Arizona Department Of Corrections Moving Lewis Prison Inmates Over Safety Concerns

By Jimmy Jenkins
Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 9:57am
Updated: Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 11:41am

Arizona Department of Corrections building
Arizona Department of Corrections
Arizona Department of Corrections building in Phoenix.

The Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) is responding to security concerns at the Lewis prison in Buckeye by moving inmates.

In a statement released Monday night, ADC spokesman Andrew Wilder said while the agency is still working on door and lock issues, close-custody, or high security, inmates will be moved to another state-run prison.

Close-custody inmates do not work, have stricter controls placed on their movement, and are considered a high risk to the public and staff.

Wilder said the goal is to reduce the number if inmates living in cells that have been padlocked temporarily.

Wilder said Director Ryan met with representatives from all 10 state prisons this week for a "candid" conversation.

"Top issues focused on a possible pay package to raise officer salaries officer retention/vacancy concerns; and the door and lock issue currently being addressed at the Lewis complex," Wilder said.

The governor has appointed a response team to oversee ADC’s response to security issues. Two former state Supreme Court justices also have been tasked to take a broader look at the department and suggest policy changes.

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