CCA private prison due for Pima County?

by David Safier

A story in the Business section of the Star talks about a 3-1 vote by the Pima Supes to OK the development of a Corrections Corporation of America private prison on South Wilmot.

Pima County approved a development agreement Tuesday for a private prison on South Wilmot Road that could be used to house Arizona inmates or prisoners from other states.

It's the latest step in Corrections Corporation of America's plans to compete for a state contract to put a prison for 3,000 to 5,000 inmates on South Wilmot, near other state and federal corrections centers there. It's likely the last say the Pima County Board of Supervisors will have in the project.

Even if CCA does not win an Arizona contract, the company has said it would likely still put a prison there to house inmates from other states or federal facilities.

The plan must go through further review in the county Department of Development Services, but it doesn't need additional approval from the supervisors, Development Services Director Carmine DeBonis Jr. said.

I'm pretty new to this private prisons story, so I don't know the history of this decision. But this is clearly part of the general move to increase Arizona's position as the private prison holding tank for out-of-state prisoners.

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