Incarceration Present and Past: 2015 and 2013

August 27, 2015
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August 25th 2015: Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced that the state will terminate its contract with the Management and Training Corporation (MTC) to run Arizona State Prison- Kingman. The move came in reaction to a July 2015 riot at Kingman prison.  The decision was based on a recent investigative report by the Arizona Department of Corrections into the causes of the riot and MTC’s management of the prison. One of the key conclusions of the report was that under MTC’s management “a culture of disorganization, disengagement, and disregard of Arizona Department of Corrections policies and fundamental inmate management and security principles” was present. The report also found that MTC had failed to properly train prison staff and did not  “promptly and effectively quell the riots.” The American Friends Service Committee-Arizona also produced their own report on the riot, which confirmed many of the findings of the Department of Corrections’ report but also drew different conclusions. For example the AFSC’s report found that “Department of Corrections’ tactical support personnel sent in to quell the riot were unnecessarily violent and disrespectful in their treatment of prisoners and that “MTC guards were mistreating the people held in Kingman, relying on pepper spray and other heavy-handed approaches to behavior management, resulting in high levels of resentment among prisoners.”

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(Bathroom Facility at Arizona State Prison- Kingman after the riots)

August 31st 2013: The Texas Department of Criminal Justice ended its contract with the Corrections Corporation of America to run the Dawson State Jail in Dallas. In addition to terminating the contract the entire prison was shut down after a Texas State Legislature vote in June 2013. Dawson had been the subject of scrutiny in the years leading up to the decision for several health-related deaths in inmates, including the death of a premature baby who died after she was delivered into a toilet when guards failed to assist the mother.  A January 2012 audit of Dawson health services by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice found that Dawson State Jail failed to meet legal standards in multiple areas such as gynecological, dental, HIV, elder care, having enough first aid kits and providing medically appropriate diets to sick prisoners

 

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