ADOC Looks at Final Private-Prison Bids at Public Hearings

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The American Friends Service Committee, also known at Weekly World Central as anti-private prison champions, are getting the word out about another round of Arizona Department of Corrections private prison public hearings scheduled in Coolidge, Eloy, Florence, San Luis/Yuma, and Winslow.

People are needed to attend the meetings and speak out against private prisons. Carpools are being organized for the meetings in Eloy and Florence, and help reach residents in Yuma and Winslow.

The AFSC also asks that if you are not able to physically attend any of the meetings to write a letter of testimony to the ADOC. The letter must state that you are submitting formal testimony and want it included in the record. Any e-mail or letter, must also reference the solicitation — Proposal No.: ADOC12-00001388 / ADC No. 120088DC - Medium Security Prison Beds, up to 2000.

Send your letter to Denel Pickering, Chief Procurement Officer, ADC, 1601 W. Jefferson, Phoenix, AZ 85007; or e-mail Dpicker@azcorrections.gov.

The AFSC press release is below the cut:

The Arizona Department of Corrections is considering final bids from five private, for-profit correctional management corporations for the construction and management of an additional 2,000 state prison beds.

The Department of Corrections will be holding public hearings in each of the towns under consideration for a new prison or prisons. The public is encouraged to attend and voice their concerns about having a private prison as a neighbor.

Here is the schedule of the hearings:

1. Coolidge: Management and Training Corporation (MTC). The public hearing will be held Thursday, August 6th, 5-7pm at the Coolidge City Council Chambers, 911 S. Arizona Blvd., Coolidge. *

2. Eloy: Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). The public hearing will be held Thursday, August 9th, 5-7pm at the Eloy Junior High School Auditorium, 404E. Phoenix Ave., Eloy.

3. Florence: GEO Group. The public hearing will be held Monday, August 13th, 5-7pm, at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Grand Ballroom, 240 W. Hwy 287, Florence.

4. San Luis (Yuma): There are three corporations vying for a contract for Yuma: Management and Training Corporation (MTC), GEO Group, and Emerald Corrections. The public hearing will be held Tuesday, August 14th, 5-9pm at the City of San Luis City Parks and Rec Cesar Chavez Cultural Center, 1015 N. Main St., San Luis.

5. Winslow: LaSalle/Southwest Corrections. The public hearing will be held Thursday, August 16th, 5-7pm at the Winslow High School Performing Arts Center, 600 E. Cherry St., Winslow.

* Our apologies for the late notice, but the Department of Corrections announced the hearings on August 6, the day of the first hearing.

The American Friends Service Committee condemns the decision to build more private prisons as unnecessary and deeply irresponsible given the state’s economic crisis and the dismal safety records of all of the corporations involved.

Arizona’s prison population is decreasing, and the Department of Corrections projects negative growth for the next few years. Yet, the Governor and state legislature appropriated $16 million for new prison beds. Arizona’s annual corrections budget is over $1 billion, consuming 11% of the state general fund. The Department of Corrections was the only state agency whose budget saw an increase this year, even as education, social services, and health care funding was slashed.

In February of 2012, AFSC of Arizona released Private Prisons: The Public’s Problem, a comprehensive report on the for-profit prison industry in Arizona that presented damning evidence that these facilities do not save the state money, have serious safety problems, and are not accountable to the taxpayers of Arizona: http://afsc.org/resource/arizona-prison-report.

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