The shocking riots in the privately-operated Kingman prison and the cancellation of the contract for the facility has raised significant questions about the role of prison privatization in Arizona. The Dept. of Corrections found “a culture of disorganization, disengagement, and disregard of ADC policies and fundamental inmate management and security principles.”
The Department of Corrections is evaluating offers from other for-profit prison corporations to take over the Kingman contract. Meanwhile, prison corporations are also bidding on a contract for up to 2,000 new beds. The Department of Corrections has requested approval for an additional 2,500 beds in the FY2017 budget.
There is no independent, public oversight over these contracts or facilities. In 2012, the Arizona Legislature repealed a law requiring cost and quality comparisons of public and private prisons. Yet, Arizona spends $126 million on private prisons annually.
In the interest of government accountability, integrity of our corrections system, and public safety, the Arizona Justice Alliance, NAACP of Maricopa County, American Friends Service Committee and other partners are holding a Public Hearing on Prison Privatization on Wednesday, September 30th in Phoenix.
The hearing will be convened by a panel of elected officials and community leaders who will hear the testimony and pose questions.
The hearing will feature testimony from all the parties involved in or impacted by prison privatization:
- The Arizona Department of Corrections
- The for-profit prison management corporations
- Prison staff
- Prisoners, formerly incarcerated people and their families
- Local community members
- Experts on the financial and social impacts of prison privatization
Members of the public will also have an opportunity to present testimony. The hearings will be video recorded and will be presented to the state legislature and the Governor, along with written materials produced through the hearings. Members of the public wishing to present testimony should bring a printed copy of their remarks to enter into the record.
WHO: Sponsored by the Arizona Justice Alliance, NAACP of Maricopa County, American Friends Service Committee, partners and concerned citizens.
WHAT: Public Hearing on Prison Privatization in Arizona
WHEN: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 6:00-8:00pm
WHERE: Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, 801 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ