Monday, July 6, 2015

Arizona Representative Eric Meyer: Private prison system needs reform, oversight

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX House Democratic Leader Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley (District 28), released this statement regarding the riot in a prison outside of Kingman:

“The recent riot in the private prison near Kingman is yet another incident that raises public safety concerns about these facilities. This is the same private prison that three inmates escaped from in 2010 and killed two people. But many Republicans at the Capitol continue to call for more private prisons while scaling back oversight.

“In 2012, Republicans repealed a state law requiring a comparison of state and private prisons every two years to ensure that private prisons provide the same quality of services as state prisons at a lower cost. Although this official comparison is no longer available, the multitude of security breaches paints a dire picture. Despite these public safety issues, Republicans passed a budget this year that will spend millions of tax dollars on 1,000 new private-prison beds in 2016 and potentially 1,000 more in 2017.

“The for-profit, private prison system is not working, and I question the governor’s ability to reform this system when his campaign received more than $10,000 in contributions from lobbyists and political committees with ties to the private prison industry.  This seems like a conflict of interest and presents some serious concerns about both safety and responsible use of taxpayer money.” -30-

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