Gov. Ducey Demands Accountability from For-Profit Prison Corporations in Arizona

Today, Gov. Ducey announced that the state of Arizona would cancel its contract with Management and Training Corporation (MTC) for operations of the Kingman prison. He referenced the Arizona Department of Corrections’ Assessment of the 2015 riots in that facility as providing evidence that MTC had violated the terms of its contract. He also said that the Department of Corrections would be conducting reviews of all the state’s other private prisons. Both are recommendations made in our report.

You can read the ADC’s report on Kingman here: ADC Kingman Riots Assessment – Section 1.

In announcing the cancellation of the contract, Ducey stated,

This is about accountability.

Our action should send a loud warning shot to all prison operators. Fail in your job, we will hold you accountable. Risk public safety, we will end your relationship with Arizona.

You can read the text of Ducey’s comments here.

AFSC Arizona applauds the Governor’s decisive action and his commitment to accountability for private prisons.

But what about accountability for the Department of Corrections? ADC monitors completely failed to catch the myriad of problems brewing at Kingman for the last 5 years. The Department claims that MTC management deliberately withheld information about lack of training for guards. But if it’s so easy to fool the monitors, how can we be assured that they can adequately do their jobs in ANY private prison?

Furthermore, our report showed that it was ADC’s employees on the Tactical Support Unit (TSU) that evidenced extreme brutality and excessive force in their efforts to quell the riot. All the prisoner injuries appear to have been inflicted by ADC’s guards–not by rioting prisoners. Where is the accountability for this behavior?

For it’s part, Management and Training Corporation appears to have been genuinely surprised (and, a little hurt) by the Department’s assessment. They point out that the monitoring reports from ADC said they were doing a fine job of managing the prison. A press statement from MTC “strongly refutes” what it says was a “myriad of unfounded allegations” in the report. MTC STRONGLY REFUTES MYRIAD OF UNFOUNDED ALLEGATIONS IN STATE REPORT

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