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Private Prisons Not Good for Arizona

Department of Corrections map of Arizona private prisons

Dear SedonaEye.com Editor,

I believe Arizona has private prisons because of large campaign contributions from prison corporations like GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America. Then through ALEC, these corporations help write legislation like SB 1070 and three strikes that keeps Arizona’s prison population soaring at an unsustainable rate.

How are private prisons doing compared to the state-run prisons? A recent report by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) showed we overpaid for services between 2008 and 2010 by $10 million.

It took a lawsuit to produce the quality comparison and the results showed more staff turnover, lower staff qualifications and more cases of violence than the state prisons. The main measure of quality is the rate of recidivism, and low and behold, none of the corporations running the private prisons measure this.

The Republican led legislature is now trying to insure that there is no comparison at all having proposed a bill eliminating all future cost and quality reviews for private prisons. According to the AFSC, “The move would ensure that the public would have no way of knowing whether the state’s private prisons are saving money, rehabilitating prisoners, or ensuring public safety.” In addition, the Republican led legislature has killed 10 bills to either bring the private prisons under state standards or to provide oversight where there is none.

The current Arizona legislature will never increase the tax base to support the rising incarceration rates. Beholding to the prison corporations, they will push for more privatization while cutting corporate taxes and claim that the private prisons are good for Arizona. It’s not too hard to guess what they will cut to support these prison corporations… education and healthcare?

Bob Lynne
Prescott, AZ

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  1. N. Baer says:

    This is a serious economic problem in this state. Thank you for explaining this to the public.

    Also, google for maps of those states promoting, yes, I said, “promoting,” private prisons (AZ, TX, FL all targeting you-know-who) and this blog document . . . http://www.scribd.com/crazyoldmannetwork/d/24786102-Private-Prisons-in-the-United-States. TX map http://www.texasprisonbidness.org/map . . .Isn’t it interesting the states with the worst educational “opportunities” remain at the bottom of the barrel, having the effect of dragging the rest of us down with them?

  2. More double speak about why we need more government. You are stating that the state has no idea what we spend on prisons when the state managed them 100%. Now you say we do not know how much we pay private contractors? You are kidding of course. What is it about you people that when we have no more money you want to keep spending what we don’t have. Sounds like the kooks we have in DC. You manage prisons like any other past public services that are now private – you do it with contracts and contract compliance. But when you have nothing but bureaucrats running the show that know nothing except spending money and have ZERO contract and business experience…this is what you get. Not their money.

  3. N. Baer says:

    Excerpt from “Private Prisons Profit From Immigration Crackdown, Federal And Local Law Enforcement Partnerships,”

    “. . . Roberto Reveles, a Pinal County immigration reform advocate, has watched the detention system grow right alongside the heated rhetoric around immigration policy in his home state. The current stalemate over immigration reform has provided a perfect climate for businesses and politicians to thrive — “a reason for them to have a broken-down immigration system,” he says.

    “You build a strong image of fear of these Mexican immigrants, which creates a moral justification for imprisoning them, and at the same time brings in lots of money,” Reveles says. “The politicians are not motivated to fix the immigration system. On the contrary, they’re benefiting from it politically and economically . . .”


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