This is typical of GOP deception. If it doesn’t fit the narrative, quash it, deny it or ignore it.
If you’re a state hellbent on turning corrections over to the for-profit prison industry, what do you do when an annual survey shows that private jails are often more expensive than the old fashioned public variety? Especially if, by law, the state may contract for private prisons only if they prove to be less expensive? Simple, just eliminate that pesky study.
Buried in the $8.6 billion budget proposal passed at the state Capitol this week is a plan to “eliminate the requirement for a quality and cost review of private prison contracts.” It means there would no longer be an annual review of how private prisons operate.CBS5.com
The corrections industry in Arizona is enjoying a good ride. They’ve been held harmless in the last two state budgets, while education, healthcare, and every other public service has been cut off at the knees. Along with its budget, the corrections cartel’s political power has increased. Tucson Citizen’s Cell-Out AZ has lotsa dirt, like raiding mortgage settlement funds for prisons. The industry’s biggest legislative win, of course, was SB 1070, which the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) helped craft and pass, alongside ALEC. It’s not like the incarceration industry has a financial interest or anything, since SB 1070, if implemented as written, would provide them a heckuva lot more customers.
One might ask why the legislature ended an annual review of private prisons, less than two years after three inmates escaped from the Kingman facility run by Management & Training Corporation (MTC). A nationwide manhunt ended in their capture, but not before the men, two of whom were convicted killers, hijacked an Oklahoma couple’s car and trailer in New Mexico, shot them at a rest stop and burned their bodies in the trailer. Immediately after this tragedy, there were loud calls to clean up the crappy security at Kingman — and all prisons statewide. This Arizona Republic story, titled “Arizona Prison Oversight Lacking for Private Facilities,” was typical:
[The three convicts] took advantage of lax security and faulty alarms to escape on July 30, 2010, from the Kingman prison, run by Management and Training Corp. of Centerville, Utah. The men cut their way out using tools McCluskey’s cousin and fiancee, Casslyn Welch, had tossed over the fence. Arizona Republic
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