For-profit prison privatization has entrenched itself in Arizona’s legislative and economic fabric to the detriment of taxpayers, communities, and directly impacted individuals. Likewise, the criminalization of immigrants is directly related to the profits enjoyed by private prison companies. AFSC-AZ has long held the position that more prisons are never the answer and works tirelessly to halt continued efforts at prison expansion in Arizona.
- AFSC-AZ’s in-depth report, Private Prisons: The Public’s Problem (2012), presents a needed critical analysis of the for-profit prison industry in Arizona.
- Over the past 15 years, AFSC-AZ helped block construction of new prisons or detention centers in Benson, Globe, Goodyear, Sahuarita, Huachuca City, Marana, and Prescott Valley.
- In 2012, AFSC-AZ succeeded in stalling the plan to contract 5,000 new private prison beds, and ultimately reduced the number to 1,000.
- In 2017, thanks to the ongoing work of AFSC-AZ, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee told the Department of Corrections they would not approve another prison without proof of prison population growth. It didn’t happen, and no new prisons have been built.
- In 2018, following the privatization of the first jail system in Arizona in Mesa, AFSC-AZ worked with Pima county and Tucson city government leaders to pass resolutions to prohibit the privatization of jails, detention facilities, and require a review of surveillance contracts.