Humpday Hall of Shame: Arizona Guarantees Occupancy at More Expensive Private Prisons

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 Arizona, familiar territory for our Humpday Hall of Shame.   Not only did private prison corporations reportedly play a role in driving that's state's harsh anti-immigrant law, now comes a two-part expose on the Arizona Departement of Corrections-contracted private prisons from the American Friends Service Committee.

In Part I of their series, they show that not only do for-profit prisons not save money, but that state officials have known that fact for quite some time.  However state law had mandated that-profit prison corporations show cost savings during the competitive bidding process before a contract is awarded.

In Part II, AFSC shows private prison contracts in Arizona have been amended to  promise 100% occupancy of private facilities.  See excerpts from the report after the jump.

"Beginning in 2008 with Phoenix West, the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) began working out new agreements in which the corporations agreed to a lower per-diem payment for ‘emergency beds’ (intended to temporarily absorb system overflow), from an average of $30.46 to $10.00 for Florence West and Phoenix West and from $25.10 to $12.60 for Marana.

In exchange for this concession, Arizona agreed to a guaranteed 100% occupancy for all the beds in all three facilities, including the much more expensive “rated beds.” The average per diem rate for these beds is $49.07."

Check out the full report at Cell Out Arizona.