No plans to move problem prisoners back in state advertisement
Associated Press May. 26, 2004 08:05 AM
TUCSON - Despite several large fights and riots at two out-of-state private prisons in the last several weeks, state officials say they have no plans to reverse course and bring home any of the 2,000 inmates in Texas and Oklahoma.
On Saturday, more than 40 inmates in a Pecos, Texas, prison owned by the Geo Group created a disturbance, damaging the prison. Earlier this month, about 70 inmates were injured in a fracas at Corrections Corporation of America's Watonga, Okla., prison.
The two recent events are in addition to a hunger strike and large fight in the Pecos prison and problems in 2002 at another private Texas prison, which included several inmate escapes while a state review found an unacceptable quality of service from the company.
Arizona Corrections Director Dora Schriro is monitoring events out of state, but some early problems were anticipated, her spokeswoman Cam Hunter said. The inmates were shipped out of state just this year.
The disturbances are a concern to both the state Department of Corrections and a prisoner advocacy group in Tucson.
Caroline Isaacs, a spokeswoman for the American Friends Service Committee, said inmates are upset about higher costs of phone calls and products at the inmate store while there are fewer jobs and classes being offered.
"These are serious quality-of-life issues if you are confined in an 8-foot space," Isaacs told the Arizona Daily Star.
There have been claims some inmates were creating disturbances so they would be sent back to Arizona.
Hunter said Schriro is determined not to reward prisoners who misbehave.
"There is an awareness that that behavior may exist and we do not intend for people to get a free trip back to Arizona for acting out," Hunter said.
Pablo Paize, a spokesman for the Geo Group, said there was minor damage to the Pecos prison where about 860 Arizona inmates are housed. He did not know the exact cause of the disturbance but cited "general unhappiness."
About 240 inmates participated in a fight in the Watonga prison yard, with at least 70 suffering injuries. Two inmates remain in critical condition, Hunter said.
Family members are not getting a lot of information, some said. Melissa Gonzales of Tucson heard from her fiance Tuesday for the first time since a fight at Watonga more than two weeks ago. Prisoners involved in the melee remain locked down.
"They said they were going to be on lockdown for three to four more weeks. That is crazy," Gonzales said. "They have taken everything away from them. They took them away from their families. We used to visit him every week."
Lets correct at least one mistake in the article. GEO does not own te prison in TX, they only manage it. The County still provides the workforce.
Boca Raton, Fla. � March 10, 2004 -- The GEO Group, Inc. (NYSE: GGI) (�GEO�) announced today that Reeves County, Texas has entered into an agreement with a second governmental agency to house up to 864 inmates in Phase III of the Reeves County Detention Complex (RCDC). This second agreement follows an earlier agreement entered into between Reeves County and another governmental agency for the housing of between 2,025 and 2,200 inmates in Phases I and II of the RCDC. The second agreement for the housing of out-of-state inmates in RCDC Phase III guarantees a minimum average daily population of 778 inmates following a population phase-in period of approximately 10 weeks.
GEO currently manages the entire 3,064-bed RCDC under an agreement with Reeves County while the employees remain on the County payroll. The RCDC is the largest privately-managed detention/correctional complex in the world.