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Thu, May 26

Private company gets contract to house inmates from state-run Arizona prison

Arizona is proceeding with plans to close one of its two large state-run prison complexes in Florence and transfer more than 2,000 inmates to a private facility in Eloy. (Adobe image)

Arizona is proceeding with plans to close one of its two large state-run prison complexes in Florence and transfer more than 2,000 inmates to a private facility in Eloy. (Adobe image)

PHOENIX – Arizona is proceeding with plans to close one of its two large state-run prison complexes in Florence and transfer more than 2,000 inmates to a private facility in Eloy.

The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry has awarded a contract to private prison operator CoreCivic to house inmates to be moved from the state's Florence prison complex to the company's La Palma Correctional Center, the Arizona Republic reported.

According to documents posted on the state procurement portal, the department considered bids on the contract from CoreCivic, and a competitor, The GEO Group, which proposed housing the prisoners at a facility in Michigan.

The five-year contract took effect on Dec. 29 and is expected to be worth over $420 million, the Republic reported.

Gov. Ducey announced plans to close the aging Florence prison complex in his 2020 State of the State address, calling it a cost-saving measure and saying it would free up staff to work at other prisons.

Ducey's office has said the state's recently refurbished execution chamber would remain in operation at the complex after all the inmates are moved.

The other major state prison in Florence is the newer Eyman complex, which on Thursday housed 5,345 inmates.

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