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Private prisons: The public’s problem, A quality assessment of Arizona’s private prisons

Privatization | Research | February 2012

Published by the American Friends Service Committee, Arizona Program

Arizona has enthusiastically embraced prison privatization, with 13% of the state prison population housed in private facilities (the 11th highest percentage in the nation). Motivated by a belief that private enterprise could build and manage prisons safely and at lower cost than the state, the legislature has mandated construction of thousands of private prison beds. Little was done over the years to test actual performance of private prisons or to determine their cost effectiveness.

In the summer of 2010, three inmates escaped from the privately operated Kingman prison, killed two people, and shattered the myth that private prisons can keep us safe. Since that time, more evidence has come to light unmasking the truth about the private prison industry in Arizona: It is costly, plagued by security problems, and in some cases is violating state and federal law. State leaders have failed in their responsibility to protect the public, to provide adequate oversight of this industry, or to hold the corporations accountable for their failures. Click here to read the full report.


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