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.
More Arizona prison news
Edwin Jensen
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, a state prison warden has died. Edwin Jensen was the warden of the Yuma prison, which houses more than 4,400 incarcerated people.
Dec. 16, 2020
correctional officer
As vaccinations begin to roll out across the nation, Arizona is prioritizing people who live and work in state prisons. Several state prisons have recently experienced large COVID-19 outbreaks. Nearly 7,000 inmates and staff have been infected since the beginning of the pandemic.
Get The Latest News On COVID-19 In Arizona
Dec. 16, 2020
David Shinn
A national criminal justice reform group is calling for the termination of Arizona Department of Corrections Director David Shinn.
Dec. 15, 2020
prison food
A new study from a criminal justice research center investigates the food in state prisons across the country. According to the authors, the research examines "how the quality, quantity, and experience of food in prison affect physical health, mental well-being, and human dignity."
Dec. 9, 2020
Arizona Department of Corrections building
The Arizona Department of Corrections says hundreds of people incarcerated at the state prison in Yuma have tested positive for COVID-19. It’s the largest outbreak in the state prison system since the beginning of the pandemic.
Dec. 8, 2020
Arizona Department of Corrections building
Incarcerated people who work in the kitchens at the Eyman, Lewis and Yuma state prisons claim they were forced to serve expired meat to their fellow inmates, resulting in foodborne illnesses. Several inmates report being diagnosed with H. pylori infections, which they attribute to the food and unsanitary conditions in the kitchens.
Nov. 17, 2020
Adobe Mountain School
More youths have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Adobe Mountain School in Phoenix, Arizona’s juvenile detention center. Fifty-nine youths there have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic.
Nov. 16, 2020
Tracie Otero and her brother Joseph Vidiola
Medical records obtained by KJZZ show an inmate at the state women's prison repeatedly requested a diagnosis and treatment for severe pain before she died by suicide last week. Tracie Otero contacted KJZZ in August saying she was in immense pain and was considering taking her life.
Sep. 28, 2020
Arizona Department of Corrections building
Inmates at the Yuma prison say they were threatened with violence and ordered by prison officials to refuse COVID-19 testing to keep outbreak numbers artificially low. The Arizona Department of Corrections recently began mass testing of all inmates in the state.
Aug. 21, 2020
Email correspondence between Hickman’s Family Farms and the Arizona Department of Corrections shows the business hoped to build a “permanent work camp” on its property in Buckeye to house the female inmates who work there.
Aug. 19, 2020
prison cells at Arizona State Prison Complex
A review by the Arizona Secretary of State has found the signature failure rate for the Arizonans For Second Chances, Rehabilitation and Public Safety ballot initiative was too high, and the estimated total number of valid signatures did not meet the minimum threshold to make the Nov. 3 ballot.
Aug. 14, 2020
Arizona Department of Corrections building
The Arizona Department of Corrections announced late Tuesday evening that 517 inmates at the Tucson prison have tested positive for COVID-19. People incarcerated at the Whetstone Unit in the Tucson prison told their families last week that the entire yard had been recently tested for COVID-19
Aug. 5, 2020
Prison Cell
KJZZ listener Chandler McElroy used the Q&AZ portal to ask about the latest developments in Arizona’s prison health care class action lawsuit.
Jul. 20, 2020
Arizona Department of Corrections Director David Shinn has drastically altered the department media policy regarding staff and inmate communication with the press.
Jul. 16, 2020
Arizona Department of Corrections building
The Arizona Department of Corrections is suspending all legal and nonlegal visits in Arizona state prison complexes through Aug. 13 to help slow the spread of COVID-19 among inmates and prison staff.
Jul. 14, 2020
Ramon Stewart
Despite a conviction for second-degree murder, the family of Ramon Stewart says he’s not a threat to society, and a debilitating form of MS and conditions in the prisons are threatening his life.
Jul. 14, 2020
Adobe Mountain School
Forty-five youths have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past several months at the Adobe Mountain School in Phoenix, Arizona’s juvenile detention center. Kate Howard, government and public affairs administrator for the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections, confirmed the infections to KJZZ on Monday.
Jul. 13, 2020
The Arizona Department of Corrections is requiring all staff members to wear masks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the prisons. However, the department is not making masks available to all inmates.
More Arizona Prison Health Care News
Jun. 18, 2020
barbed wire at an arizona prison
A group of incarcerated people have filed a complaint in federal court alleging their confinement in private, for-profit prisons is unconstitutional. Attorneys argue that Arizona has delegated its “sovereign power of incarceration” to prison corporations that in turn treat prisoners as “economic assets.”
Jun. 15, 2020
According to a data analysis conducted by KJZZ, the Arizona Department of Corrections is experiencing a yearslong surge in incidents of self-harm among inmates. In the past five years, total annual incidents of self-harm in Arizona state prisons have increased more than 360%.
Arizona Prison Health Care
Jun. 15, 2020

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