Attorney General Terry Goddard Calls for Five Immediate Steps to Increase Prison Security

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Attorney General Terry Goddard at a mid-day press conference on Monday called for five immediate steps to increase prison security in Arizona. From his press release:

Goddard Calls for Five Immediate Steps to Increase Prison Security

PHOENIX – Attorney General Terry Goddard today called on Gov. Brewer to take immediate action to increase security at Arizona's prison facilities and adopt a five-point plan to prevent future escapes.

Goddard said last week's escape of three dangerous inmates from a privately run Arizona prison outside Kingman — and their suspected role in a double homicide in New Mexico shortly after the escape — make clear the urgent need for action to protect the public.

He said the Governor should implement a five-point plan to:

(1) Order the immediate review of the location of and security risk posed by all violent prisoners in Arizona.

(2) Order the immediate re-assignment of violent prisoners currently housed in minimum and medium security prisons.

(3) Order an immediate security review of all private prisons in the state, including a reassessment of their security classification.

(4) Place a moratorium on the assignment of future violent prisoners to private prisons pending that review.

(5) Appoint a Blue-Ribbon Commission to investigate the circumstances at the facility where the escape occurred and fine the company commensurate with the severity of all security violations found.

"Our over-reliance on private, for-profit prisons, combined with excessive budget cuts to the Department of Corrections and the improper assignment of violent criminals to low-security prisons, contributed to making these escapes possible," Goddard said.

"Without immediate action from the Governor, future escapes or prison violence are inevitable."

Goddard also asked the governor to amend her call for today's special session of the Arizona Legislature to tighten state rules affecting private prisons, which are largely unregulated today.

Such a measure should require companies running private prisons to share security information with state officials and prohibit private prisons from housing murderers, rapists and other dangerous convicts from other states. Arizona currently has no restrictions on the type of out-of-state inmates brought here.

"In light of the Kingman escapes, prison safety is far more pressing that the purely symbolic issue being taken up by the Legislature in special session today," Goddard said.


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