STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Martin Quezada, Senate Democratic Whip and ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on the cancellation of Management & Training Corporation’s contract to operate the Arizona State Prison Complex-Kingman and the release of Arizona Department of Correction’s investigation into the July riots that occurred there:
“Terminating MTC's contract for the Kingman prison complex was the right thing to do, but many troubling questions remain unanswered,” said Senator Quezada.
“The Department of Corrections has always assured the legislature that they maintain strict oversight of private prisons, yet now they claim ignorance of the many failures detailed in their investigation. They can't have that both ways.
“It's not only time to assess the safety of every private prison in Arizona, as DOC says they will, it is time to assess the effectiveness of DOC's own oversight protocols. And it is long past time that we assess the true cost of private prisons to ensure no more Arizona taxpayer money is wasted in the private prison industry.
“In today's press conference, Governor Ducey said that private prisons are the "least bad alternative." We disagree. Escaped murderers and riots are not a risk we should be willing to take. That is why we are calling for the cancellation of next month's RFP for 1,000 more private prison beds, a full and independent accounting of DOC's private prison oversight capability and a cost/benefit analysis of building and operating our own state-run prisons.”