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State of Arizona to End Contract with Private Prison Operator in Marana

The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry is closing a prison in Marana at the end of the year and ending its contract with the private contractor that operated the facility.

According to a press release from Gov. Katie Hobbs, the state’s contract with private operator Management & Training Corporation requires it pay for a minimum of 475 beds at the Arizona State Prison in Marana, even though the prison is only housing about 225 inmates. 

Hobbs said canceling the contract with the operator will save the state about $15 million over the next two years.  The inmates housed at the Marana prison will be transferred to other prisons within the ADCRR system. The department has no planned uses for the prison, which is owned by the state, after inmates are moved out at the end of the year, department spokesperson Judy Keane said in an email. 

“The ADCRR will maintain the property in a ‘ready state’ until decisions and determinations regarding next steps are made,” Keane wrote.

The governor’s office said the decision to close the prison and not renew the MTC contract came after a cost-benefit analysis found it would be cheaper to house the Marana inmates at other prisons. A 2010 report by the Arizona Auditor General found that the Marana prison was operating at 98% capacity. Keane did respond to a question asking what factors led to a decrease in the prison’s population over the past 13 years.

According to ADCRR, the Marana prison opened in 1994 and houses non-violent offenders. The decision will not affect other private prison contracts, according to Keane. She said the department did not review contracts for the six other private prisons operating in the state, because they are not currently up for renewal or extension.

Source: KJZZ