationships   with   prisoners,   including   minors;   accepting   bribes   and   pay-­‐‑
backs;  and  even  first  degree  murder.  
Escapes  as  well  as  accidental  releases  of  prisoners  through  clerical  error  
Mismanagement,  financial  impropriety,  and  labor  violations  
Negligence  and  abuse  of  prisoners.  

The  checkered  history  of  each  corporation  would  be  far  too  much  to  reproduce  in  this  re-­‐‑
port.    The  four  corporations  that  were  bidding  on  the  last  RFP  (for  5,000  beds)  in  Arizona  
were   profiled   in   a   series   of   reports   in   August   2011   in   the   Arizona   Republic46.   AFSC   has  

                                                                                                                
Justice  Policy  Institute,  Gaming  the  System:    How  the  Political  Strategies  of  Private  Prison  Com-­‐‑
panies  Promote  Ineffective  Incarceration  Policies,  June  2011  
43

  “Arizona  prison  businesses  are  big  political  contributors,”  Arizona  Republic,  September  4,  2011  

44

  “Arizona  prison  businesses  are  big  political  contributors,”  Arizona  Republic,  September  4,  2011  

45

  For  more  information  see  the  Arizona  Republic’s  series  “Price  of  Prisons”:  
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/08/08/20110808arizona-­‐‑prison-­‐‑firm-­‐‑bid-­‐‑beds.html  
46

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also   produced   “Rap   Sheets”   on   each   of   the   corporations   operating   or   bidding   for   a   con-­‐‑
tract  in  Arizona.47  

                                                                                                                
  http://afsc.org/arizon-­‐‑prison-­‐‑report  

47

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Performance Measure I: Safety and Security
Key  Findings:  
•

•

•

•
•

•

Security  assessments  for  all  Arizona  state-­‐‑contracted  private  prisons  as  well  as  one  CCA  
prison  housing  California  inmates  showed  consistent  patterns  of  serious  security  flaws,  in-­‐‑
cluding  malfunctioning  alarms,  sensors,  and  cameras  
Several  of  CCA’s  facilities  had  extremely  high  rates  of  assaults  in  2009  and  2010.    The  rate  
of  inmate  on  inmate  assaults  among  California  prisoners  in  Red  Rock  in  2010  was  101  per  
1,000  prisoners.    
AFSC  found  evidence  of  at  least  28  riots  in  private  prisons  since  2009.    The  number  of  ri-­‐‑
ots   is   likely   underreported.      AFSC   also   found   evidence   of   over   200   other   serious   disturb-­‐‑
ances   involving   groups   of   prisoners   classified   under   “refusal   to   obey,”   “tampering   with  
state  property,”  and  “obstructing  an  officer.”    Some  of  these  incidents  required  use  of  force  
and  involved  as  many  as  10,  20  and  even  50  prisoners.  
There  were  at  least  6  escapes  from  Arizona  private  prisons  in  the  past  10  years  
Out   of   over   200   documented   complaints   of   sexual   abuse   of   immigrants   in   ICE   detention  
centers  across  the  US,  16  occurred  in  Arizona.    Half  of  these  were  in  CCA’s  Eloy  Deten-­‐‑
tion  Center.  
The  Governor  of  Hawaii  pledged  to  return  the  state’s  inmates  from  out  of  state  facilities  af-­‐‑
ter  a  lawsuit  alleged  that  guards  and  even  a  warden  in  CCA’s  Saguaro  Correctional  Center  
stripped,  beat,  and  kicked  inmates  and  threatened  to  kill  them,  banged  their  heads  on  tables  
while  they  were  handcuffed,  and  threatened  to  harm  their  families.  

The  primary  purpose  of  prisons  is  to  preserve  public  safety.    But  beyond  the  immediate  
function   of   incapacitating   individuals   and   holding   them   away   from   the   rest   of   society,  
how  safe  do  these  facilities  really  make  society?  And  how  safe  are  the  facilities  themselves  
for  the  people  living  and  working  inside  them  day  after  day?    
One   measurement   of   the   safety   and   stability   of   a   prison   is   the   number   of   assaults,   riots,  
escapes,   homicides,   and   suicides   occur   each   year,   and,   to   some   degree,   the   number   of  
lawsuits  brought  against  facility  management  by  either  staff  or  prisoners.  But  some  criti-­‐‑
cal  questions  require  more  information,  like:  ‘how  safe  are  the  surrounding  communities?  
Are  the  facilities  addressing  the  underlying  issues  (i.e.  drug  and  alcohol  addiction,  mental  
illness,  lack  of  education  and  job  skills,  gang  involvement,  and  other  socio-­‐‑economic  fac-­‐‑
tors)  that  put  prisoners  and  the  community  at  risk  when  prisoners  are  released?  
The  American  Friends  Service  Committee  has  amassed  an  extensive  data  set  on  these  is-­‐‑
sues   from   a   broad   variety   of   sources,   including   public   records   requests   to   various   gov-­‐‑

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ernment  agencies,  security  inspection  reports,  the  Arizona  Auditor  General,  academic  re-­‐‑
search,   testimonies   from   prisoners   housed   in   the   facilities   themselves,   and   published  
news  accounts.    Together  they  paint  a  stark  picture  of  the  state  of  Arizona’s  prison  facili-­‐‑
ties,  public  and  private.  48  

State-Contracted Private Prison Security Assessments
In   late   July   2010,   three   prisoners   were  
able   to   get   past   locked   doors,   avoid  
surveillance  cameras,  deter  ground  and  
fence   sensors,   and   went   unnoticed   by  
guard   towers   and   ground   patrol   while  
they  cut  a  hole  in  some  perimeter  fenc-­‐‑
ing.   This   may   be   in   part   because   re-­‐‑
ports   show   that   guards   had   learned   to  
ignore   alarms   because   the   system   was  
so  faulty  and  false  alarms  so  common.49    
After   the   MTC   employees   noticed   the  
missing   inmates   during   a   headcount  
they   sounded   the   alarm   but   it   took  
them  over  an  hour  to  notify  the  Moha-­‐‑
ve   County   Sherriff’s   Office   that   these  
dangerous   men   were   at   large,   and   the  
public   was   not   notified   until   the   next  
day.  50    

My   name   is   Vivian   Haas.      I   live   in   Joplin,   Missouri.    
My   son   and   daughter-­‐‑in-­‐‑law,   Gary   and   Linda   Haas,  
were  murdered  last  year  by  convicts  who  escaped  from  
the  MTC  prison  in  Kingman.      
…  
MTC  wrote  a  letter  to  the  state  saying  it  accepted  full  
responsibility  for  the  escape.  
I'ʹve   been   through   a   lot   of   painful   times   in   82   years,  
even   surviving   a   direct   hit   by   the   terrible   Joplin   tor-­‐‑
nado  that  destroyed  my  home.    But  nothing  compares  
to   the   pain   of   having   my   kids   brutally   murdered   be-­‐‑
cause   MTC   couldn'ʹt   do   its   job   of   keeping   criminals  
locked  up.  

I  want  to  prevent  anyone  else  from  suffering  the  same  
Casslyn  Welch,  the  cousin  and  fiancé  of  
type   of   pain.      So,   I   came   here   to   urge   you   not   to   re-­‐‑
one   of   the   inmates,   was   able   to   assist  
the  three  men  in  their  escape  by  tossing   ward  MTC'ʹs  failure  to  do  its  job  by  giving  it  another  
wire   cutters   over   the   perimeter   fence.   prison  to  mismanage.  –Testimony  given  by  Vivian  Hass  at  
Welch   had   previously   been   detained   public  hearing  on  proposed  private  prison  in  San  Luis,  Ari-­‐‑
for   smuggling   heroin   into   the   prison,   zona  on  August  16,  2011.  
and   she   admitted   to   smuggling   on  
three  prior  occasions.  Welch  was  not  arrested  on  these  charges  because  she  had  agreed  to  
act  as  an  informant.51    
                                                                                                                
  http://afsc.org/arizona-­‐‑prison-­‐‑report  

48

  “Prison  chief  says  that  state  didn’t  detect  prison  flaws,”  Arizona  Republic,  8/19/10  

49

  “Arizona  cons’  escape  raises  many  questions,”  Arizona  Republic,  8/3/10  

50

  “Fugitives  accomplice  was  an  informant  before  escape,”  AP,  8/13/10  

51

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A   couple   from   Oklahoma   who   were   found   dead   and   badly   burned   in   their   camper   in  
New  Mexico  are  thought  to  have  been  murdered  by  two  of  the  fugitives  from  MTC’s  pris-­‐‑
on  while  on  the  run  from  police.52    The  Oklahoma  couple’s  survivors  are  suing  the  state  
and   the   company   for   $40   million.      The   family’s   attorney   noted   that,   "ʺthe   state   and   MTC  
had  notice  of  these  problems,"ʺ  and  charged  that  MTC  was  a  "ʺprivate  prison  company  that  
was  cutting  corners  to  make  profits."ʺ53  
The  escapes  from  the  Kingman  facility  triggered  a  series  of  investigations  and  follow-­‐‑up  
inspections.    Five  days  after  the  escape,  an  inspection  team  from  the  Department  of  Cor-­‐‑
rections   found   a   broken   alarm   system,   eight   burned-­‐‑out   perimeter   lights,   other   broken  
security  equipment,  and  new  and  undertrained  staff  and  rookie  supervisors  who  ignored  
alarms,   left   long   gaps   between   patrols   of   the   perimeter,   left   doors   leading   out   of   some  
buildings   open   and   unwatched,   didn'ʹt   alert   the   state   or   local   police   until   hours   after   the  
escape,  and  failed  in  all  manner  of  basic  security  practices.  
A  summary  of  findings  from  the  Arizona  Auditor  General  indicated  that  the  Department  
shared  some  of  the  blame  for  the  escapes:  
“…the  Department’s  monitoring  practices  prior  to  the  escapes  failed  to  identify  the  
issues  at  the  Kingman  private  prison  and  ensure  that  they  were  corrected.  For  ex-­‐‑
ample,   according   to   the   investigation,   the   Department   was   unaware   that   the  
Kingman  private  prison’s  perimeter  alarm  system  was  not  working  properly.    The  
investigation   concluded   that   the   Department’s   contract   monitor   assigned   to   the  
Kingman  private  prison  and  the  Department’s  contract  beds  bureau  operations  di-­‐‑
rector  at  the  time  both  failed  to  perform  their  duties  as  required,  and  staff  in  those  
two  positions  were  replaced  following  the  escapes.  Based  on  interviews  conducted  
during   the   investigation,   this   failure   appeared   to   result   in   part   from   inadequate  
training  and  supervision  of  department  monitoring  staff.  In  addition,  the  contract  
beds   bureau   operations   director   had   suspended   reporting   requirements   for   moni-­‐‑
toring   activities,   contrary   to   department   policy.   Moreover,   the   Department’s   an-­‐‑
nual  audit  of  the  Kingman  private  prison  conducted  in  March  2010,  4  months  pri-­‐‑
or  to  the  escapes,  did  not  report  any  of  the  security  issues  that  contributed  to  the  
escapes  and  were  identified  during  the  Department’s  subsequent  investigation.”54    
The  state’s  monitor  assigned  to  Kingman  admitted  that  in  his  14  months  in  the  position,  
he   had   never   read   the   contract   with   MTC,   was   unclear   as   to   what   was   required   of   the  
                                                                                                                
  “Arizona  prison  escapees  links  to  N.M.  killings,”  AP,  8/7/10  

52

  “Family  of  couple  killed  by  Arizona  inmates  files  lawsuit  against  state,”  Arizona  Republic,  3/18/11  

53

  Arizona  Auditor  General,  Performance  Audit,  Department  of  Corrections:    Oversight  of  Security  Op-­‐‑
erations.  Report  No.  11-­‐‑07,  September  2011.  
54

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vendor,  and  was  not  aware  of  the  malfunctioning  alarm  system.    It  was  also  revealed  that  
MTC  had  no  agreements  with  local  support  agencies  regarding  emergencies  even  though  
the  prison  had  been  in  operation  for  6  years.  
In  the  wake  of  the  escapes  from  Kingman,  the  ADC  conducted  security  audits  on  all  of  its  
prisons,  both  public  and  private;  the  results  of  these  reviews  are  sobering.    Security  flaws  
of  the  same  type  that  allowed  the  Kingman  escape  were  found  across  the  entire  Arizona  
prison  system,  according  to  records  obtained  by  The  Arizona  Republic  through  Freedom  of  
Information  requests.55  
Kingman (MTC)
In  response  to  the  problems  at  Kingman,  Corrections  Director  Ryan  sent  a  “Cure  Notice”  
to  MTC,  dated  December  29,  2010,  details  a  litany  of  problems  with  the  facility’s  security  
that   had   not   been   adequately   addressed   months   after   the   escapes.   The   notice   includes  
several  items  of  ongoing  concern:      
1. Inmates   continuously   observed   not   in   compliance   with   required   wearing   of   ID  
cards  
2. Poor   communication   routinely   reported   by   inmate   population   which   have   con-­‐‑
tributed  to  inmate  groupings  
3. Briefings  are  not  occurring  for  all  staff,  “phone  tree”  briefings  occur  intermittently  
and  are  not  available  to  all  staff  
4. Inmate   housing   areas   are   continuously   observed   to   contain   unauthorized   items  
and  excess  hobby  craft  and  inmates  observed  laying  in  bed  under  sheets  and  blan-­‐‑
kets  passed  07:30  HRS  
5. Assigned  perimeter  officers  remain  unfamiliar  with  proper  escape  response/use  of  
force  protocols.    No  training  program  for  case  managers.  
6. Dirt  piles  in  no  man’s  land,  excess  weed  growth  in  inner  perimeter,  inner  perime-­‐‑
ter  hard  packed  and  perimeter  soil  erosion  observed.  
7. Relevant  Post  Orders  are  not  inclusive  of  perimeter  response  protocols  
8. Security  challenge  on  outer  perimeter  routinely  missed  by  assigned  Perimeter  Pa-­‐‑
trol  Officers.  
9. Perimeter   Post   Orders   contain   no   information   regarding   escape   response   proto-­‐‑
cols.  
10. Perimeter  lighting  in  Zone  9  was  observed  malfunctioning  
11. Inmates   continue   to   be   observed   unescorted   in   no   man’s   land.      Ice   freezers   are  
stored  in  no  man’s  land.  
                                                                                                                
  “Security  lapses  found  at  all  of  Arizona’s  prisons,”  Arizona  Republic,  June  26,  2011.    The  Repub-­‐‑
lic  has  posted  many  of  the  documents  online:    http://azdatapages.com/datacenter/security-­‐‑lapses-­‐‑
in-­‐‑AZ-­‐‑prisons.html    
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12. External  inmate  movement  not  entered  into  AIMS.    No  procedure  in  place  for  “red  
lining  of  beds,”  Proper  signatures  missing  on  Out  Count  Forms,  Shift  Commander  
not   consistently   clearing   count,   and   signing   count   sheets,   rather   cleared   by   Ac-­‐‑
countability  Officer.    Shift  Commanders  inconsistent.  
13. Inmates   observed   secured   in   runs   not   assigned   to   them   after   meal   turn   outs   and  
requesting  release  from  respective  runs  at  count  time  in  order  to  return  to  assigned  
runs.    Uncontrolled  inmate  movement  occurring  during  counts.  
14. Staff   food   items   and   property   entering   the   facility   are   not   consistently   inspected.    
Increased  rate  of  occurrence  during  high  traffic  periods/shift  change.  
15. Random  pat  searching  seldom  observed.  
16. Emergency   keys   stored   at   complex   were   only   labeled   as   “D,”   with   no   additional  
designation   or   number.      Exterior/yard   gates   are   not   labeled   with   a   specific   color  
code  for  Emergency  Key  use.    Hot  Boxes  contained  key  sets  in  excess  of  the  num-­‐‑
ber  of  hooks  available  in  the  box.  
17. Officers  are  not  consistent  in  with  logging  Security  Device  Inspections  on  their  dai-­‐‑
ly  post  longs/journals.  
18. Lack  of  consistent  enforcement  of  Department  Order  (policy)  704—Inmate  Regula-­‐‑
tions  
19. Hanging  metal  file  folders  within  units  
20. Though   enhancements   are   complete   for   Hualapai   Sweat   Lodge,   Cerbat   remains  
without  a  Sweat  Lodge.  
21. Fence   ties   at   base   of   Hualapai   Detention   enclosure,   officer’s   station   in   detention  
and  property  storage  enclosure  in  detention  need  to  be  properly  marked.  
22. Staff  assigned  to  Detention  unit  are  routinely  observed  not  wearing  personal  pro-­‐‑
tection  equipment  and  have  been  observed  opening  doors  without  a  second  officer  
present.  
23. Tools  not  properly  shadowed.    Tool  check  out  forms  not  maintained  in  unit  for  30  
days.    Inaccurate  inventory  of  Main  Control  toolbox  at  Hualapai  Unit…Master  tool  
inventories   not   in   place.      Inmates   in   Cerbat   were   observed   using   Class   A   tools  
without   supervision.      Proper   tool   check   in   and   out   protocols   not   occurring   with  
Class  B  tools  (spade  shovels  and  wheelbarrows).    Tool  inventories  did  not  match  
check  out  log.    Inconsistent  accounting  of  tools  begin/ending  of  shift.  
24. Awnings  in  inmate  accessible  areas  lend  themselves  to  potential  breach  points.  
25. Journal   entries   annotating   Security   Device   Inspections   are   inconsistent.      Security  
Device   tracking   and   logging   is   inconsistent   and   items   remain   open   for   extended  
periods.      As   exemplified   the   week   of   12/06/2010   when   a   malfunctioning   security  
gate  at  Cerbat  unit  was  not  repaired  for  3  days.  
26. Food  service  not  consistently  adhering  to  food  safety,  health,  sanitation  and  securi-­‐‑
ty  requirements.  
27. Fire  detection  and  suppression  system  in  trouble/silence  mode.  
28. Staff  not  logging  seals  on  weapons  at  beginning  and  ending  of  shift.    Information  
reports/journal  entries  are  not  occurring  at  time  of  seal  breakage.  

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29. Damaged  and  potentially  inoperable  ammunition  was  discovered  in  service  on  pe-­‐‑
rimeter  patrols  
30. Inventories  found  to  be  inaccurate  regarding  weapons  and  munitions  present.    No  
evidence  of  monthly  inventories  occurring  by  Chief  of  Security.    Proper  form  utili-­‐‑
zation  for  signing  out  weapons  not  in  place.56  
Marana (MTC):
Inspectors  in  2010  noted  broken  monitors,  a  control-­‐‑room  panel  that  didn'ʹt  work,  missing  
perimeter  lights,  missing  razor  wire,  and  missing  visitor  passes.  The  inspection  was  con-­‐‑
ducted   in   August,   and   found   that   Marana'ʹs   swamp   coolers   weren'ʹt   working,   making   it  
hotter  inside  the  prison  buildings  than  outside:  
“All  inmate  living  areas  and  line  were  extremely  warm  and  humid.  The  tempera-­‐‑
ture  felt  to  be  above  normal  threshold  for  this  time  of  the  year.  Many  of  the  swamp  
coolers   were   not   blowing   air.   Inmates   were   very   vocal   about   the   heat.   All   audit  
team   members   were   keenly   aware   the   temperature   was   extremely   uncomfortable  
beyond  expected  levels.  In  discussions  with  the  inmates  this  was  the  predominant  
issue   raised.…   It   was   noted   that   it   was   cooler   outside   than   in   the   buildings.   The  
blowers   were   not   blowing   cool   air   through   the   buildings.   Advised   Warden   Royal  
and  DW  Foley  of  the  concerns  and  was  advised  maintenance  was  working  on  the  
coolers  at  the  time”57  
While  some  people  may  not  care  much  about  the  comfort  of  prisoners,  there  are  reasons  
beyond   the   violation   of   basic   human   rights   that   should   be   of   concern   to   all   Arizonans.    
When  human  beings  are  uncomfortably  hot  in  tight  living  conditions  for  long  stretches  of  
time,  conflicts  inevitably  erupt.    These  conditions  decrease  the  overall  safety  and  security  
of  a  prison  unit  and  make  it  harder  for  guards  to  do  their  jobs  safely.    Hot,  humid  condi-­‐‑
tions  in  overcrowded  facilities  can  also  lead  to  mold  infestations  and  disease  break-­‐‑outs,  
which   pose   a   general   risk   to   public   health.      Prison   disturbances   requiring   local   law   en-­‐‑
forcement   intervention   and   increased   need   for   and   medical   care   also   come   with   an   in-­‐‑
creased  price  tag  for  taxpayers,  not  to  mention  costly  lawsuits  over  prison  conditions.  
Other  findings  from  the  2010  security  inspection  include:  
1. Unit  sanitation  was  poor.    No  inmates  were  observed  cleaning,  inmate  clothing  was  in  
common  areas  and  on  the  recreation  field.  
2. Rugs  were  used  by  prisoners  to  prop  doors  open  
                                                                                                                
  Charles  Ryan,  Cure  Notice  to  MTC.    Memo  dated  December  29,  2010.  

56

Shelly  Sonberg,  Memo  to  Robert  Patton,  “Security  Assessment—MTC:    Marana  and  GEO:    Phoe-­‐‑
nix  West,  Florence  West,  and  CACF.”    September  22,  2011  
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3. Kitchen  sanitation  was  substandard.    Inspectors  stated  that  it  likely  would  have  failed  
a  state  inspection  
4. The  Control  Room  did  not  have  bars  or  barriers  other  than  plexiglass,  making  it  easy  
for  inmates  to  gain  access  during  a  disturbance  
5. Weapons  material  was  observed  throughout  the  unit,  including  broken  pieces  of  plex-­‐‑
iglass;   brooms,   mops,   and   squeegees   left   in   living   units   and   bathrooms;   and   an   8-­‐‑ft  
hose  
6. The   camera   system   does   not   have   any   recording   capability.      The   monitors   for   two  
housing  units  were  down  
7. Doors  were  not  secured  in  a  consistent  manner  
8. The  facility  does  not  have  an  alarm  zone  system  and  the  perimeter  lighting  is  not  mo-­‐‑
tion-­‐‑sensored  
9. The  control  room  door  indicator  panel  was  not  functioning  properly.    Multiple  doors  
show  up  as  being  constantly  unsecured.    Staff  do  not  check  the  doors  as  it  has  become  
common  knowledge  that  the  panels  are  not  working.    The  Chief  of  Security  acknowl-­‐‑
edged   that   they   had   been   broken   for   several   months.      Management   staff   stated   they  
had  not  been  replaced  “due  to  fiscal  reasons.”  
10. The  sand  traps  are  hard  packed  and  do  not  reveal  footprints  
11. Perimeter  lighting  is  inadequate,  which  hinders  the  visibility  of  the  functioning  cam-­‐‑
eras  
12. The   sally   port   has   several   areas   that   can   be   breached   with   little   effort   and   minimal  
contact  with  razor  wire.    There  are  railings  on  the  fence  that  can  be  used  as  ladders.  
13. The  roof  of  the  administration  building  toward  the  sally  port  has  hand  railing  above  a  
wall   ladder   with   a   tunnel   trap   installed.      This   is   adjacent   to   a   door   awning   which  
could   be   used   to   climb   the   roof.      The   handle   can   be   used   to   reach   the   hand   rail   as   a  
pull-­‐‑up  bar.    No  razor  wire  is  present  on  the  roof  in  this  area.  
14. Actual  weapon  inventory  is  not  conducted  per  policy  
15. Staff  were  not  searched  consistently  when  entering  or  leaving  the  prison  
16. The  metal  detector  was  set  on  silent  
17. Visitor  pass  inventory  was  inaccurate—5  passes  were  missing58  
When   the   state   went   back   seven   months   later,   MTC   still   hadn’t   fixed   the   control   room  
panel,  security  cameras,  or  the  doors  and  windows,  despite  promises  that  they  would.59    
GEO Group Prisons
At  the  three  GEO  prisons  -­‐‑   Florence  West,  Phoenix  West  and  the  Central  Arizona  Correc-­‐‑
tional   Facility   -­‐‑   Corrections   Department   inspectors   found   such   issues   as   inmates   having  
                                                                                                                
  Shelly  Sonberg,  Security  Assessment—MTC:    Marana  and  GEO:    Phoenix  West,  Florence  West,  and  
CACF,  memo  to  Robert  Patton,  September  22,  2011  
58

  “2010  escape  at  Kingman  an  issue  for  MTC’s  bid,”  Arizona  Republic,  8/11/11  

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access  to  a  control  panel  that  could  open  emergency  exits;  an  alarm  system  that  didn'ʹt  ring  
properly   when   doors   were   opened   or   left   ajar;   and   that   staff   didn'ʹt   carry   out   such   basic  
security   practices   as   searching   commissary   trucks   and   drivers,   among   many   other   fail-­‐‑
ures.      
Florence West
The  Florence  West  inspection  noted:  
1. Lacked  administrative  review  and  follow  up  for  security  device  tracking.    The  assess-­‐‑
ment  noted  that  11  security  device  deficiencies  that  required  work  orders  were  not  re-­‐‑
ported  in  the  log.  
2. Inmates   in   detention   status   were   allowed   to   recreate   freely   with   the   door   open   be-­‐‑
tween   the   detention   pod   and   the   recreation   enclosure.      The   inmates’   cell   doors   re-­‐‑
mained  open  during  this  period.  
3. Inmates  were  allowed  in  the  Housing  Officer  Work  Station,  where  a  control  panel  that  
opens  the  emergency  doors  was  not  disabled  while  the  prisoners  were  present.      
4. The   sand   traps   lack   a   consistent   degree   of   attention.      In   some   areas,   the   dirt   is   hard  
packed  and  does  not  show  footprints  
5. Routine  inventories  of  the  weapons  in  the  armory  were  not  being  conducted  as  often  
as   required   by   ADC   policy,   and   the   inventories   were   outdated,   some   dating   back   to  
January  or  April  2008.      
6. Searches  of  staff  entering  and  leaving  the  facility  were  not  up  to  par.    Staff  lacked  con-­‐‑
trol   of   the   area,   boots   were   not   checked   if   removed   to   clear   the   scanner,   not   all   cell  
phones   were   checked   to   ensure   they   were   state   issue,   and   the   process   was   not   orga-­‐‑
nized  at  all.      
7. Searches  of  prisoners’  cells  were  not  conducted  in  a  systematic  or  consistent  fashion.    
Inmates  were  not  searched  prior  to  their  living  area  being  searched.    Televisions  were  
not  searched  and  most  of  the  clothing  items  were  merely  squeezed  and  set  aside.    The  
bunks  themselves  were  not  checked  for  any  tampering  or  examined  at  all.  
8. There  were  no  pat  searches  being  conducted,  nor  was  there  evidence  of  any  searches  
of  the  common  areas  
9. The  emergency  response  plan  does  not  meet  ADC  requirements60  
Central Arizona Correctional Facility
The  Central  Arizona  Correctional  Facility  inspection  noted:  
1. There  were  several  doors  that,  once  opened  could  not  be  reset  to  display  secure  
2. There   was   a   huge   pile   of   wood   behind   a   building   that   could   be   used   to   cover   foot  
prints  
                                                                                                                
  Shelly  Sonberg,  Security  Assessment—MTC:    Marana  and  GEO:    Phoenix  West,  Florence  West,  and  
CACF,    memo  to  Robert  Patton,    September  22,  2011  
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3. During  busy  shift  changes,  the  officer  in  charge  of  security  checks  lost  control  of  who  
had  cleared  and  who  had  not  cleared  the  inspection.    Staff  were  not  consistently  asked  
to  take  their  boots  off  if  they  could  not  clear  the  scanner.    The  officer  did  not  always  
check  the  boots,  even  if  the  guards  did  remove  them  
4. Tools  and  other  sharp  objects  were  not  being  logged  appropriately61  
Phoenix West
The  Phoenix  West  inspection  noted:  
1. Metal  detectors  at  unit  ingress  and  work  crew  return  are  set  too  high,  requiring  staff  
and  inmates  to  be  scanned  with  a  wand.    Staff  are  not  patted  down  if  the  wand  goes  
off  over  a  zipper.  
2. There  were  no  bars  or  barriers  other  than  plexiglass  in  the  control  room  windows  that  
would  prevent  prisoners  from  gaining  access  during  an  incident.  
3. Potential   weapons   material   was   found   adjacent   to   the   recreation   yard.      A   ladder   se-­‐‑
cured   by   a   padlock   in   this   area   could   be   propped   against   the   building   providing   ac-­‐‑
cess  to  the  roof  of  the  recreation  field  entrance  adjacent  to  the  perimeter  fence.  
4. There  were  approximately  75  beams  measuring  8’X2”X4”  on  the  recreation  field  that  
could  be  uprooted  and  used  in  a  disturbance  or  as  escape  material  
5. There  was  an  unsecured  manhole  on  the  recreation  field  that  drops  down  12  feet  into  
a  dry  well  
6. The  facility  does  not  have  an  alarm  zone  system  and  the  perimeter  lighting  is  not  mo-­‐‑
tion-­‐‑sensor  
7. When  emergency  doors  are  opened  in  the  inmate  housing  areas,  a  light  goes  on  in  the  
control  room,  but  there  is  no  alarm  that  sounds  
8. The   inspectors   conducted   a   “perimeter   challenge”   by   placing   an   orange   shirt   on   the  
perimeter  fence.    The  shirt  was  seen,  but  the  officer  failed  to  immediately  activate  ICS  
and  the  supervisor  failed  to  direct  him  over  the  radio  upon  briefing  of  observation  and  
halt  all  unit  traffic.  
9. Razor  wire  was  stretched  beyond  recommended  installation,  reducing  effectiveness  
10. Trash  receptacles  were  kept  too  close  to  the  fence  line  and  could  be  used  to  allow  in-­‐‑
mates  to  breach  the  fence.  
11. The  facility  does  not  have  a  separate  recreation  yard  for  inmates  in  detention.    Instead,  
they   recreate   on   the   large   outdoor   recreation   field.      This   creates   a   staff   and   inmate  
safety   issue   with   Level   5   inmates   being   escorted   out,   unrestrained,   then   placed   back  
into  restraints  without  barriers.    It  also  creates  an  escape  risk,  which  Level  5  inmates  
being  unsecured  at  night  on  a  large  recreation  field.  
                                                                                                                
  Shelly  Sonberg,  Security  Assessment—MTC:    Marana  and  GEO:    Phoenix  West,  Florence  West,  and  
CACF,    memo  to  Robert  Patton,    September  22,  2011  
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12. Staff   searches   upon   entering   the   prison   were   inconsistent.      Inspectors   were   able   to  
bring  contraband  in  without  it  being  searched.  
13. A  gate  was  able  to  be  breached  with  a  comb  due  to  the  space  between  the  striker  plate  
and  lock  
14. A  commissary  truck  was  allowed  in  without  search  of  the  truck  or  driver.    The  driver  
was   in   contact   with   inmate   workers   unloading   the   vehicle,   allowing   for   potential   in-­‐‑
troduction  of  contraband.  
15. There   was   no   check   or   balance   system   for   tool   accountability.      In   a   “security   chal-­‐‑
lenge,”  inspectors  removed  a  box  cutter  and  it  was  not  noted  as  missing.62    
Auditor General’s Report, 2011
In  response  to  criticism  on  its  lax  oversight  over  the  Kingman  prison  and  concern  over  the  
safety  lapses  in  the  state’s  other  private  prisons  detailed  above,  the  Department  of  Correc-­‐‑
tions  instituted  a  new  system  of  inspection  called  the  Green-­‐‑Amber-­‐‑Red  (GAR)  in  January  
of  2011.    The  Auditor  General  explains:  
“The  GAR  is  essentially  a  monitoring  checklist  that,  through  June  2011,  consisted  of  220  
performance  measures  grouped  under  16  operational  areas  called  “competencies...  Through  
June  2011,  department  monitoring  staff  were  required  to  assess  compliance  with  each  per-­‐‑
formance  measure  at  least  once  per  month  ...  In  July  2011,  the  Department  expanded  the  
GAR   tool   by   adding   another   19   competencies,   each   containing   4   to   5   performance  
measures.  These  additional  competencies  include  areas  related  to  security  and  safety  such  
as   security   staffing,   inmate   classification,   inmate   behavior   control,   security   incident   re-­‐‑
porting,  and  additional  performance  measures  related  to  inmate  regulations.”63  
The  GAR  uses  a  color-­‐‑coded  reporting  system:  
Green  means  the  prison  is  in  compliance  
Amber  “indicates  minor  issues  that  require  corrective  action.  Amber  findings  result  in  
notification  to  the  prison  warden  and  deputy  warden.”  
Red   means   there   are   “threats   to   life   and   safety   that   require   immediate   corrective   ac-­‐‑
tion.”  Red  findings  trigger  notification  of  the  warden  and  deputy  warden,  as  well  as  
the   Department’s   regional   operations   director,   offender   operations   division   director,  
and/or  director  depending  on  the  performance  measure.64  

•
•
•

                                                                                                                
  Shelly  Sonberg,  Security  Assessment—MTC:    Marana  and  GEO:    Phoenix  West,  Florence  West,  and  
CACF,    memo  to  Robert  Patton,    September  22,  2011  
62

  Office  of  the  Auditor  General,  Performance  Audit,  “Department  of  Corrections:    Oversight  of  Security  
Operations.”  September  2011.    Report  No.  11-­‐‑07;  http://afsc.org/document/audit-­‐‑arizona-­‐‑
department-­‐‑correction-­‐‑oversight-­‐‑security-­‐‑operations  
63

ibid  

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The  first  two  months  of  GAR  inspections  results  were  reviewed  by  the  state  Auditor  Gen-­‐‑
eral  in  September  of  2011.  The  inspections  resulted  in  a  total  of  157  findings  of  fault.  
These  findings  included  the  failure  to  properly  search  the  personal  property  or  verify  the  
identity  of  persons  entering  the  prison  unit,  to  store  tools,  to  inventory  keys,  to  document  
security   device   inspections,   and   to   ensure   inoperative   security   devices   are   repaired   in   a  
timely  manner.    
For   example,   at   one   private   prison,   contract   monitoring   staff   reported   that   the   control  
room   panel   indicator   lights,   which   indicate   whether   inmate   doors   leading   to   the   recrea-­‐‑
tion  yard  are  unsecure  or  ajar,  had  been  nonfunctional  for  several  months.  At  another  pri-­‐‑
vate  prison,  contract  monitoring  staff  reported  that  work  crew  supervisors  coming  to  pick  
up  inmates  routinely  gained  access  through  gates  prior  to  any  staff  member  checking  the  
identity  of  the  drivers  or  searching  their  vehicles.  At  a  third  private  prison,  contract  moni-­‐‑
toring  staff  reported  that  private  prison  staff  were  not  thoroughly  pat  searching  inmates,  a  
procedure  used  to  detect  hidden  contraband.65    

                                                                                                                
  ibid  

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Figure  9:  GAR  Findings  in  Arizona  Private  Prisons  February  and  March  2011.    From    Arizona  Auditor  Gen-­‐‑
eral,  Performance  Audit,  “Department  of  Corrections:    Oversight  of  Security  Operations.”    
http://afsc.org/document/audit-­‐‑arizona-­‐‑department-­‐‑correction-­‐‑oversight-­‐‑security-­‐‑operations  

It  is  sobering  to  think  that,  over  a  year  after  the  horrific  escapes  from  the  Kingman  prison,  
the  same  chronic  security  problems  are  still  prevalent  in  the  state’s  private  prisons.    While  
it  is  logical  that  the  problems  requiring  additional  staff  training  would  take  some  time  to  
correct,  it  is  puzzling  how  an  issue  as  obvious  as  fixing  a  control  panel  or  malfunctioning  
alarm  system  would  take  so  long  to  rectify.      

Security Assessments of CCA Facilities
California
The  only  security  assessment  information  AFSC  was  able  to  obtain  on  the  private  prisons  
that  are  located  in  Arizona  but  not  under  contract  with  the  state  was  from  the  state  of  Cal-­‐‑
ifornia.      During   December   2010,   California'ʹs   Inspector   General   found   serious   security  
flaws  and  improper  treatment  of  California  inmates  held  in  three  CCA  prisons  in  Arizona  
–   the   La   Palma,   Red   Rock,   and   Florence   Correctional   Centers.      Inspectors   found   flaws  
with  the  incident  alarm-­‐‑response  systems  at  the  three  prisons  because  there  was  no  audi-­‐‑
ble   alarm.   La   Palma   and   Florence   were   found   to   have   malfunctioning   and   out-­‐‑of-­‐‑focus  
security  cameras.  
The  inspectors  raised  concerns  over  poor  security  practices,  noting  that  inmates  were  able  
to  easily  get  around  metal  detectors  at  La  Palma  because  CCA  didn'ʹt  have  adequate  staff  
on   hand   when   it   was   moving   inmates.      Many   inmates   at   Red   Rock   had   no   ID   cards,   or  
damaged  ID  cards,  which  makes  it  more  difficult  for  officers  to  identify  when  a  prisoner  is  
missing.    At  all  three  prisons,  inmates  had  unsupervised  access  to  secure  areas.  
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At   Florence,   cell   searches   weren'ʹt   well-­‐‑documented.   And   at   Red   Rock,   inspectors   found  
no  evidence  that  31  significant  incidents  from  January  to  May  2010  were  investigated  for  
wrongdoing.      Procedures   governing   the   proper   storage   of   evidence   for   investigations  
were  not  being  followed.  
The   report   also   states   that   “[California   Department   of   Corrections   and   Rehabilitation  
(CDCR)]  has  never  approved  of  CCA’s  use-­‐‑of-­‐‑force  policy,  even  though  the  contract  terms  
require  the  policy’s  approval  prior  to  inmate  occupancy.”    As  a  result,  CCA  guards  may  
not  be  trained  in  the  proper  procedures  for  handling  serious  incidents.    CCA  currently  has  
no   CDCR-­‐‑approved   policy   for   whether   guards   in   the   perimeter   towers   can   use   deadly  
force  in  the  event  of  a  riot.        
Inspectors  also  flagged  the  possibility  that  security  level  IV  prisoners  may  be  held  in  out-­‐‑
of-­‐‑state   facilities,   a   possible   violation   of   the   California   Code   of   Regulations,   which   man-­‐‑
dates   that   only   inmates   in   levels   I-­‐‑III   be   sent   out   of   state.      Inspectors   further   noted   that  
“CCA   facilities   do   not   meet   the   California   Code   of   Regulation’s   Level   IV   security   re-­‐‑
quirements  for  internal  armed  coverage.”66  

Assaults: Inmate-on-Inmate

One   important   measurement   of   the   security   of   a   facility   is   the   rate   of   prisoner   assaults.    
While  most  people  think  about  prisons  in  relationship  to  public  safety,  they  are  also  con-­‐‑
stitutionally  bound  to  preserve  the  health  and  safety  of  the  prisoners  themselves  and  the  
staff   working   in   them.      While   some   Arizonans   may   not   be   particularly   concerned   about  
prisoner  rights  or  prison  conditions,  prisoner  assaults  should  be  of  concern  to  the  public  
because  of  what  they  say  about  a  prison  operators  ability  to  maintain  control  of  its  facility,  
which  certainly  can  have  implications  for  the  surrounding  community.        
A  high  rate  of  assaults  may  indicate  deeper  systemic  problems:    
Some  prisoners  are  improperly  classified  (higher  or  lower  security  scores  than  ap-­‐‑
propriate)  
2. The   prison   operator   is   ignoring   or   unaware   of   issues   that   create   friction   between  
prisoners  or  groups  of  prisoners  (gang  affiliations,  race  conflict  etc.)  
3. The  prisoners  do  not  have  enough  positive  rehabilitative  programming  (work,  ed-­‐‑
ucation,  treatment)  and  too  much  idle  time  
4. Prison  staff  are  not  effectively  working  to  diffuse  prisoner  conflicts  before  they  es-­‐‑
calate  to  violence,  possibly  due  to  a  lack  of  training,  experience,  or  motivation  to  
become   involved   at   potential   risk   to   themselves.      AFSC   found   evidence   of   all   of  
these  problems  in  its  research  for  this  report.    
                                                                                                                
1.

David  R.  Shaw,  Inspector  General,  Out-­‐‑Of-­‐‑State  Facility  Inspection  Results.    Enclosure—OIG  Areas  
of  Concern  with  CDCR  Out-­‐‑of-­‐‑State  Facilities.    December  2,  2010  
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Inmate Assaults in Arizona Public Prisons and Privately Operated State Prisons
The   number   of   assaults   and   fights   across   ADC   prisons   (including   private   prisons   under  
contract  with  ADC)  went  from  381  in  2005  to  1,478  in  2011.    It  rose  gradually  from  2005-­‐‑
2009,  but  there  was  a  dramatic  spike  from  2009-­‐‑2011.    The  number  went  from  778  in  2009  
to  1,335  in  2010  and  1,478  in  2011—a  rate  of  36.85  per  1,000  prisoners.      
During  the  same  period  there  was  only  a  gradual  increase  in  the  prisoner  population;  the  
assaults   increased   despite   a   corresponding   increase   in   the   number   of   correctional   offic-­‐‑
ers.67      
In  its  response  to  AFSC’s  information  request,  the  Department  of  Corrections  did  not  pro-­‐‑
vide   assault   data   organized   by   prison   complex   or   unit.   However,   the   recently   released  
Biennial  Comparison  Review  includes  some  data  that  reflect  the  rate  of  assaults  in  Arizo-­‐‑
na’s  contracted  private  facilities.      
Correctional  Operations  Data  2010-­‐‑201168  
    

GEO  Group  

MTC  

    

CACF   Phx.  West   Flo.  West  

Hualapai   Marana   Cerbat*     Total  

Inmate  on  Inmate  Assaults  

5  

2  

9  

43  

4  

9  

72  

Assaults  per  1,000  inmates  

3.9  

4  

12  

28.51  

8  

5.7  

    

Assault  on  staff  

1  

0  

1  

23  

2  

4  

31  

Assaults  per  1,000  inmates  

0.78  

0  

1.33  

15.25  

4  

2.53  

    

    

    

    

    

    

  103  

Total  assaults  
*Data  available  for  2011  only     

  
Perhaps  unsurprisingly,  the  troubled  Hualapai  unit  at  the  Kingman  prison  had  an  unusu-­‐‑
ally   high   rate   of   assaults   on   both   prisoners   and   staff.      This   unit   was   beset   by   a   series   of  
disturbances  and  riots  in  2010,  and  was  the  site  of  the  infamous  escape  of  three  prisoners  
in  2010.    However,  the  rate  of  inmate  on  inmate  assaults  at  Florence  West  was  also  notably  
high.  
ADC  also  saw  an  alarming  rise  in  homicides  during  this  period.    Out  of  a  total  of  sixteen  
murders  between  2007  and  September  of  2011,  four  occurred  in  2009  and  five  in  2010.    Da-­‐‑
ta  provided  by  the  Department  of  Corrections  in  response  to  a  public  information  request  
reveals   that   the   majority   of   these   incidents   occurred   in   prison   complexes   that   contain  
                                                                                                                
  Interestingly,  2009  was  the  year  that  Chuck  Ryan,  appointed  to  be  ADC  Director  by  Jan  Brewer.  

67

  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Biennial  Comparison  of  Private  Versus  Public  Provision  of  Ser-­‐‑
vices  Required  per  A.R.S.  §  41-­‐‑1609.01,  December  21,  2011;  
http://www.azcorrections.gov/ARS41_1609_01_Biennial_Comparison_Report122111_e_v.pdf  
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units  of  the  highest  security  levels  (Eyman,  Tucson,  Lewis,  Perryville,  and  Yuma)  which  
are  all  publicly  operated.    The  highest  number  (7)  took  place  at  Lewis.      
A  review  of  the  ADC’s  Inmate  Death  Notices  on  December  11,  2011,  yielded  an  astonish-­‐‑
ing  number  of  notifications  with  similar,  vague  wording.    The  notifications  generally  state  
that   “Inmate   John   Doe,   #0000000,   was   found   unresponsive   in   his   housing   unit.      He   was  
pronounced  dead  after  medical  responders  attempted  life  saving  measures.”    The  notifica-­‐‑
tions   do   not   indicate   whether   the   death   was   a   suspected   suicide   or   homicide,   only   that  
“the  death  is  under  investigation  by  the  Department.”    Our  casual  review  yielded  9  such  
notices  since  April  26,  2011.    The  majority  of  these  incidents  occurred  in  close  and  maxi-­‐‑
mum  security  units.69  
It  is  unsurprising  that  these  high-­‐‑security  units  would  have  higher  rates  of  violence.    The-­‐‑
se  numbers  may  give  the  appearance  that  state-­‐‑run  prisons  are  less  safe  than  private  pris-­‐‑
ons.    However,  it  is  critical  to  again  note  that  the  ADC  data  only  reported  the  homicides  
by  prison  complex  (which  may  contain  units  of  all  five  security  levels)  rather  than  by  in-­‐‑
dividual  unit.    Since  private  prisons  only  accept  low  to  medium  security  prisoners,  an  ap-­‐‑
ples   to   apples   comparison   requires   knowledge   of   the   security   level   of   the   housing   unit  
where  an  assault  took  place.    Unfortunately,  the  Department  of  Corrections  failed  to  pro-­‐‑
vide  this  information  in  its  response  to  AFSC’s  public  information  request.    As  a  result,  it  
is  impossible  to  make  an  accurate  comparison.    It  is  up  to  the  Department  of  Corrections  
to  provide  this  comparison.  
That  said,  the  rate  of  homicides,  even  if  they  are  taking  place  in  maximum  security  units,  
is   deeply   concerning,   and   raises   questions   about   the   management   and   security   practices  
of   the   Department   of   Corrections.      Clearly,   further   inquiry   is   needed   to   determine   what  
contributed  to  the  spike  of  homicides  in  2010  and  to  prevent  further  bloodshed.          
Assaults in CCA Prisons In Arizona
As  noted  previously,  data  received  from  the  various  government  entities  supplying  pris-­‐‑
oners  to  CCA  prisons  in  Arizona  was  variable.    The  majority  of  it  will  be  presented  here,  
augmented  with  details  gleaned  from  press  reports  and  prisoner  correspondence.  
Assaults Among Washington State Prisoners in Arizona
The  state  of  Washington  housed  prisoners  in  four  CCA  prisons  in  Arizona  between  2006  
and  2010:      
•
•

Florence  Correctional  Center  (1,451  total  prisoners  from  2006-­‐‑2009)  
Eloy  Detention  Center  (165  prisoners  in  2006  and  135  in  2008)  

                                                                                                                
  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  News  Releases,  ADC  News  Archive  for  2010  and  2011.    
http://www.azcorrections.gov/Minh_news_gov.asp?DisplayYear=2011.  
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•
•

Red  Rock  Correctional  Facility  (788  total  prisoners  from  2007-­‐‑2010)  
Saguaro  Correctional  Facility  (236  total  prisoners  from  2008-­‐‑2010)  

Washington  provided  relatively  detailed  data  for  a  variety  of  incidents,  disturbances,  and  
infractions,   but   provided   no   definitions   or   descriptions   for   these   categories.      Below   is   a  
table  representing  the  categories  of  incident  related  to  assault.  
Washington  State  Prisoners  in  Arizona  2006-­‐‑2010  
Violation  
Aggravated  Assault/Inmate  
Possess  Weapon  
Aggravated  Assault/Staff  
Assault/Offender  
Strongarming/Intimidation  
Assault  non  hosp  assault  staff  
TOTAL  INCIDENTS  

Florence  
CC  
26  
24  
3  
5  
21  
14  
93  

Eloy  DC   Red  
Rock  
0  
4  
5  
4  
0  
2  
4  
3  
0  
9  
0  
4  
9  
26  

Saguaro  

Total  

3  
4  
0  
3  
0  
0  
10  

33  
37  
5  
15  
30  
18  
138  

  
These   numbers   reveal   a   serious   pattern   of   assaults   in   the   Florence   Correctional   Center,  
with   significantly   higher   numbers   of   aggravated   assaults,   assaults   on   staff   (both   serious  
and   “non-­‐‑hospital”),   and   incidents   of   strong-­‐‑arming   or   intimidation.      It   is   possible   that  
this  pattern  led  to  the  early  termination  of  the  contract  with  CCA  for  this  facility.      
Assaults Among Hawaiian prisoners in Arizona CCA prisons
In  2010,  Hawaii  held  1,906  prisoners  in  two  CCA  prisons  in  Arizona:    Red  Rock  Correc-­‐‑
tional   Center   and   Saguaro   Correctional   Center.      Red   Rock   and   Saguaro   were   opened   in  
2006   and   2007,   respectively.      Red   Rock   started   out   with   a   population   of   222,   which   had  
dwindled  to  56  by  2010.    Saguaro,  on  the  other  hand,  has  slightly  increased  its  population  
from  1,732  in  July  of  2007  to  1,850  in  2010.  
The  two  facilities,  despite  their  differences  in  population,  have  seen  a  roughly  equivalent  
number   of   assaults   between   2008   and   2010.      Therefore,   the   rate   of   assaults   in   Red   Rock  
was  extremely  high.  
Hawaiian  Prisoners  in  Arizona  2008-­‐‑2010  
  
Avg.  Daily  Population  
Inmate  on  Inmate  Assaults  
Rate  per  1,000  
Inmate  on  Staff  Assaults  
Rate  
Homicides  
Rate  

Red  Rock  
61  
26  
426  
7  
114.75  
0  

Saguaro  
1,851  
28  
15  
8  
4  
2  
1.08  

  
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One  of  the  two  homicides  was  a  stabbing  in  May  of  2010  by  two  inmates  who  now  face  
the   death   penalty   in   Arizona   (Hawaii   has   no   death   penalty).70      The   two   prisoners   were  
indicted  on  first  degree  murder  and  gang  related  charges.    They  are  the  first  to  face  capital  
related  charges  for  a  crime  committed  in  a  private  prison  on  the  mainland,  a  case  which  
could  be  unprecedented  in  the  nation.  
The  second  was  a  case  in  which  a  prisoner  strangled  his  cellmate  while  the  prison  was  on  
lockdown   in   June   of   2010.      The   two   killings   prompted   strong   reactions   from   Hawaii’s  
state   leaders.      State   Sen.   Will   Espero,   chairman   of   the   Senate   Public   Safety   Committee,  
said  the  two  inmate  deaths  raise  serious  questions  about  the  state'ʹs  policy  of  shipping  out  
inmates.  
"ʺMaybe   this   could   give   us   a   reason   to   pause,"ʺ   he   said,   adding   that   the   Hawaii  
team  in  Arizona  to  investigate  Medina'ʹs  death  needs  to  answer  this  question:  "ʺIs  
this  prison  unsafe,  and  are  there  some  major  security  breaches?"ʺ71  
Press  reports  of  violence  at  Red  Rock  have  been  limited.    CCA  admitted  that  in  2007  mul-­‐‑
tiple  cell  doors  accidentally  opened  on  four  occasions  at  the  new  Red  Rock  facility,  in  one  
case  resulting  in  an  incident  in  which  alleged  prison  gang  members  used  the  opportunity  
to  stab  another  prisoner  with  a  homemade  knife.72      
Assaults Among California Prisoners In Arizona
California  prisoners  are  housed  in  several  CCA  prisons  in  Arizona:    Florence  Correctional  
Center,  Red  Rock  Correctional  Center,  and  LaPalma  Correctional  Center.    Together,  these  
facilities  have  seen  fairly  high  numbers  of  assaults:  
California  Prisoners  in  Arizona  
  
2007  Inmate/Inmate  
Rate  per  1,000  
2007  Inmate/staff  
Rate  
2008  Inmate/Inmate  
Rate  
2008  Inmate/Staff  
Rate  
2009  Inmate/Inmate  

Florence  CC  
25  
65  
6  
15.7  
39  
40  
15  
15  
13  

Red  Rock    
  

La  Palma  
  

Total*  
30  

  

  

10  

6  
17  
1  
2.8  
6  

37  
31  
26  
22  
208  

85  
47  
227  

                                                                                                                
  “HI  inmates  complain  about  CCA,”  Hawaii  News  Now,  June  17,  2010  

70

  “State  to  investigate  killing  of  island  inmate  in  Arizona,”  Honolulu  Star  Advertiser,  June  15,  2010  

71

  “Arizona  prison  mistakes  trouble  Hawaii  officials,”  Honolulu  Advertiser,  7/22/07  

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Rate  
13  
2009  Inmate/Staff  
2  
Rate  
2.05  
2010  Inmate/Inmate  
6  
Rate  
9  
2010  Inmates/Staff  
2  
Rate  
3  
Total  Inmate/Inmate  Assaults:                561  
Total  Inmate/Staff  Assaults:                      147  

15.58  
56  
145.45  
101  
101.5  
26  
26  

79  
4  
.75  
112  
39  
27  
9  

62  
219  
  
55  

*Not  all  units  were  specified  in  some  California  documents.    Specific  prison  is  noted  where  known.  

Note  that  California  prisoners  in  Red  Rock  had  an  extremely  high  rate  of  assaults  against  
both  prisoners  and  staff  in  2009  and  2010.    In  2010,  California’s  prisoners  in  Red  Rock  and  
La  Palma  had  higher  rates  of  assaults  than  any  other  private  facility  population  for  which  
AFSC  has  data.    
Assaults Among ICE Detainees in CCA Prisons in Arizona
Data   from   an   Immigration   and   Customs   Enforcement   inspection   of   the   Eloy   Detention  
Center  in  2008  revealed  a  number  of  assaults  on  both  detainees  and  staff.    The  facility  is  
unusual  in  that  it  houses  both  women  (100)  and  men  (1,400).    This  unfortunately  provides  
ample  opportunity  for  sexual  abuse.      
In  2008,  the  inspection  noted  five  instances  of  sexual  assault.    The  report  indicates  that  one  
of  these  incidents  was  reported  to  local  law  enforcement,  which  declined  to  prosecute  due  
to  lack  of  evidence.    Three  others  were  dismissed  by  inspectors  as  “consensual.”  
In   that   same   year,   there   were   a   total   of   87   detainee-­‐‑on-­‐‑detainee   assaults,   6   involving  
weapons.      The   weapons   were   listed   as   “pencils,   tuna   can   lids,   and   a   shoe.”      The   report  
notes  that  “most  of  the  assaults  were  due  to  gang  activity.”    No  supporting  documenta-­‐‑
tion  to  substantiate  this  claim  was  provided.      
The  report  also  notes  that  there  were  9  detainee-­‐‑on-­‐‑staff  assaults  that  year.    “All  nine  inci-­‐‑
dents  were  of  detainees  throwing  ice,  water,  an  unknown  substance  and  one  incident  of  
feces   onto   the   officers   while   they   were   feeding   detainees   or   passing   something   through  
the   food   slot   in   the   special   management   units.”73      Special   Management   Units   are   pre-­‐‑
sumed   to   be   solitary   confinement   detention   cells.      This   “throwing”   behavior   is   not   un-­‐‑
common  in  these  units,  where  conditions  can  exacerbate  and  even  breed  mental  illness.      

                                                                                                                
  Immigration  and  Custom  Enforcement,  “Detention  Facility  Inspection  Form.”    Eloy  Detention  
Center  February  19-­‐‑21,  2008;  http://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/dfra-­‐‑ice-­‐‑
dro/eloydetentioncentereloyazfebruary19212008.pdf    
73

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Assaults: Staff on Inmate
Abuses in Arizona Public Prisons/State-Contracted Private Prisons
The  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections  did  not  provide  any  data  on  staff  assaults  against  
prisoners,  staff  misconduct  investigations,  or  lawsuits  for  either  state  or  privately  operat-­‐‑
ed  prisons  under  contract.      
Abuses in CCA Prisons in Arizona
“No  inmate  feels  safe  especially  when  some  staff  are  abusive  toward  inmates.  Some  
staff  do  not  have  common  sense  when  it  comes  to  the  safety  of  inmates.  Doors  acci-­‐‑
dentally   opening   exposing   certain   class   of   inmates   to   their   enemies.   There   were  
several   incidents   at   FCC   and   RRC   where   the   inmates   got   seriously   assaulted   or  
stabbed.”   –Hawaiian   Prisoner   at   Red   Rock   Correctional   Facility   (Operated   by  
CCA)  

Hawaiian   prisoners   sued   CCA   in   2010,   alleging   that   guards   “stripped,   beat   and   kicked  
inmates  and  threatened  to  kill  them,  banged  their  heads  on  tables  while  they  were  hand-­‐‑
cuffed,  and  "ʺthe  warden  himself"ʺ  joined  in  threatening  their  families.”    The  prisoners  say  
they  were  targeted  after  a  guard  was  seriously  injured  when  he  tried  to  break  up  a  fight  at  
the  Saguaro  Correctional  Center.74      
CCA  staff  and  administrators  allegedly  destroyed  evidence  (including  video  tape)  of  the  
beatings  and  falsified  documents  to  cover  it  up.          
The  suit  alleges  that  the  guards  and  the  warden  threatened  to  harm  them  and  their  fami-­‐‑
lies,  citing  statements  such  as:  
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)

'ʹWe  have  your  emergency  contact  information;'ʹ  
'ʹWe  know  who  your  family  is  and  where  they  live  and  we  are  going  to  harm  them;'ʹ  
'ʹWe  are  going  to  kill  you;'ʹ  
'ʹWe  will  continue  to  beat  you  and  the  only  way  to  stop  that  is  to  commit  suicide;'ʹ  
'ʹWe  will  send  you  to  hell;'ʹ  
'ʹWe  will  stick  something  up  your  ass.'ʹ75  

In  response,  the  Governor  of  Hawaii  pledged  to  remove  all  Hawaiian  prisoners  from  CCA  
facilities  in  Arizona.    The  Governor  said  of  for-­‐‑profit  incarceration:    
“It  costs  money.  It  costs  lives.  It  costs  communities…It  destroys  families.  It  is  dys-­‐‑
functional  all  the  way  around  –  socially,  economically,  politically  and  morally.”76      
                                                                                                                
  “18  Hawaii  Inmates  at  Mainland  Prison  Sue  State,”  KITV  News  4,  December  14,  2010  

74

  “Brutality  at  a  private  prison,”  Courthouse  News,  December  15,  2010  

75

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However,   the   beatings   appear   to   have   continued.      In   July   of   2011,   the   prisoners   filed   a  
new  complaint  in  federal  court  that  the  guards  at  the  CCA  prison  have  retaliated  against  
the  inmates  who  filed  the  original  suit.    The  new  complaint  states:  
“Inmates  were  told  that  if  they  did  not  provide  written  statements,  their  beatings  would  
continue.”      And,   “beatings   in   fact   continued   for   those   who   refused   to   provide   state-­‐‑
ments.”77    
Abuses in ICE Detention Facilities
An   October,   2011   report   from   the   ACLU   found   widespread   evidence   of   sexual   abuse   in  
ICE   detention   facilities   across   the   country.      Through   documents   obtained   through   Free-­‐‑
dom   of   Information   Act   requests,   the   organization   uncovered   nearly   200   official   com-­‐‑
plaints  of  sexual  abuse  since  2007.    Most  of  the  complaints  involve  allegations  of  abusive  
sexual   advances   made   by   male   detention   officers   against   female   detainees.   Instead   of  
complaints   being   focused   on   a   few   rogue   facilities   or   isolated   cases,   the   investigation  
showed  a  pattern  of  problems  that  extended  throughout  the  US.78  
The  ACLU  webpage  features  an  interactive  map  compiled  by  the  organization.    The  map  
entry  for  Arizona  shows  a  total  of  16  allegations  reported  in  facilities  in  Arizona.    Over  
half   of   them   (9)   were   generated   in   facilities   operated   by   Corrections   Corporation   of  
America.79  
Florence  Correctional  Center  (CCA):  
Pinal  County  Jail:  
Eloy  Detention  Center  (CCA):  
Florence  SPC:  

1  allegation  
6  allegations  
8  allegations  
1  allegation  

TOTAL  

16  allegations  

  

In  December  2011,  a  transgender  woman  filed  suit  against  ICE,  the  City  of  Eloy,  and  CCA  
for   sexual   abuse   she   was   subjected   to   in   CCA’s   Eloy   Detention   Center.      The   suit   alleges  
that   federal   and   local   officials   and   CCA   failed   to   protect   Guzman-­‐‑Martinez   from   sexual  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  “Abercrombie  pledges  isle  inmates'ʹ  return,”  Honolulu  Star  Advertiser,  December  16,  2010  

76

  “Private  Prison  Beatings  Continue,  Men  Say,”  Courthouse  News,  July  27,  2011  

77

  American  Civil  Liberties  Union,  “Documents  Obtained  by  ACLU  Show  Sexual  Abuse  of  Immi-­‐‑
gration  Detainees  Is  Widespread  National  Problem.”    press  release,  October  19,  2011;    
http://www.aclu.org/immigrants-­‐‑rights-­‐‑prisoners-­‐‑rights-­‐‑prisoners-­‐‑rights/documents-­‐‑obtained-­‐‑
aclu-­‐‑show-­‐‑sexual-­‐‑abuse.  
78

American  Civil  Liberties  Union,  “Sexual  Abuse  in  Immigration  Detention,”  interactive  map;    
http://www.aclu.org/maps/sexual-­‐‑abuse-­‐‑immigration-­‐‑detention-­‐‑facilities.  
79  

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abuse  and  harassment  by  staff  members  and  by  detainees  at  the  facility.    In  June  2010,  a  
CCA   guard   named   Justin   Manford   was   convicted   of   attempted   unlawful   sexual   contact  
with  her.80      

Riots
•

•
•

The  Kingman  MTC  prison  had  “13  instances  of  large  groups  of  inmates  refusing  directives  
or  chasing  MTC  staff  off  the  yard.”    In  at  least  one  of  these,  MTC  guards  refused  to  inter-­‐‑
vene  or  protect  African-­‐‑American  prisoners  who  were  being  attacked  during  a  race  riot.  
Arizona’s  contract  to  house  Arizona  inmates  CCA’s  in  New  Castle,  Indiana  was  cancelled  
in  2008  due  in  part  to  a  series  of  riots.  
Documents  provided  by  the  state  of  Washington  demonstrate  a  number  of  incidents  not  la-­‐‑
beled  as  riots,  but  which  may  indicate  serious  disturbances,  including  26  “group  demon-­‐‑
strations,”  and  5  incidents  of  prisoners  setting  fires.  

Riots in State Contracted Private Prisons
Although  the  2010  escapes  captured  headlines,  the  Kingman  prison  also  had  a  history  of  
riots  and  disturbances  dating  back  to  2005.    Corrections  Director  Ryan  noted  in  his  “Cure  
Notice”  to  MTC  that  there  had  been  “13  instances  of  large  groups  of  inmates  refusing  di-­‐‑
rectives  or  chasing  MTC  staff  off  the  yard.”81  
One  of  these  riots,  on  May  31,  2010,  was  a  race  riot  between  white  and  African-­‐‑American  
inmates   in   which   at   least   8   prisoners   were   injured.      Some   were   struck   with   padlocks  
wrapped   in   socks.82      While   prison   officials   downplayed   the   situation   as   a   “fight”   rather  
than  a  riot,  prisoners  involved  in  the  melee  later  described  in  vivid  detail  a  full-­‐‑scale  race  
riot  that  was  completely  out  of  staff  control.  
Former   Kingman   prisoners   Sharif   McPhatter   and   Dante   Gordon   testified   at   a   legislative  
hearing   on   corrections   that   during   the   riot   the   white   inmates   were   shouting,   “kill   the  
n___s!”  and  pushed  the  African  American  prisoners  (a  small  percentage  of  the  Kingman  
prison   population)   against   a   fence.      McPhatter   said   that   the   MTC   guards   were   standing  
nearby  in  full  riot  gear,  but  did  not  move  to  intervene.    When  the  African-­‐‑American  pris-­‐‑
oners  shouted  to  them  for  help,  they  were  told  “you’re  on  your  own.”   83  This  account  has  

                                                                                                                
  “Woman  alleges  abuse  in  Eloy  prison,  suing  ICE,”  Arizona  Republic,  December  8,  2011.  

80

  Charles  Ryan,  Cure  Notice  to  MTC,  memo,  December  29,  2010  

81

“Fight  at  Kingman  State  Prison  Injures  8,”  KVOA,  June  2,  2010  

82

83

Testimony  of  Sharif  McPhatter  before  the  Senate  Public  Safety  and  Human  Services  and  House  
Judiciary  Committee  of  Reference,  Tuesday,  November  22,  2011    

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been  confirmed  by  at  least  three  other  Kingman  prisoners,  and  was  reported  in  the  Tucson  
Weekly.84  
MTC’s  other  Arizona  facility  has  recently  seen  a  serious  disturbance.    As  many  as  150  in-­‐‑
mates  were  involved  in  a  brawl  at  the  Marana  Community  Correctional  Treatment  Facili-­‐‑
ty   in   February   of   2010.   The   fight   lasted   about   an   hour   before   a   20   member   tactical   unit  
helped  to  break  it  up.  Twelve  inmates  and  an  MTC  employee  were  injured.85  
While  ADC  did  not  provide  any  data  on  prisoner  riots  in  response  to  AFSC’s  information  
request,   statistics   included   in   the   Department’s   Biennial   Review   of   public   and   private  
prison  performance  are  illuminating.    The  report  breaks  up  the  data  on  disturbances  into  
several  different  categories,  not  unlike  the  statistics  from  Washington  and  California.      
•
•
•

•
•

Inmate  (I/M)  Fights:  Number  of  reported  incidents  of  fights  between  two  or  more  
inmates.  
Inmate  (I/M)  Groupings:  Number  of  reported  incidents  of  an  unauthorized  group-­‐‑
ing  by  a  substantial  number  of  inmates  acting  in  concert  for  a  common  purpose.  
Inmate  (I/M)  Management  Incidents:  Number  of  reported  incidents  of  one  or  two  
inmates  engaging  in  unauthorized  activity  or  displaying  uncooperative  or  disrup-­‐‑
tive  behavior  resulting  in  official  action  beyond  summary  sanctions,  such  as  return  
to  cell  or  order  to  disperse.  
Inmate   (I/M)   Work   Stoppage:   Number   of   reported   incidents   of   an   unauthorized  
temporary  stoppage  of  work  caused  by  one  or  more  inmates.  
Inmate   (I/M)   Disturbances:   Number   of   reported   incidents   of   collective   action   by  
three  or  more  inmates  resulting  in  official  action  beyond  summary  sanctions,  such  
as  return  to  cell  or  order  to  disperse.    

                                                                                                                
84

“For-­‐‑Profit  Punishment,”  Tucson  Weekly,  December  23,  2010  

85

“Arizona  prison  brawl  involved  up  to  150  inmates,  leaves  13  people  hurt,”  AP,  2/11/10.  

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Riots  in  ADC  Out-­‐‑of-­‐‑State  Contract  Prisons    
New  Castle,  Indiana  (operated  by  GEO  Group)  
During  a  2007  riot  at  the  New  Castle  Correctional  Facility,  inmates  burned  mattresses  and  
threw  beds  and  other  furnishings  out  of  the  windows.    Police  stormed  the  perimeter  and  
used  tear  gas  to  secure  the  facility.  Two  prison  employees  were  injured.  The  riot  cost  more  
than  $1.1  million  in  police  protection,  repairs  and  improvements.  A  
Emails  from  Arizona  DOC  staff  before  the  riot  revealed  serious  concerns  about  GEO’s  
management  of  the  facility.  One  from  the  director  of  Arizona'ʹs  Department  of  Correction  
to  Indiana’s  DOC  Commissioner  stated,  "ʺBasic  security  practices  are  lacking,  like  counts  
and  inmate  discipline.  Simple  modifications  that  were  proposed  last  week  haven'ʹt  been  
implemented."ʺ  B  
The  following  January  in  that  same  facility,  four  to  six  prisoners,  including  some  from  Ar-­‐‑
izona,  fought  with  guards  during  an  outdoor  exercise  period.  After  this  series  of  disturb-­‐‑
ances,  Arizona  ended  the  contract.  C  
Diamondback,  Oklahoma  (CCA)  
In  July  2004  Arizona  retrieved  over  300  of  its  prisoners  held  in  CCA’s  Diamondback  Cor-­‐‑
rectional  Facility  in  Oklahoma  after  an  investigation  into  a  riot  in  2003  in  the  facility  re-­‐‑
vealed  that  CCA  personnel  failed  to  read  warning  signs  that  trouble  was  brewing  and  
even  ignored  reports  from  its  own  line  staff  that  tensions  were  high.    The  report  also  
found  that  staffing  in  the  prison  was  inadequate  in  number  and  experience  and  the  facili-­‐‑
ty’s  “Incident  Management  Team  was  never  fully  functional.”    In  fact,  during  the  disturb-­‐‑
ance,  Arizona  monitors  had  to  step  in  and  give  directions  to  CCA  staff  “who  were  unable  
or  unwilling  to  make  corrective  decisions.”  D  
A
B

  Riot  costs  add  up  for  New  Castle  prison,”  Indianapolis  Star,  April  24,  2008  

  “Arizona  Officials  Concerned  Before  &  After  Prison  Riot,”  WISH  TV,  Indianapolis,  May  5,  2007  

C

  “Indiana  prison  sends  inmates  to  Arizona,”  News  Sentinel,  April  12,  2008  

D

  “Officials  counter  prison’s  claims,”  The  Oklahoman,  7/8/04  and  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Correc-­‐‑

tive  Action  Plan:    Diamondback  Correctional  Facility,  June  22,  2004  

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

  

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•

Use  of  Force:  Number  of  reported  incidents  in  which  prison  staff  was  required  to  
use  force  with  one  or  more  inmates.  86  

Taken  together,  these  variations  of  inmate  disturbance  reveal  patterns  of  instability,  pris-­‐‑
oner  discontent,  and  indicate  a  general  lack  of  control  of  the  facility  on  the  part  of  the  op-­‐‑
erator.  
Riots in CCA Prisons In Arizona
Data  on  riots  provided  in  response  to  AFSC’s  public  records  requests  was  variable,  as  dif-­‐‑
ferent  agencies  used  different  definitions  and  measurements.      
Riots Among Hawaiian Prisoners
The  State  of  Hawaii  provided  no  data  on  “riots,”  but  reported  a  total  of  5  “disturbances”  
between  2008  and  2010  in  Red  Rock  and  Saguaro  Correctional  Centers.    However,  the  da-­‐‑
ta  for  “major  misconduct”  is  compelling.    Hawaii  provided  no  explanation  or  definition  of  
this   term,   so   it   may   refer   to   anything   from   disobeying   orders   to   contraband   to   fighting.    
Hawaii  provided  separate  statistics  for  a  category  entitled,  “Drugs/Alcohol,”  which  indi-­‐‑
cates  that  these  infractions  are  not  included  in  “Major  Misconduct.”      
There  are  some  indications  that  facility  operators  “fudge  the  numbers”  by  under  report-­‐‑
ing   or   classifying   a   serious   disturbance   as   fighting   rather   than   a   riot.      This   tendency   is  
demonstrated  in  the  numbers  from  California  (see  below).    The  number  of  major  miscon-­‐‑
ducts  in  the  Saguaro  prison  is  particularly  noteworthy.  
Disturbances  Among  Hawaiian  Prisoners  in  Arizona,  2008-­‐‑2010  
  

Red  Rock  

Saguaro  

Average  Daily  Population  
Disturbances/  
Rate  per  1,000  
Major  Misconduct/  
Rate  per  1,000  
Drug/Alcohol/  
Rate  per  1,000  

61  
3/49  

1,851  
2/1.08  

139/2,279  

4,393/2,373  

4/65.5  

0  

Source:  Hawaii  Dept.  of  Public  Safety,  Corrections  Division,  response  to  Public  Records  Request  

  

                                                                                                                
  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Biennial  Comparison  on  Private  Versus  Public  Provision  of  Ser-­‐‑
vices  Required  Per  ARS  41-­‐‑1609.01  (K)(M),  December  21,  2011  
86

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Riots Among California Prisoners
Data  provided  by  the  state  of  California  indicate  a  total  of  14  riots  between  2007  and  2011  
in  the  Florence  Correctional  Center  and  La  Palma  Correctional  Center.    No  data  was  pro-­‐‑
vided  for  2009  or  2010.  
Riots  Among  California  Prisoners  in  Arizona,  2007,  2008,  and  2011  
Florence  CC  

La  Palma  

2007  

3  

0  

2008  

4  

1  

2011  

0  

6  

Total  

7  

7  

  
Published   new   accounts   fill   in   some   of   the   details   on   these   disturbances.      A   prison   em-­‐‑
ployee  suffered  a  broken  nose  and  cheekbones  as  well  as  eye  socket  damage  during  a  30  
inmate  brawl  over  an  Xbox  owned  by  an  inmate  at  Saguaro.87    
News  accounts  report  several  riots  at  Red  Rock  Correctional  Center:  
On   December   23,   2010,   approximately   110   California   inmates   were   involved   in   a  
“lunchtime   riot.”      Seven   prisoners   were   transported   to   local   hospitals,   three   with   life-­‐‑
threatening   injuries.      No   staff   were   injured.      Guards   used   pepper   spray   to   quell   the   dis-­‐‑
turbance   and   also   called   in   the   Eloy   Fire   Department.      “It   took   all   the   resources   of   Eloy  
Fire  and  then  some,”  said  Chief  Danny  Lorenz.88  
A   fight   between   two   Alaskan   prisoners   “initiated   a   free-­‐‑for-­‐‑all   involving   another   half-­‐‑
dozen  inmates  in  January  of  2009.    Two  prisoners  were  air-­‐‑vacked  to  the  Casa  Grande  Re-­‐‑
gional  Center  with  serious  injuries.89    
However,   as   was   the   case   with   the   Hawaii   data,   there   are   numerous   other   categories   of  
disturbances  that  the  Department  may  not  classify  as  a  “riot”  but  which  appear  to  indicate  
groups   of   prisoners   fighting,   assaulting   staff,   or   disobeying   orders   in   incidents   serious  
enough  to  require  a  use  of  force.      
                                                                                                                
  “Prison  Employee  seriously  injured,”  KITV4,  July  30,  2010  

87

  “Red  Rock  Correctional  Center  Riot,”  Eloy  Enterprise,  December  23,  2010  

88

  “2  inmates  airvac’d  to  hospital  after  fight,”  Eloy  Enterprise,  January  14,  2009  

89

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Use  of  Force  data  for  2010  alone  indicates  71  such  incidents:  
3  in  Florence  Correctional  Center  
26  in  Red  Rock    
42  in  La  Palma  
Riots Among Washington Prisoners
As  mentioned  above,  data  from  the  state  of  Washington  outlined  statistics  for  a  variety  of  
prisoner   behavior.      The   data   provided   was   not   correlated   by   year   or   facility.      Several   of  
these  categories  are  related  to  what  the  layperson  would  logically  consider  a  prison  riot,  
such  as  setting  a  fire.    Likewise,  there  is  some  evidence  of  facility  staff  downplaying  the  
serious  of  an  incident  by  classifying  it  as  a  fight  rather  than  a  disturbance.    Short  of  a  full-­‐‑
scale   riot   (which   implies   violence   and/or   property   destruction),   there   are   other   types   of  
disturbances  that  provide  some  measure  of  the  safety  or  stability  of  a  prison  environment,  
such  as  fights,  or  incidents  that  indicate  that  the  prisoners  are  unhappy  with  conditions,  
such  as  inmates  refusing  to  work  or  holding  a  “group  demonstration.”    For  this  reason,  all  
the  related  data  is  grouped  together  here:  
  

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Disturbances  Among  Washington  Prisoners  in  Arizona,  2006-­‐‑2010  
Violation  
Fighting  
Refuse  
to  
pro-­‐‑
ceed/disperse  area  
Resist   order   with  
staff  injury  
Setting  Fire  
Destroy  property  
Refuse  to  work  
Inciting  riot  
Group   Demonstra-­‐‑
tion  
Organized  
Work  
Stop  
Unauthorized   Group  
Meeting  
TOTAL    

Florence  CC  
41  
56  

Eloy  DC  
2  
0  

Red  Rock  
15  
14  

Saguaro  
0  
3  

Total  
58  
73  

1  

0  

0  

0  

1  

1  
11  
3  
6  
9  

4  
4  
6  
0  
8  

0  
0  
6  
0  
6  

0  
0  
1  
0  
3  

5  
15  
16  
6  
26  

0  

3  

0  

0  

3  

0  

0  

1  

0  

1  

204  

  
As  was  the  case  with  assaults,  the  Florence  Correctional  Center  clearly  had  the  most  nu-­‐‑
merous  and  most  serious  disturbances.    The  Eloy  Detention  Center  was  also  noteworthy  
for  4  incidences  of  prisoners  setting  fires,  8  group  demonstrations,  and  3  organized  work  
stoppages.  
News   reports   describe   an   incident   in   which   ICE   detainees   rioted   at   the   Eloy   Detention  
Center   on   January   7,   2009,   throwing   furniture   at   staff   and   destroying   property.      One  
guard  was  treated  at  the  scene  for  a  bump  on  the  head.90  
Riots Among ICE Detainees in CCA Facilities in Arizona
Data  from  an  inspection  of  the  Eloy  Detention  Center  in  2008  reveals  not  only  the  number  
of  disturbances,  but  the  facility’s  range  of  responses  to  inmate  misbehavior.    A  “disturb-­‐‑
ance”  is  defined  as  “any  incident  that  involves  four  or  more  detainees/offenders,  includes  
gang  fights,  organized  multiple  hunger  strikes,  work  stoppages,  hostage  situations,  major  
fires,   or   other   large   scale   incidents.”91      The   inspection   notes   8   disturbances   that   year.    
However,  it  also  reports  several  incidents  of  “forced  moves,  including  forced  cell  moves,”  
use   of   chemical   agents,   and   deployments   of   the   Special   Reaction   Team.      The   inspection  
                                                                                                                
  “Riot  quashed  at  Eloy  Detention,”  Eloy  Enterprise,  January  7,  2009  

90

  Immigration  and  Custom  Enforcement,  Detention  Facility  Inspection  Form.    Eloy  Detention  Center  
February  19-­‐‑21,  2008;  http://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/dfra-­‐‑ice-­‐‑
dro/eloydetentioncentereloyazfebruary19212008.pdf  
91

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notes  that  there  were  no  instances  in  which  four  or  five  point  restraints  were  used  in  this  
time  period,  but  it  is  worth  noting  that  this  intervention  is  used  by  the  prison  operator  on  
immigrant  detainees.92      
Disturbances  Among  ICE  Detainees  in  Arizona,  2008  
Incidents  

Jan-­‐‑Mar  

Apr-­‐‑Jun  

Jul-­‐‑Sep  

Oct-­‐‑Dec  

TOTAL  

Disturbances    

0  

1  

3  

4  

8  

Number   of   forced   moves,   incl.   forced   2  
cell  moves  

3  

4  

10  

19  

Number   of   times   chemical   agents   1  
used  

5  

8  

14  

28  

Number   of   times   Special   Reaction   0  
Team  Deployed/Used  

0  

0  

1  

1  

0  

0  

0  

0  

0  

9  

11  

19  

49  

#   times   four/five   point   restraints   ap-­‐‑
plied/used  

Offender/Detainee  medical  referrals  as   10  
a  result  of  injuries  sustained  

  
It  is  clear  that  in  some  cases,  these  institutional  interventions  are  used  even  when  no  dis-­‐‑
turbance  was  reported.    For  example,  between  January  and  March,  there  were  no  disturb-­‐‑
ances,  but  two  forced  moves  and  one  incidence  of  pepper  spray.    The  months  of  October  
to   December   saw   the   most   disturbances—four—but   a   much   higher   incidence   of   forced  
moves  (10)  and  use  of  pepper  spray  (14).93  
Of   particular   concern   is   the   data   on   “Offender/Detainee   medical   referrals   as   a   result   of  
injuries  sustained.”    No  explanation  of  this  category  is  offered  in  the  inspection  report,  but  
the  fact  that  it  is  included  next  to  the  other  categories  of  disturbances  and  facility  interven-­‐‑
tions  like  chemical  agents  and  special  response  team  indicates  that  these  are  injuries  sus-­‐‑
tained  as  a  result  of  these  actions  on  the  part  of  the  prison  operator.      

                                                                                                                
  ibid  

92

  Immigration  and  Custom  Enforcement,  Detention  Facility  Inspection  Form.    Eloy  Detention  Center  
February  19-­‐‑21,  2008.    Accessed  at:    http://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/dfra-­‐‑ice-­‐‑
dro/eloydetentioncentereloyazfebruary19212008.pdf  
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In  addition,  there  is  a  separate  reporting  of  a  general  category  of  “Psychiatric/Medical  Re-­‐‑
ferrals”  (this  data  is  discussed  in  the  section  on  “Programs  and  Services,”  below),  which  
further  indicates  that  these  are  injuries  that  were  inflicted  on  the  detainees  as  a  result  of  
facility  staff’s  actions.    It  is  therefore  significant  to  note  that  the  numbers  of  such  injuries  
are  consistently  higher  than  the  number  of  interventions.    For  example,  between  January  
and  March,  there  were  only  two  forced  cell  moves  and  one  use  of  chemical  agents,  but  10  
detainees  were  referred  for  treatment  as  a  result  of  these  actions.94    

Escapes

Escapes  from  any  prison  facilities  are  relatively  rare.  An  investigation  by  the  Arizona  Re-­‐‑
public  found  that,  including  the  Kingman  breakout,  in  the  past  10  years  there  have  been  25  
incidents   involving   28   inmates   from   public   and   private   prisons.   Of   those,   17   escapees  
were   minimum-­‐‑security   inmates   who   walked   away   from   work   crews,   and   all   but   two  
were  recaptured  quickly.    Of  the  escapes  from  inside  prisons  in  the  past  decade,  including  
Kingman,  four  came  from  private  prisons  and  six  from  inside  state  prisons  (plus  one  from  
a  state  hospital).95  
On  the  national  level,  at  least  27  escapes  have  been  reported  from  GEO  facilities  over  the  
past  seven  years,  including  one  in  Texas  last  October  that  led  to  a  murder.  Recently,  there  
has   been   a   rash   of   escapes   from   GEO   prisons   in   Texas   and   Illinois—seven   inmates   have  
escaped  from  GEO  facilities  in  those  two  states  in  four  incidents  over  the  past  11  months.96    
In  2006,  a  prisoner  escaped  from  GEO  Group’s  Florence  West  prison.    He  was  discovered  
missing   after   prison-­‐‑issued   orange   pants   and   blood   were   found   on   the   perimeter   fence.  
Blankets  and  clothing  was  used  in  his  bunk  to  make  it  look  like  he  was  sleeping  while  he  
climbed   a   recreational   gate   and   squeezed   through   a   barbed   wire   fence   as   other   inmates  
watched  through  a  window  to  see  if  he  made  it.    Authorities  found  him  after  he  slammed  
the  car  he  was  driving  into  three  other  vehicles  during  a  pursuit  in  Phoenix,  injuring  him-­‐‑
self  and  four  others  .97  Nationally,  CCA  has  had  at  least  21  escapes  at  various  facilities  
over  the  past  decade,  including  several  that  have  led  to  assaults  and  other  crimes.98   An  
inmate   from   a   Tennessee   CCA   prison   escaped   in   June   2009   with   the   help   of   his   cousin.  
While  attempting  to  flee  to  Louisville,  he  shot  police  officer,  Sgt.  Mark  Chesnut  six  times.  
                                                                                                                
  ibid  

94

  “Arizona  prison  oversight  lacking  for  private  facilities,”  Arizona  Republic,  August  7,  2011  

95

  “Record  an  issue  for  company  bidding  on  Ariz.  prisons  contract,”  Arizona  Republic,  August  9,  
2011  
96

  “Inmate  sentenced  for  escape,”  TriValley  Central,  12/10/08  

97

  “Arizona  to  expand  private  prisons,”  Arizona  Republic,  July  3,  2011  

98

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The  police  officer  now  suffers  from  life-­‐‑altering  injuries.99    A  woman  accused  of  assaulting  
a   police   officer   escaped   from   a   CCA   facility   in   Youngstown,   Ohio   the   same   day   she   ar-­‐‑
rived  there.100  
Washington
The  state  of  Washington  reported  two  escapes  from  CCA’s  Florence  Correctional  Center  
on   September   17,   2007.      One   prisoner   was   recaptured   the   same   day,   while   the   other   re-­‐‑
mained  at  large  for  a  month.    He  was  ultimately  recaptured  in  his  home  state  of  Washing-­‐‑
ton  on  October  16,  2007.    News  reports  stated  that  the  prisoners,  both  convicted  murder-­‐‑
ers,  escaped  by  overpowering  and  tying  up  a  guard  as  they  worked  on  an  evening  clean-­‐‑
ing  crew.101    They  then  used  ladders  to  climb  over  the  fences  and  razor  wire.102      
The  relatively  detailed  data  provided  by  the  state  of  Washington  for  2006-­‐‑2010  again  pro-­‐‑
vides  some  insights  into  the  various  other  infractions  related  to  escapes.  
Escapes  of  Washington  Prisoners  from  Arizona  Facilities,  2006-­‐‑2010  
Violation  

Florence  CC  

Eloy  DC  

Red  Rock  

Saguaro  

Total  

Poss.   Escape   2  
Tools  

0  

6  

0  

8  

Tamper   with   24  
lock/security  
device  

13  

5  

0  

42  

  
Consistent  with  the  other  data  from  Washington,  Florence  Correctional  Center  again  had  
the  highest  number  of  infractions.      
The  State  of  Hawaii  reported  that  none  of  its  prisoners  escaped  from  CCA’s  Red  Rock  or  
Saguaro  Correctional  Centers  between  2008  and  2010.    Likewise,  the  2008  inspection  of  the  

                                                                                                                
  ‘KY  man  found  guilty  in  officer  shooting’  Associated  Press,    September  22,  2010  

99

  “CCA  inmate  escapes,”  Associated  Press,  May  11,  2010  

100

  “Convicted  murderer  sought  after  escaping  Florence  prison,”  Arizona  Republic,  September  18,  
2007  
101

  “Killer  who  escaped  Florence  prison  caught,”  Arizona  Republic,  October  17,  2007  

102

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Eloy  Detention  Center  for  Immigration  and  Customs  Enforcement  detainees  found  no  es-­‐‑
capes  or  attempted  escapes  that  year.103  

Conclusions
As  noted  previously,  the  inconsistent  measurements,  variable  time  periods,  and  other  dis-­‐‑
crepancies   in   the   data   provided   in   response   to   AFSC’s   public   records   requests   make   it  
impossible  to  make  general  comparisons  of  public  vs.  private  security  issues.    However,  
studies  in  other  states  reveal  a  pattern  of  high  rates  of  assaults  and  disturbances  in  private  
facilities.      For   example,   an   analysis   of   incidents   involving   assaults   and   disturbances   at  
publicly-­‐‑operated  and  privately-­‐‑managed  prisons  in  Tennessee  from  January  2009  to  June  
2011,  found  that  incident  rates  were  consistently  higher  at  the  state’s  three  private  prisons,  
all  operated  by  CCA.    This  was  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  state  prisons  housed  higher  se-­‐‑
curity  prisoners.104  
Also  in  2011,  an  Associated  Press  report  found  that  a  CCA  facility  in  Idaho  had  more  as-­‐‑
saults  than  all  other  Idaho  state  prisons  combined,  based  on  2010  data.105  

                                                                                                                
  Immigration  and  Custom  Enforcement,  Detention  Facility  Inspection  Form.    Eloy  Detention  Center  
February  19-­‐‑21,  2008;  http://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/dfra-­‐‑ice-­‐‑
dro/eloydetentioncentereloyazfebruary19212008.pdf  
103

  Private  Corrections  Institute,  Incident  Rates  at  CCA-­‐‑run  Prisons  Higher  than  at  Public  Prisons  in  
Tennessee.    Press  release,  October  18,  2011;  
http://www.privateci.org/private_pics/CCA%20TDOC%20violence%20rates%202011.pdf    
104

  “CCA-­‐‑run  prison  still  most  violent  in  Idaho,”  Idaho  Press-­‐‑Tribune,  October  10,  2011  

105

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Performance Measure II: Staffing
Key  Findings:  
•
•

•
•

•

•

80%  of  staff  at  the  Kingman  prison  (where  the  escapes  occurred  in  2010)  were  new  or  new-­‐‑
ly  promoted.  
All  5  of  the  state’s  contracted  private  prisons  had  high  vacancy  and  turnover  rates.      Turn-­‐‑
over  rates  in  GEO’s  Phoenix  West  facility  and  MTC’s  Marana  prison  were  over  50%  in  
2011.  
The  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections  has  fined  both  MTC  and  GEO  Group  for  failing  to  
fill  staff  vacancies.  
In   2010,   the   U.S.   Equal   Employment   Opportunity   Commission   filed   a   lawsuit   against  
GEO  Group  Inc.  alleging  the  company  and  some  male  managers  supervising  correctional  
officers  fostered  a  "ʺsexual  and  sex-­‐‑based  hostile  work  environment"ʺ  at  two  Florence  pris-­‐‑
ons  that  allowed  harassment  and  retaliation  against  female  employees.  
Security   assessments   conducted   by   the   Department   of   Corrections   showed   multiple   inci-­‐‑
dents  in  all  state-­‐‑contracted  private  prisons  of  staff  not  being  properly  searched  when  en-­‐‑
tering  or  leaving  the  facilities,  making  it  easier  for  them  to  bring  in  contraband.  
State   of   California   inspectors   reported   that   at   Red   Rock,   CCA'ʹs   "ʺhiring   process   does   not  
include   a   comprehensive   criminal-­‐‑background   and   arrest-­‐‑history   review."ʺ      They   revealed  
that   state   arrest   records   weren'ʹt   being   checked   and   that   at   Red   Rock   and   La   Palma,   the  
company  didn'ʹt  do  enough  to  check  whether  people  applying  for  jobs  might  know  or  have  
relationships  with  inmates.  

Private   prisons   make   their   profits   by   winning   con-­‐‑
tracts.    They  win  contracts  by  being  the  lowest  bid-­‐‑
der.    In  order  to  bid  for  so  little  money,  they  general-­‐‑
ly   make   significant   cuts   in   staff   pay   and   training.    
Private   prison   companies   often   pay   staff   less   than  
states  or  the  federal  government.    They  often  do  not  
offer   pensions,   opting   instead   to   offer   shares   in   the  
corporation’s  stock,  which  fluctuates  in  value,  as  has  
recently  been  demonstrated.  

“Highly  unsafe.  There  is  nothing  
the  staff  is  capable  of  controlling.  
The  staff  are  unprepared  to  stop  
physical  altercations.  They  have  no  
means  to  stop  us.”  –Prisoner  at  Flor-­‐‑
ence  West    (Operated  by  GEO  Group)  

Private   prison   corporations   also   frequently   offer   minimal   staff   training,   which   can   leave  
employees   frustrated   and   unprepared   to   handle   crises.      As   a   result,   these   facilities   fre-­‐‑
quently  have  very  high  turnover  rates  and  are  chronically  understaffed.    The  combination  
of  these  factors  not  only  produce  a  difficult  work  environment,  it  can  also  make  these  fa-­‐‑
cilities  genuinely  unsafe  for  staff,  inmates,  and  the  community.      

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In  Florida,  which,  unlike  Arizona,  tracks  staff  turnover  rates  at  private  prisons,  GEO  and  
CCA  had  a  34  percent  turnover  last  year,  compared  with  12  percent  in  Florida  state  pris-­‐‑
ons.106    The  Texas  Senate  Criminal  Justice  Committee'ʹs  interim  report  on  private  prisons  in  
2009  found  that  the  seven  private  prisons  contracting  with  the  Texas  Department  of  Crim-­‐‑
inal  Justice  (TDCJ)  had  a  90%  turnover  rate,  compared  with  the  24%  rate  at  state-­‐‑operated  
prisons.    The  report  stated:  
"ʺThe   wages   and   benefits   paid   to   employees   of   private   contractors   are   generally  
lower  than  that  paid  to  employees  of  state-­‐‑operated  facilities...  Correctional  officer  
salaries   in   the   private   prisons   vary   among   facilities,   with   the   highest   peaking   at  
slightly  more  than  $24,000  annually."ʺ107  
The  issue  of  new,  undertrained,  and  inexperienced  staff  has  been  cited  in  a  number  of  in-­‐‑
cidents  in  private  prisons  around  the  country.    It  was  most  certainly  a  glaring  issue  in  the  
investigation  into  the  escapes  from  the  Kingman  prison.  
Essentially,   the   combination   of   low   pay,   understaffing,   and   having   a   “green”   workforce  
(guards   with   minimal   training   and   experience)   is   a   recipe   for   unstable   and   dangerous  
prisons.    Guards  who  are  new  and  under  trained  may  not  have  enough  experience  to  no-­‐‑
tice  when  conflicts  are  brewing  or  know  how  to  defuse  them  before  they  lead  to  assaults  
or  worse.    When  conflicts  do  escalate  into  fights  or  riots,  these  guards  may  be  unsure  what  
to  do  in  a  crisis,  leading  them  to  wait  too  long  to  intervene—as  was  alleged  in  the  race  riot  
at  Kingman  on  May  31,  2010.    ADC  security  assessments  of  that  prison  also  acknowledged  
that  the  prisoners  were  literally  able  to  chase  the  officers  off  the  yard  several  times.      
The  impact  of  this  general  level  of  inexperience  was  reflected  in  many  of  the  security  au-­‐‑
dits  performed  by  the  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections  at  contracted  prisons.    Inspec-­‐‑
tions  consistently  found  that  certain  security  protocols  were  not  being  followed  properly,  
and  in  some  cases,  staff  were  surprised  when  they  were  asked  by  inspectors  to  scan  their  
personal  items  when  entering  the  facility.  
Lack   of   training   combined   with   poor   background   screening   of   job   applicants   has   also  
been  linked  to  several  cases  of  prisoner  abuse  in  private  prisons  nationally.    In  addition,  
there  have  been  reports  of  private  prison  staff  getting  in  trouble  with  the  law  themselves,  

                                                                                                                
  “Record  an  issue  for  company  bidding  on  Ariz.  prisons  contract,”  Arizona  Republic,  August  9,  
2011  
106

  The  Senate  of  Texas,  Senate  Committee  on  Criminal  Justice,  Interim  Report  to  the  81st  Legislature,  
December  2008;  http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/Senate/commit/c590/c590.InterimReport80.pdf  
107

  

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both   on   the   job   and   outside   of   their   jobs   in   the   prisons.      Cases   range   from   sexual   abuse  
and  smuggling  drugs  to  inmates  to  armed  home  invasions.    

Staffing: State Contracts
While  the  Department  of  Corrections’  Biennial  Comparison  Review  of  public  and  private  
prison  performance  was  generally  a  whitewash  designed  to  present  the  state’s  contracted  
private  prisons  in  a  positive  light,  one  area  where  even  the  ADC  consistently  gave  the  for-­‐‑
profits  low  marks  was  staffing.    Every  one  of  the  five  private  prisons  under  contract  was  
judged  to  be  performing  below  the  Department  of  Corrections  on  staffing:      
•

•

•

•
•
•

Central  AZ  Correctional  Facility  (GEO  Group):    Higher  vacancy  rates  in  2010  and  
2011,  higher  turnover  rate  in  2011,  lower  CO  test  scores  in  2010  and  2011,  and  low-­‐‑
er  CO  supervisor  test  scores  in  2010.  
Phoenix   West   (GEO   Group):      Significantly   higher   turnover   and   vacancy   rates   in  
2010  and  2011.    In  2011,  the  turnover  rate  was  61%  (compared  to  11%  in  Catalina  
Unit).  
Florence  West  (GEO  Group):    Higher  vacancy  rates  in  2010  and  2011,  higher  turn-­‐‑
over  rate  in  2011,  and  lower  correctional  officers  supervisor  test  scores  in  2010  and  
2011.  
Kingman   Hualapai   (MTC):      Higher   vacancy   rate   in   2010   and   higher   turnover   in  
2010  and  2011  
Kingman  Cerbat  (MTC):  Higher  turnover  rate  in  2011  and  lower  core  competency  
test  scores  in  2011  
Marana   (MTC):      Turnover   rate   in   2011   was   56.8%   (compared   to   Graham   unit   at  
12.5%)108  

In  particular,  GEO’s  Phoenix  West  facility  consistently  displayed  extremely  high  vacancy  
and  turnover  rates.    In  2011,  for  example,  the  turnover  rate  was  61%—the  highest  rate  by  
far   of   any   facility   in   any   year,   and   well   above   the   11%   turnover   rate   for   the   comparison  
state  unit  (Catalina  in  the  Tucson  Complex).    This  facility  also  had  an  unusually  high  CO  
vacancy   rate—16%   in   2010   and   18%   in   2011.109      Given   that   this   prison   is   located   in   the  
largest  population  center  in  the  state,  it  is  clearly  not  due  to  a  lack  of  available  work  force.      

                                                                                                                
  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Biennial  Comparison  of  Private  versus  Public  Provision  of  Ser-­‐‑
vices  ARS  41-­‐‑1609.01  (K)(M),  December  21,  2011  
108

  ibid  

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MTC  facilities  did  not  fare  much  better.    The  Marana  prison  had  a  turnover  rate  of  36.4%  
in  2010  and  56.8%  in  2011.    In  2011,  MTC’s  two  Kingman  Units  both  had  very  high  turno-­‐‑
ver  rates  of  25.6%  each.110  
Anyone  with  a  business  background  will  acknowledge  that  a  high  employee  turnover  rate  
indicates   a   serious   management   problem.      In   the   case   of   a   prison,   the   impact   of   these  
management  problems  can  extend  far  beyond  a  few  disgruntled  employees.    Corrections  
is  a  field  in  which  good  training  and  solid  experience  can  literally  mean  the  difference  be-­‐‑
tween   life   and   death—for   the   employee,   inmates   or   even   members   of   the   surrounding  
community.  
In  2010,  the  American  Friends  Service  Committee  sent  questionnaires  to  prisoners  in  pri-­‐‑
vate  facilities,  soliciting  their  testimony  for  a  public  hearing  on  prison  privatization.  The  
completed   surveys   offer   an   assortment   of   perspectives   from   prisoners   in   GEO   Group’s  
Florence   and   Phoenix   West   prisons,   Management   and   Training   Corporation’s   Kingman  
Facility,  and  Corrections  Corporation  of  America’s  Red  Rock  Correctional  Facility  which  
houses   prisoners   from   out   of   state.      The   inexperience   and   lack   of   training   of   staff   was   a  
concern  raised  consistently  across  the  board:  
“Highly   unsafe.   There   is   nothing   the   staff   is   capable   of   controlling.   The   staff   are  
unprepared   to   stop   physical   altercations.   They   have   no   means   to   stop   us.”   –
Prisoner  at  Florence  West    (Operated  by  GEO  Group)  
“Completely   unsafe.   If   something   were   to   happen,   the   staff   is   neither   qualified   or  
able  to  contain  any  serious  situations.  The  staff,  I  believe  would  rush  out  and  as-­‐‑
sure  own  safety.  Complete  lack  of  fire  safety,  regarding  welfare  of  the  inmates.”  –
Prisoner  at  Florence  West  (Operated  by  GEO  Group)  
“The  CPO’s  regularly  lose  inmates  release  paperwork  and  inmates  don’t  go  home  
on  time.  It  is  just  a  very  poorly  run  facility”  –Prisoner  at  Florence  West  (Operated  
by  GEO  Group)  
“One   of   the   guards   was   arrested   in   the   parking   lot   after   his   evening   shift”   –
Prisoner  at  Florence  West  (Operated  by  GEO  Group)  
“There  is  a  very  high  turnover  rate  at  A.S.P.C.  Phoenix  West  and  I  believe  that  is  
what  leads  to  the  uneducated  training  of  the  staff  and  because  of  [the  warden]’s  at-­‐‑
titude  on  how  to  operate  the  facility”  –Former  Phoenix  West  Prisoner  (Operated  by  
GEO  Group)  

                                                                                                                
  ibid  

110

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“Yes   [there   is   a   high   turnover   of   staff],   probably   due   to   low   pay”—Prisoner   at  
Florence  West  (Operated  by  GEO  Group)  

“The   majority   of   the   staff   appear   unkempt,   out   of   shape   and   lazy.   With   my   own  
eyes  I’ve  seen  them  enforce  rules  on  one  person  and  let  the  next  slide.  They  talk  in  
an  abusive  manner  towards  inmates  quite  frequently  cussing  or  trying  to  make  us  
look  stupid  in  front  of  each  other.  I  believe  they  get  most  of  their  training  on  the  job  
from  other  guards  who  don’t  do  their  job  in  a  professional  manner.”   –Prisoner   at  
Florence  West  (Operated  by  GEO  Group)  

“They’re  highly  unprofessional.  They  have  to  be  placed  on  opposite  shifts  because  
some  of  them  have  children  with  one  another  and  currently  not  getting  along  be-­‐‑
cause  of  other  current  relationships”  –Prisoner  at  Florence  West  (Operated  by  GEO  
Group)  
“They  are  very  preoccupied  and  overworked”—Prisoner  at  Florence  West  (Operat-­‐‑
ed  by  GEO  Group)  
“I  would  much  rather  be  on  a  normal  DOC  state  run  facility  because  it  seems  that  
officers  are  trained  better  and  respect  us  men  when  respect  is  given.”   –Prisoner  at  
Florence  West  (Operated  by  GEO  Group)  
Kingman (MTC)
Staffing  issues  were  repeatedly  highlighted  as  a  primary  contributing  factor  to  the  escapes  
from  the  Kingman  facility  in  2010.    Security  assessments  conducted  after  the  escapes  de-­‐‑
scribe  the  extent  of  the  problem:  
•

•
•

“The   unit   is   staffed   with   a   very   high   percentage   of   new   staff   and   many   of   them  
demonstrated   a   lack   of   experience   and   “command   presence”.   Warden   Leider   re-­‐‑
ports  that  approximately  80%  of  her  staff  is  new  or  newly  promoted.”111    
“Staff   are   fairly   “green”   across   all   shifts.   Many   staff   have   under   one   year   of   ser-­‐‑
vice.  Finding  staff  with  2  or  more  years  of  service  is  rare.”112  
“There  is  a  question  of  experience.  I  conservatively  estimate  that  one  third  of  secu-­‐‑
rity  employees  have  less  than  three  months  on  the  job  or  in  their  promoted  posi-­‐‑
tions.   Further,   there   is   no   FTO   program   to   teach   staff   new   to   their   job   or   posi-­‐‑
tion”113  

                                                                                                                
  ADOC  Report  on  Kingman  Escapes,  August  19,  2010;  
http://azdatapages.com/datacenter/ADOC-­‐‑report-­‐‑on-­‐‑Kingman-­‐‑escapes.html  
111

  ibid  

112

  ibid  

113

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In  August  of  2011,  the  Arizona  Republic  reported  that  for  FY2011  (though  June)  the  state  
has  withheld  about  $844,000  from  Kingman  and  $54,000  from  Marana  for  failing  to  fill  va-­‐‑
cant  positions  quickly  enough.114    This  is  the  one  action  that  the  state  appears  to  have  tak-­‐‑
en   consistently   to   hold   the   corporations   to   their   contract   obligations.      Of   course,   these  
fines  are  a  drop  in  the  bucket  compared  to  the  profit  margins  of  the  for-­‐‑profit  prison  cor-­‐‑
porations.    There  is  no  evidence  that  the  fines  have  spurred  them  to  correct  the  problem  
and  fill  their  staff  vacancies  more  quickly.    As  a  result,  the  problem  of  understaffed  facili-­‐‑
ties  will  likely  remain  and  possibly  worsen.  
Security  inspections  before  and  after  the  escapes  revealed  many  examples  of  undertrained  
staff  being  unsure  of  or  outright  ignoring  various  security  protocols:  
“Staff   arriving   at   the   unit   seemed   to   be   surprised   when   they   were   asked   by   the  
scanner   officer   to   carry   their   food   items   to   the   scanner   to   be   clear.   This   indicates  
that  the  practice  is  not  a  norm  but  an  exception.  Some  staff  was  clearing  their  own  
property   instead   of   relinquishing   them   for   inspection   with   the   scanner   officer.   A  
Canteen  Personnel  was  allowed  access  into  the  facility  without  clearing  the  scan-­‐‑
ner  because  there  was  no  officer.  Main  Control  allowed  the  Canteen  Staff  access  in-­‐‑
to  the  unit.”115  
It  is  no  secret  that  a  significant  portion  of  the  contraband  available  in  prisons  is  brought  in  
by  the  staff.    Drugs  and,  increasingly,  cell  phones  are  all  too  available  in  our  prisons,  and  
detract  from  the  overall  safety  of  a  facility.    The  escapes  from  the  Kingman  prison  in  2010  
were  planned  “via  a  cell  phone  borrowed  from  an  imprisoned  drug  dealer.”116  
Lax   security   screenings   of   guards   can   only   contribute   to   this   problem.      For   correctional  
staff  in  private  prisons  who  are  poorly  paid,  the  temptation  to  make  extra  cash  by  bring-­‐‑
ing  in  items  for  prisoners  may  be  hard  to  resist.  
Marana (MTC)
As  was  the  case  in  Kingman,  security  inspections  found  lax  protocols  in  staff  searches  at  
the  Marana  facility:  
“Metal  detectors  at  unit  engress  and  work  crew  return  are  set  to  high.  All  staff  and  
inmates  unable  to  clear  resulting  in  wand  scan  being  administered.  This  provides  a  
false  sense  of  security  as  staff  are  not  patted  down  if  the  wand  goes  off  over  the  zip-­‐‑
per  area  or  other  areas  but  were  only  being  observed  stating  what  it  was  that  set  off  
                                                                                                                
  “Arizona  prison  oversight  lacking  for  private  facilities,”  Arizona  Republic,  August  7,  2011.  

114

  ADOC  Report  on  Kingman  Escapes,  August  19,  2010;  
http://azdatapages.com/datacenter/ADOC-­‐‑report-­‐‑on-­‐‑Kingman-­‐‑escapes.html.      
115

  “Arizona  inmate  escape  report  details  life  on  the  run,”  Arizona  Republic,  September  16,  2010  

116

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the   scanner.   Staff   may   introduce   contraband   in   at   those   locations   at   claim   it   is  
their  zipper.”    
“Inconsistent   check   of   personal   items,   boots   not   always   checked   even   if   scanner  
when  off.  Metal  detector  set  on  silent-­‐‑perception  is  that  enforcement  not  taken  se-­‐‑
riously   be   staff.   Inmate   work   crew   accustomed   to   leaving   boxers   on   during   strip  
search.  Team  members  allowed  to  exit  without  showing  ID.”  
Again,   these   lapses   in   security   screenings   of   staff   provide   an   opportunity   to   smuggle   in  
contraband.      
GEO Group
GEO  has  also  had  problems  keeping  staff  positions  filled  in  their  Arizona  facilities.    The  
Arizona   Department   of   Corrections   has   withheld   about   $6,000   in   equivalent   salary   pay-­‐‑
ments   this   year   over   GEO'ʹs   failure   to   fill   vacant   positions   quickly   enough   at   its   Phoenix  
West  and  Florence  West  facilities.117  
One  can  see  why  most  women  would  not  be  interested  in  working  for  GEO.    In  2010,  the  
U.S.  Equal  Employment  Opportunity  Commission  filed  a  lawsuit  against  GEO  Group  Inc.  
alleging  the  company  and  some  male  managers  supervising  correctional  officers  fostered  
a  "ʺsexual  and  sex-­‐‑based  hostile  work  environment"ʺ  at  two  Florence  prisons  that  allowed  
harassment  and  retaliation  against  female  employees.  The  EEOC  said  the  male  employees  
engaged   in   verbal   and   physical   harassment   of   female   employees.   A   male   manager  
grabbed   and   pinched   a   female   employee,   and   a   female   employee   was   forced   on   a   desk  
and   kissed   and   touched   by   a   male   employee,   the   lawsuit   says.   The   Arizona   Attorney  
General'ʹs  Office  previously  filed  suit  and  investigated  complaints  against  the  prison  oper-­‐‑
ator.118    
Issues   with   security   protocols   and   staff   searches   were   not   unique   to   MTC.      All   three   of  
GEO  Group’s  facilities  had  similar  problems:  
Florence   West:   “Staff   processing   Ingress/Egress   lacked   command   presence   and  
control   of   area:   staff   boots   not   checked,   not   all   cell   phones   checked   to   see   if   they  
were  state  issued.  Staff  were  not  questioned  about  money,  cell  phones,  pagers  etc.  
Graveyard   staff   allowed   to   punch   into   time   clock   before   clearing   scanner   (time  
clock  located  beyond  scanner).”  

                                                                                                                
  “Arizona  prison  oversight  lacking  for  private  facilities,”  Arizona  Republic,  August  7,  2011.  

117

  “Lawsuit  alleges  Florence  prison  operator  allowed  sexual  harassment,”  Arizona  Republic,  Octo-­‐‑
ber  4,  2010  
118

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Phoenix   West:   “Inconsistent   application,   staff   allowed   to   bring   in   unauthorized  
items   to   staff   locker,   team   members   allowed   to   exit   without   showing   id.   Security  
challenge  failed  double  stacked  Styrofoam  cup  with  pill  box  between  them  not  put  
through  scanner  and  allowed  in.  Gate  4  breached  with  a  comb  used  to  jimmy  lock,  
Female  staff  member  did  not  clear  hand  wand  allowed  to  come  in  without  search,  
said  it  was  the  bra  wire.”  
Central  Arizona  Correctional  Facility:  “During  busy  shift  staff  lost  control  of  
who   was   cleared   or   not   cleared.   Food   not   put   through   scanner,   boots   not   always  
removed  and  if  boots  removed  not  always  checked.”  
Once   again,   these   lapses   in   security   prac-­‐‑
tices  provide  ample  opportunity  for  some  
guards   to   take   advantage   of   the   situation  
to  bring  contraband  into  these  facilities.    

Staffing in CCA Prisons in
Arizona
State   of   California   inspectors   reported   in  
2010  that  at  Red  Rock,  CCA'ʹs  "ʺhiring  pro-­‐‑
cess   does   not   include   a   comprehensive  
criminal-­‐‑background   and   arrest-­‐‑history  
review."ʺ      They   revealed   that   state   arrest  
records  weren'ʹt  being  checked  and  that  at  
Red   Rock   and   La   Palma,   the   company  
didn'ʹt  do  enough  to  check  whether  people  
applying   for   jobs   might   know   or   have   re-­‐‑
lationships   with   inmates.119      In   California  
and   elsewhere,   corrections   officers   with  
gang   affiliations   have   been   a   recurring  
problem.120  

“Since  I’ve  been  in  the  mainland  I  have  suf-­‐‑
fered  racism,  retaliation  for  expressing  my  
rights  (filing  informal  resolution,  etc),  I’ve  
been  sexually  harassed,  threatened,  verbally  
abused,  false  disciplinary  reports  filed  against  
me,  poor  medical  treatment  and  follow  up  
care.  There  were  several  medical  staff  who  
claim  to  be  a  doctor  when  they  were  not.”  –
Hawaiian  Prisoner  at  Red  Rock  Correctional  
Facility  (Operated  by  CCA)  

“Recently  the  Chief  of  Unit  Management  and  
two  deputy  wardens  were  replaced.  And  many  
corrections  officers  and  other  staff  quit  or  are  
terminated”—Hawaiian  Prisoner  at  Red  Rock  
Correctional  (Operated  by  CCA)  

A  2009  article  points  out  that  while  correctional  officers  in  Arizona  state-­‐‑run  prisons  were  
receiving  $18-­‐‑$20  an  hour,  CCA  employees  were  paid  less  to  do  the  same  job,  earning  on-­‐‑

                                                                                                                
  David  R.  Shaw,  California  Inspector  General,  Out  of  State  Facility  Inspection  Results,  memo  to  
Matthew  Cate,  Secretary,  California  Department  of  Corrections  and  Rehabilitation,  dated  Decem-­‐‑
ber  2,  2010.    
119

  “Prison  firm  optimistic  about  Arizona  bid  despite  incidents,”  Arizona  Republic,  August  8,  2011  

120

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ly   $10-­‐‑$12   an   hour.   CCA   employees   also   received   240   less   hours   of   training   than   those  
employed  by  ADC.121    
This   combination   of   low   pay   and   lax   background   screening   procedures   may   help   to   ex-­‐‑
plain  the  various  scandals  involving  CCA  staff  in  Arizona  in  the  past  three  years:  
A   CCA   employee   pled   guilty   to   drug   charges   in   April   2010   for   attempting   to   give  
prison  inmates  cocaine  at  the  Central  Arizona  Detention  Center  in  Florence.122    
Two  prison  guards  were  injured  when  a  CCA  prison  bus  transporting  inmates  to  Mis-­‐‑
sissippi  rear-­‐‑ended  another  vehicle  along  Interstate  10.123    
A   prison   guard   at   Saguaro   Correctional   Center   broke   into   a   Pima   County   home   in  
2009  wielding  guns  and  was  fatally  shot  by  a  neighbor  as  he  attempted  to  flee.124    
A   CCA   employee   pled   guilty   to   drug   charges   in   April   for   attempting   to   give   prison  
inmates  cocaine  at  the  Central  Arizona  Detention  Center  in  Florence.125    
A  Hawaiian  inmate  sued  CCA  in  2010,  saying  that  an  officer  at  Saguaro  forced  him  to  
perform   oral   sex   in   October   2009.      Guard   Richard   Ketland,   charged   with   unlawful  
sexual  contact,  pleaded  guilty  to  a  lesser  charge  and  was  sentenced  to  probation.126  

•
•
•
•
•

Grievances of ICE Detainees in CCA Facilities in Arizona
A  report  by  the  ACLU  highlighted  the  issue  of  immigrant  grievances  against  CCA  in  Ari-­‐‑
zona  detention  centers:  
  “Men  and  women  detained  in  all  five  Arizona  facilities  noted  that  grievance  pro-­‐‑
cedures  are  unclear,  ineffective  and  inadequate  to  address  the  problems  they  face  in  
detention.  Several  people  indicated  that  they  do  not  even  attempt  to  file  grievances  
because  they  are  afraid  of  retribution  by  officers  and  other  staff  who  may  consider  
their   requests   or   grievances   an   annoyance.   Detainees   in   some   facilities   explained  
that  they  have  to  request  grievance  forms  from  detention  officers,  that  officers  often  
ask  details  about  the  nature  of  the  grievance  before  supplying  the  form,  and  some-­‐‑
times  have  to  wait  several  days  before  receiving  a  form.”127  
                                                                                                                
  “CCA  criticized  by  union,  praised  by  Florence  officials,”  The  Daily  Currier,  12/18/09.  

121

    “Arizona  corrections  officer  caught  buying  cocaine  for  inmate,”  ABC15,  4/21/10.  

122

  “Van  carrying  inmates  crashes  on  I-­‐‑10  at  Avra  Valley,”  KOLD,  9/29/10.  

123

  “Suspect  in  deadly  invasion  was  a  prison  guard,”  AP,  7/22/09.  

124

  “Arizona  corrections  officer  caught  buying  cocaine  for  inmate,”  ABC15,  4/21/10.  

125

  “Prison  firm  optimistic  about  Arizona  bid  despite  incidents,”  Arizona  Republic,  August  8,  2011  

126

  American  Civil  Liberties  Union,  “In  Their  Own  Words:    Enduring  abuse  in  Arizona  immigration  
detention  centers.”  June  2011;  
http://acluaz.org/sites/default/files/documents/detention%20report%202011.pdf.  
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Conclusion
Private  prison  corporations’  concern  with  the  bottom  line  frequently  leads  them  to  reduce  
operational   costs   in   order   to   produce   savings.   The   main   area   in   which   the   corporations  
tend   to   make   costs   is   personnel   expenditures,   including   providing   a   lower   level   of   staff  
benefits,  salaries,  and  professional  training.  On  average,  private  prison  employees  receive  
58  hours  less  training  than  their  publicly  employed  counterparts.128  As  a  result,  there  are  
higher  employee  turnover  rates  in  private  prisons  than  in  publicly  operated  facilities.  
Cutting   back   on   personnel   and   programming   among   private   prison   facilities   can   com-­‐‑
promise   correctional   operations   including   basic   safety   and   security.   Federal   researchers  
have  documented  higher  rates  of  escapes  from  private  prisons  as  well  as  contraband  vio-­‐‑
lations  evidenced  by  higher  rates  of  positive  drug  tests.  Additionally,  a  national  survey  of  
private   prisons   for   the   U.S.   Department   of   Justice   found   that   private   prison   guards   are  
assaulted  by  prisoners  at  a  rate  49%  higher  than  the  rate  of  assaults  experienced  in  their  
public  prison  counterparts.129  

                                                                                                                
  Blakely,  C.R.  &  Bumphus,  V.W.,  Private  and  public  sector  prisons—a  comparison  of  select  characteris-­‐‑
tics.  Federal  Probation,  68(1),  27-­‐‑31,  2004;  
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4144/is_200406/ai_n9446513  
128

  Austin,  James  Ph.D.  &  Coventry,  Garry  Ph.D.  Emerging  Issues  on  Privatized  Prisons.  Washington,  
DC:  Bureau  of  Justice  Assistance,  2001;  https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/181249.pdf  
129

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Performance Measure III:
Programs and Services
Deaths  in  custody,  suicides,  medical  neglect,  and  lack  of  mental  health  treatment  

Key  Findings  
•

•
•
•

Private  prisons  will  not  house  prisoners  with  medical  problems  or  mental  health  needs  be-­‐‑
cause  these  services  are  expensive  to  provide.    These  prisoners  are  concentrated  in  state  fa-­‐‑
cilities,  placing  the  financial  burden  on  the  state.  
The  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections  saw  a  dramatic  increase  in  suicides  between  2009-­‐‑
2011.  
The  ACLU  and  California  Prison  Law  Office  have  accused  the  state  of  chronically  and  sys-­‐‑
temically  denying  medical  and  mental-­‐‑health  care  to  inmates.  
Eloy  Detention  Center  had  the  highest  number  of  deaths  of  any  immigrant  detention  facili-­‐‑
ty  in  the  US—9  since  2003  

Whatever  the  public  may  think  about  treatment  of  prisoners,  incarcerated  people  do  have  
basic  constitutional  rights,  and  correctional  facilities  have  a  responsibility  to  provide  a  cer-­‐‑
tain   standard   of   care   to   attend   to   their   medical   and   mental   health   needs.      This   is   at   its  
most  basic  a  public  health  issue.    Over  90%  of  the  people  in  prison  today  will  one  day  be  
released.    If  basic  medical  care  is  not  provided,  they  will  come  back  to  their  families  and  
communities  much  sicker,  putting  others  at  risk  of  infection  and  increasing  the  burden  on  
state   medical   systems   and   emergency   rooms   to   treat   illnesses   that   might   have   been   pre-­‐‑
vented.      

Deaths in State-Operated Facilities:

The  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections  has  seen  a  disturbing  upward  trend  in  the  num-­‐‑
ber   of   suicides   over   the   last   few   years.      Out   of   a   total   of   48   since   2006,   the   single   most  
deadly  year  was  2011,  and  the  year  is  not  yet  over.    There  have  been  11  suicides  so  far  in  
2011.    The  last  recorded  in  the  data  provided  by  ADC  in  response  to  a  public  records  re-­‐‑
quest  was  in  April.    However,  a  review  of  the  ADC  webpage’s  Death  Notifications  reveals  
four  additional  “apparent  suicides”  since  then,  the  most  recent  on  October  7,  2011.      
All   of   these   suicides,   save   one,   occurred   in   state-­‐‑operated   prisons.      As   has   been   stated  
previously,   private   prisons   will   not   accept   inmates   who   need   ongoing   psychiatric   treat-­‐‑
ment.    Therefore,  the  prisoners  most  at  risk  for  suicide  are  unlikely  to  be  found  in  private  
prisons,  skewing  the  statistics.          
In   response   to   this   and   other   evidence   of   systemic   medical   neglect,   the   ACLU   and   Cali-­‐‑
fornia  Prison  Law  Office  sent  a  “demand  letter”  to  the  Department  of  Corrections  in  Oc-­‐‑
tober  of  2011  accusing  the  state  of  chronically  and  systemically  denying  medical  and  men-­‐‑
tal-­‐‑health  care  to  inmates  in  violation  of  state  and  federal  laws  and  the  U.S.  Constitution.    
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The  contents  of  that  letter,  as  well  as  information  provided  through  additional  interviews  
and  correspondence  with  prisoners,  was  outlined  in  an  expose  in  the  Arizona  Republic  in  
December   of   2011.      “Allegations   made   by   inmates,   prisoner   advocates   and   attorneys   in-­‐‑
clude:  
A  diabetic  prisoner,  while  waiting  months  for  insulin,  lost  sight  completely  in  one  eye  
and  partially  in  the  other.  
An  epileptic  who  wasn'ʹt  given  his  medications  suffered  repeated  seizures  for  weeks.  
A  man  with  a  growth  on  his  penis  was  denied  medical  treatment  for  two  years.  Doc-­‐‑
tors  ultimately  diagnosed  a  cancerous  tumor  on  his  penis;  the  organ  had  to  be  ampu-­‐‑
tated,  and  doctors  told  him  the  cancer  had  spread  to  his  stomach.  
An   inmate   with   a   cancerous   growth   on   his   lip   waited   seven   months   for   treatment.  
Most  of  his  lip  and  mouth  were  removed,  leaving  him  permanently  disfigured.  
Prison   medical   staff   members   have   repeatedly   denied   treatment   to   Tucson   inmate  
Horace  Sublett  for  Kaposi'ʹs  sarcoma,  a  cancer,  despite  documentation,  including  from  
the  VA  hospital  in  Phoenix  and  other  outside  doctors  confirming  that  the  Navy  veter-­‐‑
an,  82,  has  the  disease.  
Prisoners  with  emphysema,  end-­‐‑state  renal  disease  and  other  illnesses  reported  being  
denied   treatment   or   medication,   leading   to   complications   and   permanent   side   ef-­‐‑
fects.”130  

•
•
•

•
•

•

The  article  indicates  that  a  different  sort  of  privatization  effort  may  be  partly  to  blame—
the  privatization  of  prison  medical  care:  
“Corrections   officials   say   they   have   found   no   evidence   of   systemic   problems,   alt-­‐‑
hough   they   say   that   pending   plans   to   privatize   prison   health   care   have   made   it  
harder  to  fill  medical-­‐‑staff  vacancies  and  that  rule  changes  two  years  ago  that  cut  
payment  levels  to  outside  contractors  also  crimped  access  to  care.”131  
In   other   words,   the   pressure   to   reduce   costs   results   in   substandard   care,   and   ultimately  
cost   the   state   much   more   in   settlement   costs   or   damages   for   this   and   other   lawsuits.    
There  are  some  state  responsibilities  that  are  costly,  and  cutting  corners  to  save  money  is  
not  an  option.    If  the  state  of  Arizona  wants  to  be  “tough”  and  have  the  6th  highest  incar-­‐‑
ceration  rate  in  the  US,  there  are  some  serious  fiscal  repercussions  that  cannot  be  avoided.      

Deaths in Privately Operated State Prisons

As  has  been  previously  stated,  private  prisons  under  contract  with  the  state  of  Arizona  do  
not  accept  prisoners  with  serious  or  chronic  health  or  mental  health  care  needs.    When  a  
                                                                                                                
  “Prison  inmates  in  Arizona  crying  foul  over  medical  care,”  Arizona  Republic,  December  5,  2011  

130

  “Prison  inmates  in  Arizona  crying  foul  over  medical  care,”  Arizona  Republic,  December  5,  2011  

131

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prisoner   in   a   private   prison   becomes   sick   enough   that   he   cannot   be   treated   onsite,   he   is  
transferred   to   a   state-­‐‑run   facility   and   the   Department   of   Corrections   absorbs   the   cost   of  
treatment.  
This   also   can   mean   that,   when   an   otherwise   healthy   prisoner   suddenly   becomes   ill,   pri-­‐‑
vate   prisons   may   not   be   equipped   to   handle   the   emergency,   putting   those   prisoners   at  
risk  for  serious  complications  or  even  death.    Anecdotal  evidence  from  one  prisoner  indi-­‐‑
cates  the  basis  for  these  concerns:    
“Since  I’ve  been  here  we  have  had  2  inmates  die  at  this  facility.  One  put  in  sick-­‐‑
call  slip  after  sick-­‐‑call  slip  only  to  be  turned  away  without  proper  medical  help  on-­‐‑
ly  to  die  a  week  or  two  later.  The  other  put  in  sick-­‐‑calls  too  and  was  not  properly  
handled  and  ended  up  dying  a  short  time  later.  Inmates  watched  in  horror  as  un-­‐‑
dertrained  nurses  did  nothing  to  try  to  revive  the  30  year  old  inmate  in  question.  
Stating  and  I  quote:  ‘I  don’t  know  how  to  do  CPR.’”  –Prisoner  at  Florence  West  
(Operated  by  GEO  Group)  
Clearly,  private  prison  corporations  are  both  unwilling  and  unable  to  adequately  provide  
for  prisoners’  medical  needs.    At  the  same  time,  budget  constraints  and  the  push  for  pri-­‐‑
vatization   of   medical   care   in   state-­‐‑run   facilities   have   bred   a   medical   crisis   that   threatens  
not   only   the   lives   of   the   state’s   inmates   but   also   the   health   of   the   public.      Once   again,   a  
simple  state-­‐‑versus-­‐‑private  construct  will  not  adequately  solve  the  problem.    There  is  no  
question  that  greater  oversight  and  accountability  must  be  imposed  on  all  prisons  in  Ari-­‐‑
zona  to  ensure  that  these  serious  problems  are  corrected.      
Deaths in CCA Prisons in Arizona
Again,   the   amount   of   data   provided   by   various   governmental   entities   was   fragmented  
and  limited.    The  data  that  was  made  available  is  summarized  in  the  tables  below:  
Suicide   data   for   Hawaiian   Prisoners   in   CCA’s   Red   Rock   and   Saguaro   Correctional   Cen-­‐‑
ters,  2008-­‐‑2010  
Suicides  of  Hawaiian  Prisoners  in  Arizona,  2008-­‐‑2010  
Red  Rock  

Saguaro  

Attempted  Suicides  

20  

2  

Suicides  

0  

0  

  
The   State   of   Washington   reported   one   incident   of   “Attempted   self   mutilation/harm”   be-­‐‑
tween  2006-­‐‑2010,  in  the  Florence  Correctional  Center.  
The  state  of  California  reported  four  suicides  or  attempted  suicides  at  La  Palma  in  2010.  

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Medical Treatment and Deaths of ICE Detainees in CCA Facilities in Arizona
Recently   there   has   been   a   flood   of   data   emerging   about   denial   of   medical   treatment   in  
CCA’s  ICE  detention  facilities.    The  Eloy  Detention  Center  has  had  the  highest  number  of  
deaths  of  any  immigrant  detention  facility  in  the  U.S.132      
Records   from   the   US   Department   of   Immigration   and   Customs   Enforcement   show   that  
nine  immigrants  have  died  while  in  custody  at  Eloy  since  2003,  more  than  reported  at  any  
other   facility.     The   deaths   were   only   discovered   because   of   an   ACLU   lawsuit   under   the  
Freedom  of  Information  Act  asking  for  a  comprehensive  list  of  deaths  in  2007.133  
A   2008   Washington   Post   investigation   into   medical   care   in   immigrant   detention   centers  
found  “a  hidden  world  of  flawed  medical  judgments,  faulty  administrative  practices,  ne-­‐‑
glectful  guards,  ill-­‐‑trained  technicians,  sloppy  record-­‐‑keeping,  lost  medical  files  and  dan-­‐‑
gerous  staff  shortages.  It  is  also  a  world  increasingly  run  by  high-­‐‑priced  private  contrac-­‐‑
tors.   There   is   evidence   that   infectious   diseases,   including   tuberculosis   and   chicken   pox,  
are  spreading  inside  the  centers.”134  
These   concerns   are   echoed   in   an   in-­‐‑depth   ACLU   report   specifically   on   conditions   in   im-­‐‑
migrant  detention  centers  here  in  Arizona:  
“Among   the   most   commonly   reported   problems   by   detainees   in   Arizona   is   that  
their  requests  for  medical  care  were  not  taken  seriously  by  detention  staff,  nor  con-­‐‑
veyed  to  appropriate  medical  staff.  It  was  also  reported  that  detainees  experienced  
delays   before   being   seen   by   or   receiving   treatment   from   a   provider,   and   were   not  
given   care   consistent   with   prior   treatment.   In   some   cases,   detainees   told   us   that  
they   provided   detention   center   medical   staff   with   previous   medical   records   and  
prescriptions,  yet  still  did  not  receive  consistent  or  timely  care.”135  
The  ICE  inspection  of  the  Eloy  Detention  Center  in  2008  did  not  report  the  number  of  Psy-­‐‑
chiatric/Medical  Cases  referred  for  outside  care  by  quarter,  however,  they  did  report  1,060  
referrals  for  medical  care  and  31  psychiatric  referrals.  There  was  one  death  reported  due  

                                                                                                                
  “Officials  obscured  truth  of  migrant  deaths  in  jail,”  New  York  Times,  January  9,  2010  

132

  “Officials  obscured  truth  of  migrant  deaths  in  jail,”  New  York  Times,  January  9,  2010  

133

  System  of  neglect,”  Washington  Post,  May  18,  2008  

134

  American  Civil  Liberties  Union,  “In  Their  Own  Words:    Enduring  abuse  in  Arizona  immigration  
detention  centers.”    June  2011;  
http://acluaz.org/sites/default/files/documents/detention%20report%202011.pdf  
135

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to  illness.    The  report  states  that  the  detainee  was  transported  to  a  local  hospital  and  died  
about  a  month  later  of  “multiple  system  failures  because  of  cancer.”136  
The  bottom  line  is  that  medical  and  mental  health  treatment  are  extremely  expensive.    For  
private   prisons   concerned   with   profit   margins,   providing   quality   medical   care,   medica-­‐‑
tions,   and   psychiatric   treatment   is   a   financial   drag.      This   is   why   private   prisons   “cherry  
pick”  prisoners  to  house  that  are  low  cost,  specifically  excluding  in  many  cases  those  pris-­‐‑
oners   with   chronic   medical   conditions.      The   scant   data   provided   by   the   corporations   on  
numbers   of   deaths   in   custody,   combined   with   anecdotal   reports   from   prisoners   and   the  
findings  of  investigations  by  the  ACLU,  give  ample  cause  for  concern.      These  initial  find-­‐‑
ings   point   to   a   need   for   greater   oversight   and   reporting   requirements   to   assess   the   full  
scope  of  the  problem  and  indicate  potential  avenues  for  reform.  
In  the  meantime,  it  is  clear  that  privatization  is  not  a  solution  to  the  problem  of  substand-­‐‑
ard  prison  medical  and  mental  health  care.      

Recidivism
•
•
•
•
•

None  of  the  private  prison  corporations  operating  in  Arizona  measure  recidivism  rates.  
The  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections  has  a  42%  recidivism  rate.  
ADC  estimates  that  75%  of  prisoners  have  significant  substance  abuse  histories,  yet  only  
6%  of  AZ  prisoners  completed  drug  treatment  in  2011.  
50%  of  Kingman  prisoners  were  unemployed  and  most  slots  in  education  and  drug  treat-­‐‑
ment  programs  were  unfilled.  
“Northern   Hispanic   inmates”   in   CCA’s   La   Palma   prison   were   denied   the   full   range   of  
programming   that   was   supposed   to   be   provided   to   California   prisoners.      These   prisoners  
had   no   religious   services,   Alcoholics   Anonymous/Narcotics   Anonymous,   and   few   paid  
jobs.  

In  2005,  the  Department  of  Corrections  conducted  a  recidivism  study,  the  first  of  its  kind  
on  record  in  Arizona.    The  focus  of  the  document  is  on  the  impact  of  prisoner  program-­‐‑
ming  on  the  numbers  of  people  returning  to  custody.    The  study  found  that,  among  54,660  
inmates  released  over  the  period  1990-­‐‑1999:    
1)
2)
3)
4)

42.4%  returned  to  ADC  custody  for  any  reason    
24.5%  returned  to  ADC  custody  with  a  new  criminal  commitment    
23.2%  acquired  a  new  felony  conviction  resulting  in  recommitment    
5.9%  acquired  a  new  felony  conviction  for  a  violent  crime  resulting  in  recommitment    

                                                                                                                
  Immigration  and  Custom  Enforcement,  Detention  Facility  Inspection  Form.    Eloy  Detention  Center  
February  19-­‐‑21,  2008;    http://www.ice.gov/doclib/foia/dfra-­‐‑ice-­‐‑
dro/eloydetentioncentereloyazfebruary19212008.pdf  
136

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5) 30.9%  committed  a  new  felony  offense  resulting  in  recommitment    
6) 7.9%  committed  a  new  violent  felony  offense  resulting  in  recommitment137    
The  only  more  recent  data  available  on  recidivism  is  the  Department’s  “Corrections  at  a  
Glance,”  which  provides  monthly  statistics  on  the  prisoner  population.    According  to  the  
November   2011   edition,   18,654   state   prisoners   had   served   a   prior   prison   term.138      This   is  
46.6%   of   the   population.      This   would   indicate   that   Arizona’s   recidivism   rate   has   risen  
since  2005.  
The   2005   recidivism   study   showed   that   recidivism   rates   increase   with   time—the   longer  
the  period  of  follow-­‐‑up  study,  the  more  likely  a  person  was  to  have  returned  to  custody.    
It   also   demonstrated   that   males   are   more   likely   to   recidivate   than   women,   and   that   the  
older  people  get,  the  less  likely  they  are  to  go  back  to  prison.      
The   report   also   shows,   perhaps   unsurprisingly,   that   rehabilitative   programming   offered  
to   prisoners   reduces   recidivism   rates   by   25%.      This   includes   work,   academic   education,  
vocational  education,  and  substance  abuse  treatment.    The  best  results  were  for  those  in-­‐‑
volved  in  prison  industry  programs,  who  saw  a  34%  reduction  in  recidivism.    Substance  
abuse  treatment  also  produced  significant  reductions  in  recidivism.139    
Unfortunately,  when  budgets  are  tight,  these  types  of  programs  are  the  first  to  be  cut.    As  
it  stands,  prisoners  in  high  security  units  in  ADC  are  prohibited  from  participating  in  the-­‐‑
se   programs.      And   it   is   unclear   how   many   slots   are   available   relative   to   the   need   inside  
state   prisons.      Out   of   40,027   prisoners   in   ADC   in   November   2011   participation   levels   in  
these  programs  are  minimal:  
1,693  enrolled  in  functional  literacy  programs  
2,809  in  GED  
2,136  in  Career  and  Technical  Education  

                                                                                                                
  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Arizona  Inmate  Recidivism  Study:    Executive  Summary.    May  
2005;  http://www.azcorrections.gov/adc/reports/recidivism_2005.pdf.  
137

  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Corrections  At  A  Glance,  November  2011;  
http://www.azcorrections.gov/adc/reports/CAG/CAGnov11.pdf.  
138

  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Arizona  Inmate  Recidivism  Study:    Executive  Summary.    May  
2005;    http://www.azcorrections.gov/adc/reports/recidivism_2005.pdf.  
139

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Despite   ADC’s   own   assessment   that   “seventy   five   percent   of   inmates   assessed   at   intake  
have   significant   substance   abuse   histories,”140   the   numbers   in   treatment   programs   are  
laughable:  
488  in  “moderate”  drug  treatment  
261  in  “intensive”  drug  treatment  
201  in  DUI  treatment141  
In  FY  2011,  ADC  reports  a  total  of  2,302  prisoners  completed  substance  abuse  treatment—
only  6%  of  the  prison  population.    This  falls  far  short  of  the  75%  of  prisoners  in  need  of  
such  services.142  
If   our   Department   of   Corrections—the   only   state   agency   that   saw   a   budget   increase   in  
2011—is  not  bothering  to  provide  sufficient  rehabilitative  programming,  it  is  unlikely  that  
private   prisons   concerned   with   the   bottom   line   will   dedicate   the   resources   to   these   pro-­‐‑
grams.    Once  again,  privatization  is  no  solution  to  the  problem.      
Private Prisons Under Contract With the State
“And   I   also   believe   that’s   why   there’s   such   a   lack   of   rehabilitation   and   job   trade  
education,   because   they   don’t   want   to   help   us   become   better   individuals.   They  
want  us  to  come  back  so  they  can  make  more  money.  Cause  let’s  face  it  if  we  leave  
and  not  come  back  they’re  out  of  business”  –Prisoner  at  Florence  West  (Operated  
by  GEO  Group)  
Concerns   that   private   prisons   cut   corners   to   meet   the   bottom   line   are   paramount   when  
considering   the   quality   of   services   available   to   inmates   in   for-­‐‑profit   facilities.      As   dis-­‐‑
cussed   earlier,   these   corporations   expressly   prohibit   prisoners   with   medical   or   mental  
health   needs,   as   these   require   costly   services.      However,   some   private   operators   have  
gone  after  the  “niche  market”  of  drug  and  alcohol  abuse  treatment  facilities,  like  the  GEO  
prisons  housing  DUI  offenders  and  MTC’s  Marana  “Community  Correctional  Treatment  
Facility.”        
Representatives   from   all   of   the   corporations   bidding   for   contracts   in   Arizona,   including  
Management   and   Training   Corporation,   GEO   Group,   and   Corrections   Corporation   of  
America  were  asked  during  public  hearings  in  August  of  2011  about  their  recidivism  data.    
Every  corporation  had  the  same  response:    They  do  not  measure  it.    Terry  Stewart,  lobby-­‐‑
                                                                                                                
  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Corrections  At  A  Glance,  November  2011;  
http://www.azcorrections.gov/adc/reports/CAG/CAGnov11.pdf.  
140

ibid  

141

  ibid  

142

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ist  for  MTC,  went  as  far  as  to  say  that  it  was  impossible  to  measure  recidivism,  as  prisoners  
spend  time  in  many  different  types  of  facilities  during  their  terms  of  incarceration.      
Yet  all  of  these  corporations  make  expansive  claims  about  their  effectiveness  at  maintain-­‐‑
ing   public   safety.      Private   prison   supporters   claim   that   these   facilities   are   better   because  
they  apply  a  business  model  to  the  practice  of  corrections.    However,  most  businesses  in  a  
free  market  are  required  to  have  some  concrete  measure  of  their  effectiveness.  
There   is   some   evidence   that   state-­‐‑contracted   private   prisons   are   not   delivering   on   their  
promises  to  provide  rehabilitative  services  to  the  state’s  inmates.     Director  Ryan’s  “Cure  
Notice”  to  MTC  on  persistent  issues  at  the  Kingman  prison  included  the  following  entry  
under  “Inmate  Programs”:  
Inmate  Idleness—50%  of  facility’s  inmate  population  is  unemployed;  176  seats  are  
available  in  Academic  and  Career  Technical  Education  classes  at  Cerbat  Unit  with  
over   700   inmates   eligible   but   unassigned;   20   seats   are   available   in   the  
DUI/Substance  Abuse  Treatment  Program  at  Cerbat  Unit  with  over  700  inmates  el-­‐‑
igible   but   unassigned;   12   seats   are   available   in   Academic   Programs   at   Hualapai  
Unit   with   other   600   inmates   eligible   but   unassigned;   39   seats   are   available   in   the  
DUI/Substance  Abuse  Treatment  Program  at  Hualapai  Unit  with  over  450  inmates  
eligible   but   unassigned;   No   Career   Technical   Education   classes   are   available   at  
Hualapai  Unit.143  
AFSC   received   several   prisoner   testimonies   in   2010   that   complained   of   a   lack   of   pro-­‐‑
gramming  in  Florence  West  (GEO  Group):  
“I  have  entirely  too  much  idle  time.  I  have  a  C  clearance,  but  I  can’t  even  utilize  it  
on   this   yard.   They   don’t   have   jobs   off   the   yard   in   comparison   to   other   minimum  
yards.  I’ve  been  trying  to  work  in  the  kitchen  and  they  won’t  even  allow  me  to  do  
that.  I’ve  been  trying  for  over  3  months.”  –Prisoner  at  Florence  West  (Operated  by  
GEO  Group)  
“I  could  be  using  this  time  more  positively  and  I  try  to.  But  there  needs  to  be  more  
emphasis   on   programs   and   possibly   trade   education   so   people   actually   leave   here  
better  persons  knowing  a  trade  or  having  an  education  so  they  can  be  productive  
members  of  society”  –Prisoner  at  Florence  West  (Operated  by  GEO  Group)  
“Yes  I  do  participate  [in  programs]  trying  to  suck  up  as  much  help  and  knowledge  
I  can  get.  But  a  lot  of  the  material  is  quite  old  and  the  people  running  these  pro-­‐‑
grams  are  just  going  through  the  motions  not  really  interested  in  helping  and  often  
                                                                                                                
  Charles  Ryan,  Cure  Notice  to  MTC,  memo,  December  29,  2010.  

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look  down  on  us  like  we  are  lesser”  –Prisoner  at  Florence  West  (Operated  by  GEO  
Group)  
“I  do  have  a  lot  of  idle  time  because  I  completed  all  of  my  programming  before  I  got  
to  this  yard”—Prisoner  at  Florence  West  (Operated  by  GEO  Group)  
“If  us  inmates  walk  out  of  the  gates  the  same  as  we  walked  in  them  then  we’ll  be  
back   in   the   same   situation.   We   made   mistakes   but   we   still   deserve   to   be   able   to  
work   hard,   take   a   trade,   program   more,   and   just   accomplish   something   with   our  
time  here.”  –Prisoner  at  Florence  West  (Operated  by  GEO  Group)  
Rehabilitation in CCA Prisons in Arizona:
Inspectors  from  the  California  Department  of  Corrections  and  Rehabilitation  (CDCR)  had  
similar   concerns   about   CCA’s   La   Palma   facility.      After   a   racial   altercation   in   2008   at   an-­‐‑
other   prison,   a   group   of   “Northern   Hispanic   inmates”   (the   exact   meaning   of   this   racial  
grouping  is  unclear)  were  moved  to  La  Palma.144    These  prisoners  were  apparently  denied  
the  full  range  of  programming  opportunities  afforded  to  California  prisoners.    The  inves-­‐‑
tigator  stated,  “these  inmates  were  offered  exercise  and  GED  education  but  have  no  access  
to  a  full  law  library,  religious  services,  narcotics  anonymous,  alcoholics  anonymous,  and  
most  paid  jobs.    In  addition,  CDCR  management  told  us  that  43  of  145  Northern  Hispanic  
inmates  housed  at  La  Palma  have  a  reading  level  at  6.0  or  lower,  yet  none  of  these  inmates  
are  enrolled  in  adult  basic  education  classes  as  required  by  CDCR’s  Operations  Manual,  
Section  101010.1.”145  
There   were   also   a   number   of   disturbing   findings   having   to   do   with   denial   of   prisoner’s  
rights.    These  include  “retaining  inmates  in  administrative  segregation,  overriding  inmate  
classification   scores,   delaying   transfer   of   inmate   property,   family   visiting   video-­‐‑
conferencing  not  provided,  limiting  programming  opportunities  for  Northern  and  South-­‐‑
ern   Hispanic   inmates,   inmates   lacking   required   classification   committee   documents,   in-­‐‑
correctly  recording  inmate  disagreement  with  committee  decisions,  and  inadequately  ana-­‐‑
lyzing  and  documenting  rule  violation  reports.”146  

                                                                                                                
  The  term  “Northern  Hispanic”  is  used  by  corrections  and  police  in  California  to  distinguish  be-­‐‑
tween  southern  California  Hispanics,  with  closer  ties  to  Mexico,  and  northern  California  Hispanics.  
There  is  a  history  of  criminal  associations  in  that  state  dividing  along  geographic  lines,  with  the  
prison  system  separating  them.  
144

  David  R.  Shaw,  California  Inspector  General,  Out  of  State  Facility  Inspection  Results,  memo  to  
Matthew  L.  Cate,  Secretary,  California  Department  of  Corrections  and  Rehabilitation.,  December  2,  
2010.  
145

  ibid  

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Upon   closer   inspection,   what   the   inspectors   vaguely   refer   to   as   “incorrectly   recording”  
appears  to  actually  be  deliberate  efforts  on  the  part  of  CCA  staff  to  alter  records  to  cover  
up  prisoner  dissent  over  their  security  classifications,  a  potential  violation  of  their  right  to  
due   process.      Inspectors   found   ‘boiler   plate’   identical   language   in   the   documents   saying  
that  the  prisoners  agreed  with  their  classification,  but  in  at  least  one  case,  staff  informed  
the  inspectors  that  the  prisoner  was  not  in  agreement.    Furthermore,  inspectors  found  that  
CCA   staff   were   not   providing   copies   of   these   and   other   forms   to   the   prisoners,   so   they  
would  not  be  aware  of  the  discrepancy.      

Conclusion
Perhaps  the  most  important  aspect  of  this  section  of  this  report  is  the  lack  of  information  
AFSC  was  able  to  obtain  on  medical  and  mental  health  care  in  these  facilities.    There  is  no  
question  that  this  issue  deserves  a  level  of  scrutiny  that  was  beyond  the  scope  of  this  re-­‐‑
port.    It  is  likely  that  the  involvement  of  the  ACLU  and  California  Prison  Law  Office  will  
be  critical  in  exposing  the  deficiencies  in  the  Arizona  state  prison  system.    However,  those  
private  prisons  operating  in  Arizona  that  are  not  under  contract  with  the  state  will  be  ex-­‐‑
cluded  from  any  legal  action  brought  in  this  case.    It  is  up  to  the  government  entities  sup-­‐‑
plying  the  prisoners  to  monitor  the  quality  of  the  care  being  provided  and  to  hold  the  pri-­‐‑
vate  operators  accountable  in  cases  of  neglect  or  malpractice.  
Once  again,  it  appears  that  the  quality  of  service  in  these  facilities  is  subject  to  the  corpora-­‐‑
tions’  cost  benefit  analysis,  rather  than  sound  correctional  practice  or  a  concern  for  human  
welfare.    This  is  also  the  case  with  in-­‐‑prison  rehabilitative  programming.  
None  of  the  state  agencies  to  which  AFSC  sent  public  information  requests  provided  data  
on  recidivism.    None  of  the  websites  of  the  major  private  prison  corporations  (CCA,  MTC,  
and  GEO  Group)  list  recidivism  data.    GEO  Group  goes  so  far  as  to  claim,  “we  are  com-­‐‑
mitted  to  not  only  improving  upon  those  programs  already  in  place  but  instilling  new  ev-­‐‑
idence-­‐‑based   rehabilitation   solutions   that   are   proven   to   reduce   recidivism.”147      Yet   no-­‐‑
where  do  they  provide  any  ‘evidence’  or  ‘proof’  that  their  programs  do  what  they  claim.    
It   is   disingenuous   and   irresponsible   for   any   company   to   charge   for   a   service   without  
providing  solid  proof  that  it  is  delivering  the  promised  results.  
Ironically,  the  greatest  cost  savings  for  states  as  well  as  the  most  significant  reductions  in  
recidivism   appear   to   come   from   keeping   people   out   of   prison.      Community   based   treat-­‐‑
ment  programs,  diversion  and  probation  services  all  show  impressive  reductions  in  recid-­‐‑
ivism,  for  a  fraction  of  what  it  costs  to  keep  drug  offenders  in  prison.  

                                                                                                                
  GEO  Group,  “Evidence-­‐‑Based  Rehabilitative  Programs.”  Web  page;  
http://www.geogroup.com/Programs.asp  
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Performance Measure IV:
Transparency and Accountability
Key  Findings  
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Private  prisons  that  are  located  in  Arizona  but  do  not  contract  with  the  state  have  virtually  
no  state  oversight.  
Private  prison  corporations  are  not  required  to  make  their  records  public  under  the  Free-­‐‑
dom  of  Information  Act.  
Some  state  governments  appear  to  be  unable  or  unwilling  to  cancel  contracts,  even  when  
the  private  operators  are  grossly  negligent  or  violate  state  or  federal  laws.  
A  Hawaii  state  auditor  found  that  CCA  deliberately  skewed  its  cost  savings  data  and  cir-­‐‑
cumvented  open  competition  for  contracts.  
The   state   of   Arizona   paid   MTC   $3   million   for   empty   prison   beds   after   the   corporation  
threatened  to  sue  the  state  for  $10  million.  
All   three   major   prison   corporations   buy   influence   with   federal   and   state   governments  
through  aggressive  lobbying  and  campaign  contributions.  
There   is   evidence   to   suggest   that   some   of   these   corporations   are   influencing   the   writing  
and  passage  of  legislation  that  keep  their  prisons  full,  such  as  Arizona’s  infamous  SB1070.  

Transparency
Private   corporations   are   not   subject   to   the   same   oversight   or   made   to   provide   the   same  
level  of  transparency  as  a  state  agency,  and  none  of  the  normal  governmental  checks  and  
balances  apply.    
This  is  particularly  true  in  the  case  of  the  six  prisons  operated  by  CCA  that  do  not  contract  
with  the  state  of  Arizona.    Because  they  do  not  house  Arizona  prisoners,  they  are  not  sub-­‐‑
ject  to  any  monitoring  by  the  Department  of  Corrections  or  the  Auditor  General.  
Below  is  the  extent  of  the  oversight  of  these  prisons  required  by  Arizona  law:  
41-­‐‑1683.  Private  prison;  prisoner  identification;  notice  
A.  Private  prisons  shall  maintain  photographs  and  fingerprints  on  site  of  all  pris-­‐‑
oners  incarcerated  in  the  facility.  
B.  Before  another  state  transfers  prisoners  to  a  private  prison  in  this  state,  the  pri-­‐‑
vate  prison  housing  prisoners  under  incarceration  orders  from  a  court  of  another  
state  shall  provide  the  governor,  the  director  of  the  department  of  public  safety  and  
the  director  of  the  state  department  of  corrections  with  the  following  information:  
1.  The  number  of  prisoners  to  be  transferred.  
2.  The  names  of  the  prisoners  to  be  transferred.  
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3.  The  date  of  the  transfer.  
4.  The  security  level  of  each  prisoner  to  be  transferred,  as  determined  by  the  sen-­‐‑
tencing  state.  
C.   If   one   to   ten   prisoners   are   transferred   into   this   state,   the   private   prison   shall  
comply   with   the   notification   requirements   in   subsection   B   at   least   forty-­‐‑eight  
hours  before  the  prisoners  arrive  in  this  state.  If  eleven  or  more  prisoners  are  trans-­‐‑
ferred  into  this  state,  the  private  prison  shall  comply  with  the  notification  require-­‐‑
ments  pursuant  to  subsection  B  at  least  seven  days  before  the  prisoners   arrive  in  
this  state.  
D.  The  information  provided  pursuant  to  subsection  B,  paragraphs  2,  3  and  4  shall  
not  be  public  record  until  the  transfer  of  the  prisoners  is  completed.148  
The  private  prison  corporations  are  required  to  report  the  security  level  of  their  prisoners,  
but  not  the  crimes  for  which  prisoners  were  sentenced.    Prisons  are  not  required  to  notify  
state  or  local  government  of  disturbances,  riots,  or  escapes.    Legislation  to  place  basic  re-­‐‑
porting   requirements   on   these   facilities   has   been   introduced   several   times,   but   never   re-­‐‑
ceived  a  hearing.    These  are  modest  bills,  requiring  basic  information  like  the  types  of  of-­‐‑
fenders   being   housed,   staffing   levels,   or   requirements   that   prisons   notify   local   and   state  
authorities  of  a  major  incident  that  threatens  the  health  and  safety  of  the  prisoners,  staff,  
or  the  public.      
Last  session,  Sen.  Ron  Gould,  Chair  of  the  Senate  Judiciary  Committee,  announced  public-­‐‑
ly   that   he   refused   to   allow   these   bills   to   be   heard   in   his   Committee   because   he   “didn’t  
think  they’re  necessary.”149  
One  of  the  popular  misconceptions  about  privatization  is  that  it  makes  agencies  more  effi-­‐‑
cient.    However,  in  the  case  of  prison  privatization,  it  actually  does  the  opposite.    Privatiz-­‐‑
ing   individual   prison   facilities   simply   adds   another   layer   of   bureaucracy   to   the   system.    
Now,   instead   of   one   agency—the   Department   of   Corrections—being   responsible   for   the  
management  of  the  state’s  prisons,  we  have  several  different  corporate  bodies  with  their  
own  staff  and  their  own  sets  of  policies  and  procedures.      
The   Department   of   Corrections   must   hire   additional   staff   to   write   and   monitor   the   con-­‐‑
tracts,  and  more  staff  to  physically  monitor  and  inspect  the  facilities  themselves.    The  De-­‐‑
partment  continues  to  have  responsibility  for  certain  functions,  such  as  time  computation,  
                                                                                                                
  Arizona  Revised  Statutes,  Title  41  Ch,11  Art.8  Sec.1683;  
http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/41/01683.htm&Title=41&DocType=ARS.  
148

  “Arizona  private  prison  oversight  bills  die,”  Arizona  Republic,  February  15,  2011  

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medical  care  for  serious  or  chronic  conditions,  and  transportation—all  of  which  must  now  
be  coordinated  with  the  various  corporations’  staff.    These  parallel  management  functions  
are  essentially  redundant.    In  the  end,  the  taxpayer  is  being  charged  for  more  bureaucra-­‐‑
cy,  not  less.      

Accountability
Often  when  concerns  are  raised  about  a  prison  corporation’s  safety  record  or  other  prob-­‐‑
lems,   the   defense   is   that   if   the   corporation   has   retained   the   contract   for   the   facility,   the  
government  body  sending  the  prisoners  must  have  confidence  in  them.    The  conventional  
wisdom   is   that,   in   a   free   market,   companies   providing   quality   services   will   prosper   and  
those  that  fail  to  deliver  will  go  out  of  business.    However,  the  evidence  indicates  that  the  
reality  is  not  so  simple.      
Decisions  about  private  prison  contracts  and  the  people  who  make  them  (legislators,  Cor-­‐‑
rections   administrators)   are   responding   to   a   variety   of   pressures   when   awarding   con-­‐‑
tracts.    There  are  a  myriad  of  factors  at  play  in  these  decisions,  such  as  prison  population  
pressures,  politics,  and,  of  course,  money.    In  some  instances,  these  other  issues  may  make  
it  difficult  for  a  state  to  cancel  a  contract  with  a  private  prison,  even  when  the  facilities  are  
grossly  mismanaged  or  there  is  rampant  abuse  of  prisoners.  
The  State  Auditor  of  Hawaii,  which  houses  its  inmates  in  a  CCA-­‐‑run  prison  in  Eloy,  Ari-­‐‑
zona,   recently   released   a   review   of   its   contracts   with   the   private   operator.      It   concludes  
that   CCA   had   deliberately   misled   the   state   legislature   about   the   cost   of   privatization   by  
providing  “artificial  cost  figures  derived  from  a  calculation  based  on  a  flawed  methodol-­‐‑
ogy.”150    It  also  reveals  that  CCA  was  essentially  gaming  the  system.    The  Auditor  found  
that,  “department  directors,  past  and  present,  have  misused  their  procurement  authority  
to  circumvent  the  process  that  agencies  are  required  by  law  to  follow.    By  treating  CCA  as  
a  government  agent,  instead  of  a  private  for-­‐‑profit  corporation,  the  department  was  able  
to  secure  the  company  as  the  vendor  of  choice,  relieving  it  from  the  open  competition  that  
the  Hawai‘i  Public  Procurement  Code  was  designed  to  ensure.”151  
When   the   allegations   of   rampant   abuses   against   Hawaiian   inmates   in   CCA   facilities   in  
Arizona  came  to  light,  the  state’s  Governor  announced  that  he  would  cancel  contracts  and  

                                                                                                                
  The  Auditor,  State  of  Hawai’i,  Management  Audit  of  the  Department  of  Public  Safety’s  Contracting  
for  Prison  Beds  and  Services,  Report  No.  10-­‐‑10,  December  2010;  
http://www.state.hi.us/auditor/Reports/2010/10-­‐‑10.pdf  
150

    The  Auditor,  State  of  Hawai’i,  Management  Audit  of  the  Department  of  Public  Safety’s  Contracting  
for  Prison  Beds  and  Services,  Report  No.  10-­‐‑10,  December  2010;  
http://www.state.hi.us/auditor/Reports/2010/10-­‐‑10.pdf  
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bring   prisoners   back   to   the   islands.      In   December   of   2010,   Governor   Neil   Abercrombie  
pledged  to  bring  Hawaii’s  prisoners  home."ʺ152    
A   month   later,   he   appeared   to   be   making   good   on   his   pledge,   as   243   prisoners   were   re-­‐‑
turned  to  Hawaii,  while  just  96  were  transferred  out.153    Then,  five  months  later,  the  state  
signed  a  new,  three-­‐‑year  contract  with  CCA  to  house  up  to  1,900  prison  inmates  at  private  
prisons  in  Arizona.    CCA  was  believed  to  have  submitted  the  sole  bid  for  the  contract.154    
When   asked   about   the   discrepancy,   the   Governor   explained   that   the   plan   to   build   new  
prisons  on  the  islands  to  accommodate  the  returning  prisoners  was  still  in  development.    
With  nowhere  else  to  turn,  the  state  handed  over  an  estimated  $44.3  million  to  a  corpora-­‐‑
tion  that  might  not  only  be  cooking  the  books,  but  also  routinely  abusing  Hawaiian  pris-­‐‑
oners.155  
Not  only  have  private  prison  corporations  in  some  cases  purposely  misled  the  contracting  
agency,   there   is   also   evidence   of   prison   corporations   bullying   states   and   avoiding   ac-­‐‑
countability  for  missteps  by  threatening  costly  lawsuits.      
When  Arizona  officials  have  attempted  to  hold  for-­‐‑profit  prison  operators  accountable  for  
serious   problems,   they   have   been   undermined   by   the   corporations’   strong-­‐‑arm   tactics.    
After  the  escapes  from  MTC’s  Kingman  prison,  many  of  the  fixes  requested  by  ADC  were  
not  being  implemented,  even  as  late  as  December  of  2010.    A  “Cure  Notice”  was  sent  to  
MTC  on  December  29,  2010.      
The  document  provides  a  timeline  of  correspondence  between  ADC  and  MTC,  in  ADC’s  
attempt  to  get  the  company  to  fix  problems  at  Kingman.    It  refers  to  a  November  1,  2010  
document   from   ADC   “which   included   9   outstanding   deficiencies   that   remained   uncor-­‐‑
rected,  as  well  as  24  additional  deficiencies  identified  at  both  Kingman  units.”    It  also  re-­‐‑
fers  to  a  December  27,  2010  document  from  ADC  which  “cited  corrective  actions  that  have  
not,  in  fact,  taken  place.”    On  pages  2-­‐‑3  of  the  Cure  Notice,  Ryan  states,  “…MTC  Kingman  
has   not   effected   sustained   systemic   operational   improvements.”156      The   document   then  
provides   a   list   of   12   bullet   points   describing   specific   problems   that   persist   in   the   facility  
and  had  not  been  corrected.      
In  response  to  this  foot-­‐‑dragging  on  the  part  of  the  corporation,  the  state  pulled  238  high-­‐‑
risk   prisoners   out   of   Kingman   and   said   it   would   stop   sending   new   prisoners   until   MTC  
                                                                                                                
    “Abercrombie  pledges  isle  inmates'ʹ  return,”  Honolulu  Star  Advertiser,  December  16,  2010  

152

  “Isle  inmates  brought  home,”  Honolulu  Star  Advertiser,  January  28,  2011  

153

  “State  Signs  New  Three-­‐‑Year  Arizona  Prison  Deal,”  Hawaii  Reporter,  June  22,  2011  

154

  “State  Signs  New  Three-­‐‑Year  Arizona  Prison  Deal,”  Hawaii  Reporter,  June  22,  2011  

155

  Charles  Ryan,  Cure  Notice  to  MTC,  memo,  December  29,  2010.  

156

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fixed   its   security   problems   and   retrained   its   corrections   officers.      By   contract,   MTC   was  
being  paid  $60.10  per  inmate  per  day,  with  a  guaranteed  minimum  occupancy  of  97  per-­‐‑
cent.  But  Corrections  Director  Charles  Ryan  suspended  that  guarantee,  saying  that  MTC  
was  out  of  compliance  with  its  contract  and  that  until  MTC  fully  addressed  lax  security,  it  
would  be  paid  only  for  the  inmates  it  actually  housed.  
While   state   officials   accused   MTC   of   dragging   its   feet   in   fixing   flaws   at   Kingman,   the  
company  threatened  to  sue,  saying  the  state  had  no  right  to  refuse  to  pay  the  guaranteed  
97   percent   and   demanding   millions   of   dollars   to   make   up   for   what   it   had   lost   since   the  
state  stopped  sending  prisoners.  
By  March  21,  when  the  two  sides  settled,  MTC'ʹs  demand  amounted  to  nearly  $10  million.  
The   state   realized   it   was   out-­‐‑gunned.      In   exchange   for   MTC   dropping   its   claim,   Correc-­‐‑
tions  agreed  to  begin  paying  MTC  at  the  97  percent  rate  on  May  1,  even  though  it  would  
take  until  the  end  of  August  to  send  enough  new  inmates  to  refill  the  prison  to  that  level.    
Between  May  2010  and  August  of  2011,  Arizona  had  paid  MTC—a  company  whose  neg-­‐‑
ligence   let   three   prisoners   escape   and   murder   two   people—over   $3   million   for   empty  
beds.157  

Are Prison Corporations Are Writing Arizona’s Laws?
Private  prison  companies  are  dependent  on  an  ever-­‐‑increasing  supply  of  prisoners  in  or-­‐‑
der  to  stay  solvent.    When  human  beings  become  the  “raw  material”  in  a  business,  there  is  
an  inherent  pressure  on  the  company  to  increase  the  input  of  people  into  its  system.    This  
creates  a  disincentive  for  the  companies  to  accomplish  the  primary  mission  of  a  correction-­‐‑
al  institution:    to  reform  and  rehabilitate  its  prisoners  so  that  they  can  reintegrate  success-­‐‑
fully  into  society.    
Instead,  the  job  security  of  the  institutions’  staff  is  partially  insured  through  a  high  recidi-­‐‑
vism  rate.    This  issue  is  particularly  important  in  light  of  the  fact  that  many  private  prison  
corporations  offer  stock  in  the  company  rather  than  pensions.      
A   recent   editorial   in   The   Economist,   titled   “The   Perverse   Incentives   of   Private   Prisons,”  
summarizes  the  problem:  
“…  contractors  have  every  incentive  to  make  themselves  seem  necessary.  It  is  well-­‐‑
known  that  public  prison  employee  unions  constitute  a  powerful  constituency  for  
tough   sentencing   policies   that   lead   to   larger   prison   populations   requiring   addi-­‐‑
tional   prisons   and   personnel.   The   great   hazard   of   contracting   out   incarceration  
"ʺservices"ʺ  is  that  private  firms  may  well  turn  out  to  be  even  more  efficient  and  ef-­‐‑
                                                                                                                
  “Arizona  prison  oversight  lacking  for  private  facilities,”    Arizona  Republic,  August  7,  2011  

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fective   than   unions  in   lobbying   for   policies   that   would   increase   prison   popula-­‐‑
tions.”158  
This   issue   was   highlighted   in   Arizona   when   it   was   revealed   that   the   two   of   the   Gover-­‐‑
nor’s  top  advisors  were  closely  tied  to  the  for-­‐‑profit  prison  industry.    Brewer’s  then  Chief  
of  Staff,  Paul  Senseman,  was  formerly  a  lobbyist  for  CCA  and  his  wife  is  currently  lobby-­‐‑
ing  for  the  corporation.    Brewer’s  Campaign  Director,  Chuck  Coughlin,  runs  a  public  af-­‐‑
fairs  consulting  firm  that  also  counts  CCA  as  a  client.    CCA  was  also  found  to  have  con-­‐‑
tributed  generously  to  the  Governor’s  re-­‐‑election  campaign  and  to  the  campaign  to  pass  
Proposition  100,  the  sales  tax  initiative  championed  by  Brewer.  159    
All  of  this  led  to  widespread  speculation  as  to  whether  these  relationships  were  a  factor  in  
Brewer’s   support   for   SB1070,   Arizona’s   controversial   anti-­‐‑immigration   law.      CCA   holds  
several  contracts  with  the  federal  department  of  Immigration  and  Customs  Enforcement  
(ICE)  to  hold  immigrant  detainees  in  its  facilities  in  Pinal  County.    SB1070  was  widely  ex-­‐‑
pected  to  increase  the  numbers  of  immigrants  arrested  and  detained  in  Arizona,  thus  po-­‐‑
tentially  serving  as  a  source  of  immense  profits  for  the  corporation.  
Of  further  interest  is  the  role  of  ALEC,  the  American  Legislative  Exchange  Council.    AL-­‐‑
EC   is   an   organization   that   counts   legislators   and   corporations   as   its   members.      ALEC  
holds   conferences   in   elite   and   swanky   resorts   where   legislators   are   wined   and   dined   by  
lobbyists  and  attend  “educational  sessions”  on  issues  of  interest  to  the  group’s  corporate  
members.    They  also  draft  model  legislation  which  the  legislators  then  carry  home  to  their  
states  and  introduce  in  their  respective  legislatures.    
ALEC   Private   Sector   Chairs   (corporate   lobbyists,   generally)   in   each   state   raise   huge  
amounts  of  money  from  various  businesses  for  a  “Scholarship  Fund.”    The  Public  Sector  
Chair  (a  state  legislator)  then  reimburses  the  legislators  for  their  expenses  associated  with  
attending  these  soirees.    Interestingly,  these  reimbursements  are  not  considered  to  be  po-­‐‑
litical  gifts  and  do  not  have  to  be  reported  as  lobbying.    ALEC  is  considered  to  be  a  non-­‐‑
profit  organization  and  is  not  required  to  register  as  a  lobbying  organization  in  any  state.    
For-­‐‑profit   prison   corporations   have   long   been   involved   in   ALEC.      The   current   roster   in-­‐‑
cludes  Corrections  Corporation  of  America,  the  nation’s  largest  private  jailer;  GEO  Group,  
the  nation’s  second  largest  private  jailer;  Sodexho  Marriott,  the  nation’s  leading  food  ser-­‐‑
vices  provider  to  private  correctional  institutions;  the  American  Bail  Coalition;  and  Taser  
International,  to  name  a  few.  
                                                                                                                
  “The  Perverse  Incentives  of  Private  Prisons,”  The  Economist,  8/4/2010.  

158

  Beau  Hodai,  “The  Ties  That  Bind:    Arizona  Politicians  and  the  Private  Prison  Industry,”  In  These  
Times,  June  21,  2010.    
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All  the  so-­‐‑called  ‘tough  on  crime’  laws  of  the  1990’s  were  ALEC  model  legislation,  includ-­‐‑
ing  “Three  Strikes,”  “Truth  in  Sentencing,”  and  mandatory  sentencing  laws.    The  Institute  
for  Money  in  State  Politics  reported  that  “Private-­‐‑prison  interests  —  primarily  lobbyists  —  
gave  $77,267  to  Arizona  candidates  during  the  2002  and  2004  election  cycles.  The  contri-­‐‑
butions   largely   went   to   legislative   candidates,   74   percent   of   whom   won   their   seats.”160    
These  contributions  were  correlated  with  five  pieces  of  legislation  during  the  same  period  
that  “sought  to  either  modify  Arizona’s  sentencing  laws,  increase  the  number  of  private-­‐‑
prison   beds   in   the   state,   address   overcrowding   by   requiring   the   Department   of   Correc-­‐‑
tions  to  transfer  prisoners  to  private  prisons,  or  prohibit  out-­‐‑of-­‐‑state  prisoners  from  being  
housed  in  Arizona’s  private  prisons.”161  
Corrections  Corporation  of  America  was  the  Chair  of  ALEC’s  Public  Safety  Task  Force  for  
the   past   decade,   only   recently   stepping   down   due   to   criticism   for   its   role   in   promoting  
legislation  that  filled  its  prisons.    Given  the  close  ties  between  the  Governor’s  office  and  
CCA,  there  was  much  speculation  that  ALEC  was  behind  SB1070.    A  two-­‐‑part  expose  on  
National   Public   Radio   went   as   far   as   to   say   that   the   bill   was   conceived   and   drafted   in  
meetings  with  CCA  and  ALEC.    However,  it  is  clear  that  the  concept  of  the  bill  originated  
with  Russell  Pearce.    Various  pieces  of  the  bill  had  been  introduced  as  individual  bills  in  
previous  sessions,  but  did  not  pass.    In  a  sense,  SB1070  was  Russell  Pearce’s  ‘letter  to  San-­‐‑
ta  Claus’—on  one  piece  of  paper,  he  got  everything  he  always  wanted.  
National  Public  Radio  reported  that  the  bill  was  discussed  at  an  ALEC  meeting  in  Decem-­‐‑
ber   of   2009.162      It   is   possible   that   the   corporate   members   like   CCA   helped   in   making   the  
bill   language   more   “passable”   for   its   reintroduction.      And   it   is   almost   certain   that   they  
made  SB1070  into  model  legislation,  to  be  introduced  in  states  like  Georgia  and  Tennes-­‐‑
see.    Legislators  in  25  states  said  they  intended  to  introduce  SB1070  clones  in  their  legisla-­‐‑
tures,  according  to  the  Washington  Independent.163  

Private Prison Influence-Peddling in Arizona

The   2010   criminal   justice   budget   reconciliation   bill   discussed   above   was   passed   around  
the  same  time  as  SB1070  and  had  the  same  primary  sponsor:    Sen.  Russell  Pearce.    As  pre-­‐‑
viously   noted,   the   bill   contained   four   separate   types   of   prison   privatization,   and   repre-­‐‑
                                                                                                                
  Institute  for  Money  in  State  Politics,  Policy  Lockdown:    Prison  Interest  Court  Political  Players.    April  
2006.  
160

  Institute  for  Money  in  State  Politics,  “Policy  Lockdown:    Prison  Interest  Court  Political  Players.”    
April  2006.  
161

“Prison  economics  help  drive  Ariz.  immigration  law,”  National  Public  Radio,  October  28,  2010.  

162

  “Many  states  look  to  Arizona’s  SB1070  as  a  model  for  new  immigration  legislation,”  Washington  
Independent,  December  28,  2010.  
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sented   an   unprecedented   surge   in   the   level   of   privatization   in   Arizona.      The   contracts  
mandated  in  the  bill  represent  millions  of  dollars  in  profits  for  the  industry.    There  is  little  
doubt   that   the   four   corporations   bidding   on   contracts   for   new   beds   are   working   aggres-­‐‑
sively  to  influence  state  lawmakers  in  order  to  increase  their  odds  of  winning  a  contract.  
A  recent  report  examining  the  political  influence  of  private  prison  corporations  by  Justice  
Policy   Institute,   charges   that   the   corporations   have   taken   aggressive   measures   over   the  
past  decade  to  create  markets  for  their  products.  
  “For-­‐‑profit   private   prison   companies   primarily   use   three   strategies   to   influence  
policy:      lobbying,   direct   campaign   contributions,   and   building   relationships,   net-­‐‑
works,   and   associations.         Over   the   years,   these   political   strategies   have   allowed  
private  prison  companies  to  promote  policies  that  lead  to  higher  rates  of  incarcera-­‐‑
tion  and  thus  greater  profit  margins  or  their  company.  In  particular,  private  pris-­‐‑
on   companies   have   had   either   influence   over   or   helped   to   draft   model   legislation  
such   as‚   three-­‐‑strikes‛   and   ‚truth-­‐‑in-­‐‑sentencing‛   laws,   both   of   which   have   driven  
up  incarceration  rates  and  ultimately  created  more  opportunities  for  private  prison  
companies  to  bid  on  contracts  to  increase  revenues.”164    
The  following  analysis  examines  the  efforts  of  the  three  most  prominent  for-­‐‑profit  prison  
corporations  to  exert  influence  in  Arizona  in  each  of  the  areas  highlighted  by  Justice  Poli-­‐‑
cy  Institute:    Lobbying,  Contributions,  and  Relationships.  
Arizona’s  campaign  contribution  limits  are  among  the  lowest  in  the  country.    In  2011,  the  
maximum   an   individual   could   contribute   to   a   legislative   candidate   was   $424.      It   is   also  
important   to   note   that   State   races   generally   do   not   require   the   huge   campaign   coffers  
needed  to  run  for  Congress.      
CCA’s Influence in Arizona
CCA   is   clearly   the   biggest   spender   among   prison   corporations   in   Arizona.      The   Arizona  
Republic   reported   that   CCA   associates   and   its   political-­‐‑action   committee   have   reported  
giving  about  $35,000  in  political  donations  over  the  past  decade  to  Brewer,  Pearce,  former  
House  Speaker  Kirk  Adams,  House  Speaker  Andy  Tobin  and  many  others.  A  big  chunk  of  
that,  $11,520,  was  given  for  last  year'ʹs  election  campaigns.    In  addition,  Arizona  lobbying  
firms   that   represent   CCA   made   about   $35,000   in   political   contributions   in   the   2010   elec-­‐‑
tion  cycle.165    

                                                                                                                
  Justice  Policy  Institute,  Gaming  the  System:    How  the  Political  Strategies  of  Private  Prison  Companies  
Promote  Ineffective  Incarceration  Policies,  June  2011  
164

  “Arizona  prison  businesses  are  big  political  contributors,”  Arizona  Republic,  September  4,  2011  

165

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The  corporation  has  also  cultivated  relationships  with  prominent  Arizona  business  people  
and   politicians.      Governor   Brewer   drew   fire   this   year   for   surrounding   herself   with   CCA  
lobbyists.    Chuck  Coughlin,  president  of  HighGround  Public  Affairs  Consultants  (which  
lobbies  for  CCA  in  Arizona),  is  a  senior  political  adviser  to  the  Governor.  Paul  Senseman,  
a  lobbyist  with  Policy  Development  Group  (which  represents  CCA),  served  until  last  fall  
as   Brewer'ʹs   spokesman.      His   wife,   Kathryn   Senseman,   also   lobbies   for   Policy   Develop-­‐‑
ment  Group.166  
But   CCA   is   also   working   hard   to   gain   access   to   the   state   legislature.      Bradley   Regens  
joined  CCA  in  2007  after  nine  years  as  an  Arizona  legislative  staffer,  including  two  years  
as  director  of  fiscal  policy  for  the  state  House  of  Representatives.  
These   contributions   to   lawmakers   makes   perfect   sense   when   you   consider   where   CCA’s  
revenues  come  from.    State  contracts  make  up  exactly  half  of  CCA’s  profits.    And  a  con-­‐‑
siderable  chunk  of  the  rest  is  from  federal  agencies.  
CCA  Influence  In  Arizona  
Strategy  
Lobbying  

Level  
Recipient  
Federal   Congress,   the   Department   of   Homeland   Se-­‐‑
curity,   Immigration   and   Customs   Enforce-­‐‑
ment  
Contributions   State  
Governor  Jan  Brewer’s  campaign  
  
State  
“Yes  on  100”,  Brewer’s  sales  tax  initiative  
  
State  
Arizona  Candidates  in  2010  election  cycle  
Relationships   State  
Brewer’s   former   Chief   of   Staff,   Paul  
Senseman  was  a  CCA  lobbyist;  His  wife  cur-­‐‑
rently  lobbies  for  CCA169  
  
State  
Brewer’s  Campaign  Manager,  Chuck  Cough-­‐‑
lin,   runs   a   consulting   firm   that   lobbies   for  
CCA170    

Amount  
$17.6  
million  
(2000-­‐‑  2010)167  
$1,080  (2010)  
$10,000  (2010)  
$35,000168  
  

  

                                                                                                                
  “The  Ties  That  Bind:    Arizona  Politicians  and  the  Private  Prison  Industry,”  In  These  Times,  June  
21,  2010;  
http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/6085/ties_that_bind_arizona_politicians_and_the_private_pri
son_industry/  
166

  “Arizona  prison  businesses  are  big  political  contributors,”  Arizona  Republic,  September  4,  2011  

167

  ibid  

168

  “The  Ties  That  Bind:    Arizona  Politicians  and  the  Private  Prison  Industry,”  In  These  Times,  June  
21,  2010  
169

  ibid  

170

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

Page  88

  
  

State  

  

State  

  

State  

  

City  

Bradley   Regens   joined   CCA   in   2007   after  
nine   years   as   an   Arizona   legislative   staffer,  
including  two  years  as  director  of  fiscal  poli-­‐‑
cy  for  the  state  House  of  Representatives171  
Brewer   appointed   Mark   Brnovich   to   Chair  
the   Commission   on   Privatization   and   Effi-­‐‑
ciency   (COPE).     Brnovich   was   Senior   Direc-­‐‑
tor  of  State  and  Customer  Relations  for  CCA  
from   2005-­‐‑2006   and   a   lobbyist   for   them   in  
2007172  
Former   Arizona   US   Senator   Dennis   Di-­‐‑
Concini  is  on  CCA’s  Board  of  Directors173    
The   Mayor   of   Eloy,   Arizona,   worked   as   a  
guard   for   CCA   and   now   has   a   lucrative  
landscaping  contract  with  the  company174    

  

  

  
  

  
The  corporation’s  largess  in  other  states  can  spill  over  onto  Arizona  as  well.    CCA  is  the  
largest  beneficiary  of  Hawaii’s  use  of  private  prisons.    The  corporation  contributed  $6,000  
to   then-­‐‑Governor   Lingle.      Interestingly,   CCA’s   contribution,   the   maximum   contribution  
limit  for  a  gubernatorial  candidate,  was  given  on  an  off-­‐‑election  year  –  Lingle  wasn’t  up  
for   reelection   until   2006.      CCA’s   contribution   to   Governor   Lingle’s   successful   reelection  
bid  came  in  the  middle  of  the  rapid  increase  of  Hawaii’s  efforts  to  ship  people  to  private  
prisons  on  the  mainland.175    
In  2010,  CCA  saw  record  revenue  of  $1.67billion,  up  $46  million  from  2009.    The  majority  
of   that   revenue   (50   percent   or   $838.5million)   came   from   state   contracts,   with   13   percent  

                                                                                                                
  ibid  

171

  “Gambling  Department  Director  named  by  Governor  Jan  Brewer:    Mark  Brnovich,  legal  schol-­‐‑
ar,”  Phoenix  New  Times,  March  31,  2009;  
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2009/03/legal_scholar_activist_prosecu.php    
172

  Corrections  Corporation  of  America,  Board  of  Directors;  
http://www.cca.com/about/management-­‐‑team/board-­‐‑directors/    
173

  “Prison  firm  optimistic  about  Arizona  bid  despite  incidents,”  Arizona  Republic,  August  8,  2011  

174

  Justice  Policy  Institute,  Gaming  the  System:    How  the  Political  Strategies  of  Private  Prison  Companies  
Promote  Ineffective  Incarceration  Policies,  June  2011  
175

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

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($214  million)  from  the  state  of  California;  approximately  10,250  people  from  the  state  of  
California  are  held  in  prisons  run  by  CCA.176  
GEO Group’s Influence in Arizona
As  CCA’s  closest  competitor,  GEO  Group  has  done  its  fair  share  of  palm-­‐‑greasing  in  Ari-­‐‑
zona.    The  Arizona  Republic  reports,  
“In  Arizona,  Geo  has  seven  registered  lobbyists,  including  three  at  KRB  Consulting  Inc.,  a  
firm  it  hired  in  early  July  in  advance  of  Department  of  Corrections  hearings  on  the  pend-­‐‑
ing  private-­‐‑prison  contract.  KRB'ʹs  Kristen  Boilini  worked  for  the  Mofford  and  Symington  
administrations  from  1989  to  1994;  the  firm'ʹs  Nick  Simonetta  is  a  former  state  Senate  staff-­‐‑
er.  Geo  also  recently  hired  the  Arizona  publicity  firm  of  Leibowitz  Solo.  The  firm'ʹs  princi-­‐‑
pal,  David  Leibowitz,  is  a  former  Republic  columnist.  Another  Geo  lobbyist  is  former  leg-­‐‑
islator  John  Kaites,  at  Public  Policy  Partners.  
In  the  2010  election  cycle,  GEO  Group'ʹs  lobbyists  made  about  $39,000  in  campaign  contri-­‐‑
butions  to  Brewer,  Pearce,  Adams,  Kavanagh  and  others.    
GEO  Group  and  its  political-­‐‑action  committee  have  given  more  than  $28,000  in  campaign  
contributions  over  the  last  decade,  including  at  least  $7,960  before  last  year'ʹs  election.  Geo  
employees  focused  their  2010  contributions  on  then-­‐‑House  Speaker  Adams  and  Majority  
Whip  Tobin.”177  
Like  CCA,  about  half  of  GEO’s  revenues  come  from  state  contracts.    But  although  much  
has   been   made   about   CCA’s   involvement   in   SB1070   and   other   legislation   criminalizing  
immigrants,  GEO  is  gobbling  up  a  greater  percentage  of  federal  ICE  contracts  than  CCA.  
GEO  Group  Influence  in  Arizona  
Strategy  
Lobbying  

Level  
Recipient  
Federal   Department  of  Justice,  Homeland  Securi-­‐‑
ty,  Congressional  Representatives,  ICE  
State  
Brewer,   Pearce,   Adams,   Kavanagh,   and  
others    

Contributions  
(from   GEO   lob-­‐‑
byists)  
Contributions  
State  
Arizona  candidates  
(from   PAC’s   and  
                                                                                                                

Amount  
$2.4  
million  
since  2004178  
$39,000   in   2010  
election  cycle179  
more  
than  
$28,000  over  last  

  ibid  

176

  “Arizona  prison  businesses  are  big  political  contributors,”  Arizona  Republic,  September  4,  2011  

177

  ibid  

178

  ibid  

179

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

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associates)  
Relationships  

State  

  

State  

decade180  
GEO  Lobbyist  Kristen  Boilini  worked  for     
the   Mofford   and   Symington   administra-­‐‑
tions  from  1989  to  1994181  
GEO   Lobbyist   John   Kaites   was   a   former     
Arizona  Legislator182  

  
Management and Training Corporation Influence in Arizona
In  third  place  is  MTC,  which  spends  in  rough  proportion  to  its  share  of  Arizona  state  con-­‐‑
tracts.    MTC'ʹs  prison  operations  are  a  little  more  than  a  third  the  size  of  GEO'ʹs  or  CCA'ʹs.    
MTC  has  20  facilities  in  seven  states,  including  its  two  Arizona  prisons,  Kingman  and  Ma-­‐‑
rana.  The  company  started  out  managing  Job  Corps  job-­‐‑training  centers  for  the  U.S.  De-­‐‑
partment  of  Labor,  and  still  has  a  number  of  these  centers.    MTC  has  $3.26  billion  in  fed-­‐‑
eral  contracts,  $466  million  of  which  are  corrections-­‐‑related.183  
Given  the  public  relations  nightmare  the  corporation  experienced  with  the  tragic  escapes  
from  Kingman,  it  is  unsurprising  that  MTC  recently  ramped  up  its  lobbying  efforts  in  Ar-­‐‑
izona.  On  Aug.  10,  2011,  MTC  hired  the  Dunn  Stewart  Group  as  lobbyists.  Terry  Stewart  
served   as   ADC   director   from   1995   until   2002.   His   second-­‐‑in-­‐‑command   at   the   time   was  
none  other  than  current  ADC  director  Charles  Ryan,  who  is  now  responsible  for  awarding  
the  contracts  for  the  new  private  prison  beds.      
After  his  stint  at  the  Department  of  Corrections,  Stewart  went  to  work  as  a  prison  privati-­‐‑
zation   consultant,   starting   his   own   firm,   Advanced   Correctional   Management   (ACM).    
Now-­‐‑Director  Charles  Ryan  briefly  worked  for  Stewart’s  firm  after  he  retired  from  ADC  
the  first  time.  ACM  pushed  prison  privatization  as  early  as  2003,  only  a  year  after  Stew-­‐‑
art’s   departure   from   ADC.      Stewart   was   also   supported   a   proposal   to   build   a   for-­‐‑profit  
prison  in  Mexico  for  Arizona  inmates  of  Mexican  nationality  that  was  eventually  defeat-­‐‑
ed,  in  part  because  of  Mexican  government  opposition.184  
                                                                                                                
  ibid  

180

  ibid  

181

  “The  Ties  That  Bind:    Arizona  Politicians  and  the  Private  Prison  Industry,”  In  These  Times,  June  
21,  2010  
182

  “Arizona  prison  businesses  are  big  political  contributors,”  Arizona  Republic,  September  4,  2011  

183

  Grassroots  Leadership,  “Humpday  Hall  of  Shame:    Former  Arizona  DOC  Director  &  MTC  Con-­‐‑
sultant  Terry  Stewart,”  blog  entry,  August  24,  2011;  
http://www.grassrootsleadership.org/blog/?p=150  
184

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

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In  2003,  Stewart  and  Ryan  were  contracted  by  the  US  State  Department  to  set  up  the  Iraqi  
prison   system,   including   the   Abu   Ghraib   facility   that   would   later   become   synonymous  
with  prisoner  abuse.  After  Senator  Chuck  Schumer  called  for  an  in  2005,  the  charges  were  
investigated   by   the   Department   of   Justice.      Officials   failed   to   fault   Stewart   for   directly  
abusing  detainees  in  Iraqi  prisons.  
Shelly   Sonberg   became   Warden   of   the   Marana   MTC   facility   in   2011after   leaving   the   De-­‐‑
partment   of   Corrections,   where   she   served   as   the   Southern   Region   Operations   Director.    
Sonberg  was  sanctioned  by  ADC  in  September  2010  for  failing  to  enforce  Department  pol-­‐‑
icy  in  a  case  in  which  a  prisoner  in  the  Tucson  complex  was  held  in  an  outdoor  cage  over-­‐‑
night.    The  Phoenix  New  Times  reported:  
“During  the  investigation,  ADC  Regional  Director  Shelly  Sonberg,  who  has  to  sign  off  on  
supervisor   complaints,   admitted   that   she   doesn'ʹt   read   them   all   because   there   are   too  
many.  Instead,  she  selects  one  at  random  to  read  "ʺcover  to  cover,"ʺ  and  relies  on  her  staff  to  
make  sure  the  complaints  are  complete.  Sonberg  was  recently  suspended  40  hours  with-­‐‑
out  pay.”185  
MTC  Influence  in  Arizona  
Strategy  

Level  

Recipient  

Lobbying  

Federal   PAC  spending  on  Federal  lobbying  

Amount  
$67,753   in  
2010186  

Contributions   State  

Bob   Burns,   Trish   Groe,   Russell   Pearce,   Steve   $2,618  
Pierce,  Andy  Tobin  
(2004-­‐‑
2010)187  

Relationships   State  

Former   Arizona   Corrections   Director   Terry   Stew-­‐‑
art  served  as  a  lobbyist  for  MTC  in  2011.188      

  

                                                                                                                
  “Prisoner  kept  in  Tucson  cage  overnight,  Warden  sanctioned,”  Phoenix  New  Times,  September  7,  
2010  
185

Center  for  Responsive  Politics,  Management  and  Training  Corp  Contributions  to  Federal  Candidates;    
http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.php?cmte=C00208322&cycle=2010.  
186

  Institute  for  Money  in  State  Politics,  Management  and  Training  Corporation,  Contributions  to  Candi-­‐‑
dates;  
http://www.followthemoney.org/database/topcontributor.phtml?u=13897&y=0&incs=0&ince=0&in
cf=0&incy=0&so2=T#sorttable2.  
187

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

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Current   Director   Charles   Ryan   (who   will   award     
the   new   contracts)   was   Deputy   Director   under  
Stewart  and  worked  with  him  in  the  private  sector  
after  leaving  ADC.  189  

  

  

Shelly  Sonberg,  formerly  the  Southern  Region  Op-­‐‑   
erations   Director   for   the   Department   of   Correc-­‐‑
tions   left   the   ADC   last   year   to   become   Warden   of  
the  Marana  MTC  facility190  

  

County   Buster   Johnson,   Member   of   the   Board   of   Supervi-­‐‑   
sors  of  Mohave  County,  where  the  Kingman  pris-­‐‑
on   is   located,   is   rumored   to   have   been   named  
MTC  ‘Employee  of  the  Year’  in  2006191  

  

  

  

  

Conclusion

A  nuanced  understanding  of  the  depth  of  the  influence  of  this  industry  in  Arizona  helps  
to  put  some  of  the  actions  of  Arizona  legislators  and  the  Governor  into  perspective.    Dec-­‐‑
ades   of   evidence   overwhelmingly   shows   that   for-­‐‑profit   prisons   are   more   expensive,   less  
safe,  and  are  not  accountable  to  the  taxpayers  of  Arizona.    The  Department  of  Corrections  
has  shown  for  the  last  6  years  that  the  state  is  losing  money  on  private  prisons.    And  the  
Department  of  Corrections’  own  population  projections  show  that  the  rate  of  growth  has  
slowed  dramatically.    Yet  the  legislature  mandated  the  construction  of    more  private  pris-­‐‑
on  beds.  
If   the   Governor   and   legislature   cannot   prove—using   independent,   objective   data—that  
their  claims  of  cost  savings  and  public  safety  are  real,  then  we  are  left  with  two  possible  
conclusions:  
1. That  our  state  leaders  are  so  ideologically  wedded  to  the  idea  of  privatization  that  
they  are  unable  or  unwilling  to  face  reality,  or;  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  Grassroots  Leadership,  “Humpday  Hall  of  Shame:    Former  Arizona  DOC  Director&  MTC  Con-­‐‑
sultant  Terry  Stewart.”,  blog  entry,  August  24,  2011.    
http://www.grassrootsleadership.org/blog/?p=150.  
188

  ibid      

189

  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections,  Marana  Community  Correctional  Treatment  Facility  web  
site;  http://www.azcorrections.gov/prisons/Jill_marana.aspx    
190

  Frank  Smith,  personal  communication,  dated  August  30,  2011  

191

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

Page  93

American Friends
Service
Committee
  

2. That  they  are  beholden  to  the  for-­‐‑profit  prison  industry  and  that  this  industry  has  
such   unmitigated   power   in   Arizona   that   it   has   simply   hijacked   the   democratic  
process.      

Private  Prisons:    The  Public’s  Problem  

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Conclusions
In   difficult   economic   times,   lawmakers   and   other   government   officials   are   faced   with  
tough   decisions.      At   first   glance   ,   prison   privatization   may   appear   to   be   a   good   deal   for  
states  and  an  option  that  allows  legislators  to  appear  both  “tough  on  crime”  and  financial-­‐‑
ly  conservative.    Unfortunately,  the  reality  is  much  more  complex.  
Many   of   the   fundamental   assumptions   that   most   people,   including   state   legislators,   be-­‐‑
lieve  about  prison  privatization  have  recently  been  called  into  question.    Research  on  facil-­‐‑
ities   here   in   Arizona   show   that   overall,   the   state   is   losing   money   on   privatization—$10  
million  in  the  last  three  years.  
While   many   people   assume   that   businesses   can   do   most   things   better   than   government  
bureaucracy,  in  many  cases  the  profit  motive  is  fundamentally  at  odds  with  the  purpose  
of  prisons:    public  safety  and  crime  prevention.    The  drive  to  make  a  profit  causes  many  
corporations   to   cut   corners   on   staff   pay   and   training,   which   has   a   direct   impact   on   the  
safety  and  security  of  these  facilities  and  the  community.    The  push  to  expand  the  indus-­‐‑
try  provides  a  perverse  incentive  to  incarcerate  more  people  for  longer  periods,  and  a  dis-­‐‑
incentive  to  rehabilitate  offenders.  
Prison   privatization   is   far   from   a   cure-­‐‑all   for   budget   woes,   and   in   fact   may   create   many  
more   problems   than   the   financial   ones   it   claims   to   solve.      How   will   the   state   of   Arizona  
pay  for  the  inevitable  lawsuits  that  will  be  filed  against  the  state  for  the  misdeeds  of  these  
corporations?    How  can  we  justify  the  millions  of  dollars  spent  on  private  prisons  when  
they   do   not   even   measure   recidivism?      How   can   we   afford   to   put   the   lives   of   prisoners,  
staff,  and  surrounding  communities  in  jeopardy?  
These  and  other  questions  about  prison  privatization  are  now  before  the  state  legislature,  
as  it  considers  contracting  for  additional  beds.    It  is  vitally  important  that  decision  makers  
seek  out  impartial  information  about  the  real  costs  and  benefits  of  privatization.    We  hope  
that  this  document  is  a  start  in  that  process.  
At  the  same  time,  it  must  be  acknowledged  that  there  are  serious  deficiencies  in  the  man-­‐‑
agement  of  the  Arizona  Department  of  Corrections.    The  purpose  of  this  report  is  not  to  
simply   say   that   “state   prisons   are   better   than   private   prisons.”      The   ADC   is   far   from  
blameless   in   the   troubles   plaguing   those   private   prisons   contracting   with   the   state,   and  
AFSC  has  substantial  criticisms  of  the  Department’s  management  of  its  own  facilities.  
But  it  is  also  abundantly  clear  that  simply  handing  over  control  of  our  prisons  to  a  private,  
for-­‐‑profit   corporation   is   not   a   viable   solution.      In   fact,   it   appears   to   exacerbate   certain  
problems  and  sometimes  create  new  ones.    And,  it  serves  to  further  remove  our  prisons  
from   public   scrutiny   and   control.      There   is   ample   evidence   of   systemic,   chronic   and—
arguably—endemic  failures  in  the  privatization  of  incarceration.      

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The  solution  is  more  public  control  of  our  prison  system,  not  less.  
More  and  more  states  are  rejecting  prison  privatization  and  choosing  not  to  expand  their  
correctional  facilities.    In  fact,  over  half  of  US  states  have  acted  to  reduce  their  prison  pop-­‐‑
ulations  through  evidence-­‐‑based  sentencing  reforms.    There  are  decades  of  research  that  
point  to  sensible  interventions  such  as  diversion,  community-­‐‑based  treatment,  and  earned  
release  incentives  as  win-­‐‑win  solutions  that  not  only  save  millions  of  taxpayer  dollars  but  
also  are  much  more  effective  than  long  prison  terms  at  reducing  recidivism.      
When  politics  and  corporate  profits  are  removed  from  the  equation,  most  rational  people  
can  agree  on  what  the  criminal  justice  system  should  do:    It  should  hold  people  accounta-­‐‑
ble   for   transgressions;   it   should   keep   our   community   safe;   and   it   should   reduce   future  
crime.    Blindly  adhering  to  a  ‘tough  on  crime’  mantra  that  seeks  to  punish  rather  than  cor-­‐‑
rect  has  proven  to  be  a  complete  policy  failure,  bankrupting  states,  tearing  families  apart,  
and   ensuring   recidivism.      The   private   prison   industry   has   capitalized   on   this   failure,   si-­‐‑
phoning  millions  of  dollars  into  corporations  that  have  no  accountability  to  the  taxpayers  
footing  the  bill.        
Arizona’s   elected   officials   must   re-­‐‑evaluate   their   priorities   and   make   decisions   based   on  
fact,   rather   than   a   political   party   line   or   corporate   campaign   cash.      And   the   voters   must  
determine  whose  interests  are  being  served  at  the  state  capitol.  

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Recommendations
Immediate Measures
The  Governor  or  Legislature  should  institute  an  immediate  moratorium  on  new  pris-­‐‑
on  construction.    Existing  RFP’s  should  be  cancelled,  no  new  RFP’s  should  be  issued  
and  no  new  state  beds,  private  or  state,  should  be  funded.  
2. Existing  contracts  with  private  prison  operators  should  be  closely  reviewed  in  light  of  
the  findings  in  this  report  and  the  report  issued  by  the  Arizona  Department  of  Correc-­‐‑
tions.      In   particular,   the   state   should   consider   cancelling   contracts   for   those   private  
prisons  that  are  found  to  be  more  expensive  or  of  poorer  quality  than  equivalent  state  
beds.  
3. The  Secretary  of  State  and/or  the  Attorney  General  of  Arizona  should  investigate:    
a. Expense   reimbursement   policies   of   the   American   Legislative   Exchange   Council  
(ALEC)  and  for-­‐‑profit  prison  corporations  to  Arizona  legislators,  pursuant  to  ARS  
41-­‐‑1232.03;  ‘Expenditure  reporting;  public  bodies  and  public  lobbyists;  gifts’  
b. ALEC’s  status  as  a  non-­‐‑profit  organization    
c. The  role  of  lobbyists  or  other  for-­‐‑profit  prison  industry  representatives  in  the  crea-­‐‑
tion  of  specific  legislation  in  Arizona,  including  ALEC’s  model  legislation  
1.

Additional Measures
All   prison   and   detention   facilities   in   Arizona   should   be   subject   to   permanent   review  
and  monitoring  by  an  independent  body  empowered  to  hold  the  prison  operator  and  
the  state  accountable  and  enact  necessary  reforms.  
2. The   legislature   should   pass   legislation   that   enacts   strict   oversight   and   reporting   re-­‐‑
quirements   for   those   private   prisons   located   in,   but   not   contracted   with,   the   state   of  
Arizona.    These  rule  must:  
a. Require  immediate  notification  to  local  and  state  authorities  in  the  event  of  a  major  
incident  that  threatens  the  health  and  safety  of  the  prisoners,  staff,  or  the  public.  
b. Allow  state  inspectors  to  enter  the  facility  at  any  time.  
c. Prohibit   acceptance   of   high   security   prisoners,   prisoners   convicted   of   class   1   or   2  
felonies,  or  prisoners  with  a  history  of  escape,  assaults  on  staff  or  other  inmates,  or  
rioting.  
d. Require  information  about  any  prisoners  prior  to  their  arrival  in  the  facility  to  be  
reported   to   the   Department   of   Public   Safety   and   the   Department   of   Corrections,  
including   their   names   and   identifying   information,   the   crime   for   which   they   are  
incarcerated,  and  the  state  or  federal  entity  that  convicted  and  sentenced  them.  
e. Require   all   privately   operated   prisons   in   Arizona   to   provide   the   Department   of  
Public   Safety   and   the   Department   of   Corrections   with   a   monthly   report   on   the  
prisoner  count,  the  capacity  of  the  facility,  and  information  on  their  staffing  levels.  
1.

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f.

Require  all  privately  operated  prisons  in  Arizona  to  make  their  records  public  to  
the  same  extent  that  is  required  of  the  Department  of  Corrections  or  county  jails.  
g. Report  all  assaults,  disturbances,  deaths,  and  hospitalizations.  
3. The  Legislature  should  require  all  prisons  in  Arizona—public  and  private—to  public-­‐‑
ly  report  their  recidivism  rate  annually  
4. All   state   contracts   with   for-­‐‑profit   prison   operators   should   include   the   following   re-­‐‑
quirements  (current  contracts  should  be  amended  at  the  earliest  opportunity):  
a. The  state  may  cancel  a  contract  without  cause  with  90  days  notice.  
b. The   state   may   assess   damages   using   the   formula   in   Attachment   A   for   non-­‐‑
compliance   with   contract   requirements,   including:      Security   and   control,   use   of  
force,  escapes,  employee  qualifications  and  training,  operating  standards,  mainte-­‐‑
nance  and  repairs,  food  service,  and  medical  care.  
c. The  private  operator  must  demonstrate  compliance  with  all  Department  of  Correc-­‐‑
tions  policies.  
d. The  state  has  unimpeded  access  to  all  areas  of  a  facility  at  all  times,  including  un-­‐‑
announced  visits.  
e. The  state  may  assess  damages  for  staff  vacancies  and  high  turnover  rates.  
f. The  state  may  view  facility  cameras  from  a  remote  site.  
g. The   Director   of   the   Department   of   Corrections   may   take   over   control   and   opera-­‐‑
tion  of  the  facility  if  there  are  substantial  or  repeated  breaches  of  contract  or  if  the  
Director  determines  that  the  safety  of  the  inmates,  staff,  or  public  is  at  risk.  
5. Arizona  should  follow  the  recommendations  of  the  state  Auditor  General  and  the  ex-­‐‑
ample   of   states   like   Michigan,   Texas,   and   Mississippi   and   enact   sensible   reforms   to  
their   criminal   sentencing   laws   to   safely   reduce   prison   populations.   Through   expan-­‐‑
sion  of  diversion  and  early  release,  use  of  non-­‐‑prison  alternatives  and  reduction  of  pa-­‐‑
role   violation   revocations,   these   states   have   saved   millions   of   taxpayer   dollars   and  
significantly  reduced  their  crime  rates.  

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