AFSC in the News

News Roundup #3: Stopping Private Prison Handouts in Arizona!

On Friday, March 28, 2014, Arizona Rep. John Kavanagh attempted to give the private for-profit prison company GEO Group a cool $900,000 handout in the Arizona state budget on top of the $45 million they already receive in state contracts.  Nevermind that the Arizona Department of Corrections didn’t even ask for these funds to be earmarked.  There was immediate, and notable outrage at this blatant circumvention of budget negotiations, not to mention the important fact that Kavanagh has taken campaign donations from private prison companies.  Over the weekend and early on Monday morning, AFSC Arizona urged concerned citizens to call and email the offices of Arizona Senator Don Shooter and Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs in anticipation of Senate Appropriations committee meeting on the budget.

Thanks to the overwhelming response and outcry, the $900,000 earmarked for GEO Group was removed from the budget!  Below is a News Roundup detailing what took place over the past few days in order to stop this private prison give away:

March 28:

Arizona Private Prisons May Get Extra $1 Million (The Arizona Republic) – Private-prison lobbyists succeeded in getting state lawmakers to include nearly $1 million in extra funding in the state budget even though the Arizona Department of Corrections says the money isn’t needed… (more)

March 31:

Eleventh-Hour Funding: Kavanagh Put $900,000 into State Budget for Private Prisons (Tucson Weekly) – In a recent state budget deal, the Arizona state House added $900,000 earmarked for the private prison corporation GEO Group, and the American Friends Service Committee in Arizona is asking citizens and such to call… (more)

Private prisons, Not Kids, Getting “Gift” (Ed Montini, The Arizona Republic) – In Arizona, as in most places, it pays to have friends in high places. The people who run private prisons have friends at the Arizona Legislature. Children do not… (more)

Veto This Budget, Governor Brewer (Laurie Roberts, The Arizona Republic) – But oh, how telling that the GOP-controlled Legislature is managing to provide nearly $1 million so private prison operators can score a bigger profit yet not one dime for child-care subsidies? (more)  

$900K For Private Prisons Removed From Arizona Budget (The Arizona Republic) – Nearly $1 million in additional funding for private prisons was removed from the state budget today, following an uproar of criticism from Arizonans… (more)

Campbell Calls for Investigation $900K Private Prison Giveaway Request (Arizona House Democrats) – Today House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 24), called for an emergency meeting of the Arizona House Appropriations Committee to investigate a last-minute appropriation for private prisons in Arizona, offered during last week’s budget debate… (more)

AZ Legislator Calls for Investigation of Prison Money (The Arizona Republic) – Follow the link to see a video of Rep. Campbell calling for an investigation… (more)

Kavanagh’s Private Prison Giveaway (Our View editorial, The Arizona Republic) – Legislating is often likened to making sausage. Not garbage. What Republican Rep. John Kavanagh did on behalf of private-prison lobbyists goes way past the usual legislative grinding… (more)


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