Thursday, September 15, 2011

Campbell urges GOP to ‘cease and desist’ on private prisons

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX House Minority Leader Chad Campbell urged Republican leaders today to put a hold on building private prisons and form a committee to investigate the Arizona Department of Corrections’ failure to comply with state law.

Campbell sent letters to Gov. Jan Brewer, state Department of Corrections director Chuck Ryan and House Speaker Andy Tobin.

I urge you to cease and desist the procurement of 5,000 additional private prison beds until the cost-benefit and performance analysis required by law is completed and after enhanced security, training and monitoring policies are in place and shown to be effective at all existing private facilities,” Campbell wrote in a letter to Brewer and Ryan.

Campbell asked Tobin to form a committee to investigate the non-compliance if Brewer and Ryan continue to break the law.

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 cost, safety, quality and security. (See the Arizona Republic’s story.)

Last summer, murderers escaped from a lax-security private prison near Kingman and fatally shot two people and left their bodies to burn in New Mexico.

“Even after an innocent, vacationing couple was brutally murdered thanks to Arizona’s private prison security failures, Gov. Brewer still won’t follow the law and ensure public safety in our state and the states around us,” Campbell said. “We need accountability in our prison system and families deserve safety and security.”

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