Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Campbell urges stop to deadly private prison expansion

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell sent a letter today to Gov. Jan Brewer urging her to stop the plan to build more private prisons until the Department of Corrections does its job and completes the cost-benefit and security analyses required by law.

Campbell also asked for more security and enhanced training to be implemented before moving forward.

“After prisoners escaped from MTC last July and murdered two people, you promised that a thorough review of security and monitoring of private prisons would be conducted,” Campbell wrote. “There are still, however, lingering concerns about the security, training and contract monitoring of the existing private prisons after over a year since innocent victims were murdered by escaped convicts.”

Department of Corrections director Chuck Ryan and Brewer illegally ignored completing reports and analysis that would have provided valuable information on how private prisons in Arizona compare to state-run prisons on safety, quality and security. (See the Arizona Republic’s story.)

“…The state has paid more than $3 million to Management & Training Corp. (MTC), the company that runs the Kingman facility where the murderous prisoners escaped last year, for empty beds!” Campbell wrote in the letter. “This is unconscionable and certainly is not justification for expansion of these costly contracts.”

Campbell asked Brewer why she would allow this to happen and asked for an immediate stop to the plan to build more lax-security private prisons in Arizona.

“Gov. Jan Brewer and Republican lawmakers continue to hand over control of our prisons to private corporations that are more interested in profits than public safety,” Campbell said. “These private prisons — which house murderers and violent criminals — have guards who are barely trained and have been exposed for repeated safety violations. Brewer and her Republicans are more interested in doing what’s right for the lobbyists and special interests rather than for Arizonans.”


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