Arizona Prisons

Republic, KJZZ investigation examines how prison labor works
After 15 months of gathering and analyzing more than 11,000 documents and building a computer program that downloaded tens of thousands of public profiles about prisoners that the Arizona Department of Corrections refused to provide, reporters at the Arizona Republic and KJZZ News found that prison labor has become ubiquitous across the state.
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Jimmy Jenkins
Jimmy Jenkins grew up in a small town in Indiana. His house was directly across the street from farmland and a forest. But across the highway was a maximum security federal prison. The prison scared him and he often had nightmares about it as a child.
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Sep. 13, 2022
Interest in labor unions has been growing nationally — and in Arizona. During the first nine months of the federal fiscal year, the National Labor Relations Board saw efforts to unionize spike nearly 60%. In Arizona, it increased more than 50%.
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Sep. 1, 2022
Matt Solan and his dog, Foxy
From airplanes to coffee shops to classrooms, it’s hardly unusual to see a service animal. And not just the classic seeing-eye dog — nowadays there are emotional support horses and therapy parrots. But there is a place that does not allow any kind of service animal: the Arizona State Hospital.
Jul. 29, 2022
Prison laborers work at Sunset Cemetery in Willcox
One community in Arizona is so dependent upon the labor of incarcerated people, those who worked there call it “prison city.” This story is part of an investigation by the Arizona Republic and KJZZ.
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Jul. 20, 2022
illustration of a call center
Lola N’sangou was a firefighter. Then, a wedding planner. She’s also a mom. Those jobs were done by choice. But her life shifted in 2003 after a car accident led to a prison sentence — and no longer having a choice in her work. Her story was uncovered as part of an investigation by the Arizona Republic and KJZZ.
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Jul. 18, 2022
Prison Cell
A three-member U.S. appeals court panel has sided with Arizona prison officials' ban on sexually explicit material for inmates, denying a prison journal's claims of First Amendment violations.
Jul. 10, 2022
inmates
A federal judge has ruled that Arizona has continued to not comply with a lawsuit settlement in which it promised to revamp care in the state prison system.
Jul. 1, 2022
 death chamber
Arizona Republic Jimmy Jenkins was denied witnessing Frank Atwood's execution as a journalist. But he was present that day as a guest. The Show spoke with him to learn about his experience and about Arizona's executions.
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Jun. 9, 2022
Frank Atwood
An Arizona man convicted of murder in the 1984 killing of an 8-year-old girl was put to death Wednesday in the state’s second execution since officials resumed carrying out the death penalty in May following a nearly eight-year hiatus.
Jun. 8, 2022
Clarence Dixon
Death penalty experts Thursday that said the estimated 25 minutes it took medical staff to insert an IV into Clarence Dixon’s body was too long. The workers first tried and failed to insert an IV into his left arm before they were able to connect it in his right arm. They then opted to access a vein in his groin area for another IV line.
May. 14, 2022
Leslie James
An Arizona man convicted of killing college student Deana Bowdoin in 1978 is scheduled to become the first person to be executed in the state after a nearly eight-year hiatus in its use of the death penalty. Bowdoin's sister, Leslie James, said executing Dixon was justice but that the process to deliver justice took way too long.
May. 11, 2022
Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan
The former director of the Arizona Department of Corrections has been indicted on two felony charges in connection with a January standoff at his home. But Charles Ryan is not being charged with the most severe crimes that Tempe police said he committed.
May. 6, 2022
Maricopa County court
Jewish residents have no legal right to block the state from executing inmates using the same gas that Nazis used to kill millions of Jews.
May. 6, 2022
Clarence Dixon
Next week, the state of Arizona will put Clarence Dixon to death. And last week, the state Board of Executive Clemency unanimously denied his attorneys’ appeal for a reprieve.
May. 3, 2022
Clarence Dixon
Anti-death penalty groups say they will launch pressure campaigns on Arizona’s governor and attorney general to stop the execution of Clarence Dixon scheduled for May 11.
Apr. 28, 2022
barbed wire at an arizona prison
In a new ProPublica piece, reporter Nicole Santa Cruz writes about the influence of political insider Steve Twist in keeping certain criminal justice reforms from being enacted in Arizona.
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Apr. 13, 2022
barbed wire at an arizona prison
A 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling says only rare and irredeemable juvenile offenders should serve their life sentence. Riley Briones Jr. was convicted nearly 30 years ago.
Apr. 11, 2022
Chris Fabricant Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System
A new book by Chris Fabricant, director of the Innocence Project, sheds light on what he calls the broken, racist justice system in our country. It’s called, "Junk Science and the American Criminal Justice System."
Apr. 7, 2022
Clarence Dixon
The Arizona Supreme Court issued an execution warrant for a death-row prisoner in what would be the state’s first use of the death penalty in nearly eight years.
Apr. 5, 2022
Telegraph Fire
Arizona’s inaugural Healthy Forest Initiative crew begins work on Monday. The initiative, which was passed last year, created a prison labor team to clean up dry foliage that may spark wildfires.
Apr. 3, 2022

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