Activists Urge Arizona Governor To Cancel Private Prison Expansion

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Monday, July 20, 2015 - 5:56pm
Updated: Monday, July 20, 2015 - 8:29pm

Activists called for the governor and Arizona Department of Corrections for the second time in two months to cancel the planned private prison expansion Monday at the Capitol in downtown Phoenix.

According to Caroline Isaacs with the advocacy group American Friends Service Committee, without addressing the sources of crime the corrections system will continue to grow.  

“What works is getting to the root causes of crime," Isaacs said "You can’t punish your way out of addiction. You can’t punish your way out mental illness. You can’t punish your way out of poverty.”

Other states such as Texas have began to reduce their prison population. Bib Libal, director of the justice advocacy group Grassroots Leadership, points to Texas closing two privately operated prisons in 2013.

Last week, the Department of Corrections delayed the due date for bids from private prison companies until September. The 60-day extension gives the department time to finish the investigation into the riots at the Managment and Training Corporation private prison in Kingman.