Private Prison Companies Submit Bids For Expansion In Arizona

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 8:42am

Private prison companies have until Wednesday afternoon to put in a bid to build a new prison or expand a current one. The Arizona Department of Corrections projects with its current inmate growth rate, it will soon run out of space for these medium-security prisoners. The state committed more $24.2 million to the first phase of the contract.

The department is looking for a private prison company to build 1,000 more beds for medium security inmates by next July. The next potential phase would be another 1,000 medium-security beds the following year pending legislative approval.

The 20-year contract up for bid guarantees the company a 90 percent occupancy rate, which is important because these companies get paid on a per prisoner calculation.

This contract differs from previous ones because of inmate healthcare expectations. This bid requires the contractor to provide medical services with no cap on inmate healthcare costs. As of August, there are 6,671 inmates with Hepatitis C and 11,521 requiring mental health services. 

Corrections Corporation of America, GEO Group Inc. and Management & Training Corporation operate the six private facilities around the state. An MTC spokesman said the company isn’t applying for this new contract. This comes a month after the Gov. Doug Ducey severed the contract with the company due to an investigation of its Kingman facility. The assessment found the company was in violation of several department policies partially contributing to riots over the July 4th weekend that destroyed a large part of the prison.

The Department of Corrections is in the process of reviewing the state’s other five private facilities.  

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