Humpday Hall of Shame: Private prison "insanity" in Arizona

Welcome to The Hump Day Hall of Shame:  Every Wednesday we highlight the private prison industry’s influence on public policy through campaign contributions, lobbying, and the revolving door of public and private corrections.

This week, we return to familiar territory - Arizona.  Earlier this week, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a "compromise" budget agreement.  Included in that budget were 500 maximum security state-run prison beds and 1,000 private prison beds.  In fact, Arizona doesn't need more prison beds due to the state's declining prison population.

What's more the budget includes a provision that would remove a requirement to study the quality and cost of public vs. private prisons.  That provision is convenient for the private prison industry after a front-page NY Times report found that private prisons in Arizona were actually costing the state more than public facilities.

If this situation makes you think Arizona is going insane, you're not alone.  See what Arizona House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said of the new provision after the jump.

"It's insanity, that's the only way to describe this, removing the ability for the state to do a cost and quality analysis of the private prison contracts that are being funded by taxpayer dollars makes absolutely no sense whatever."

To express your opinion on Arizona's new budget, you can contact:

Governor Jan Brewer -,  (602) 542.4331

House Speaker Andy, (602) 926-5172

Senate President Steve Pierce, (620) 926-5584

House Appropriations Chair John Kavanagh -, (602) 926-5170

Senate Appropriations Chair Don, (602) 926-4139