In the last several days we have received a letter from a Kingman resident who worked at the private prison since it was built in 2006, as well as the latest article in the local newspaper, The Daily Miner, in which residents react to the news that the family of the slain couple are suing the State and the Kingman prison. The Kingman experience has much to teach us about what to expect if a Private Prison comes to Globe. Here are what those residents have to say.
Daily Miner: Family sues state, prison over escape
EXCERPT from readers comments:
Article comment by: The Real Common Sense
Let’s see – Ronnie Walker, the Lil King, along with Buster Johnson and Tom Sockwell assured us the for-profit, private prison would house only non-violent offenders. Then, following the escape of three murderers we find over 400 violent offenders were being held in a facility with an untrained staff that had non-functioning alarm systems and were assisted in their escape by a woman who was not jailed after trying to smuggle drugs into the place. Once out on the streets the escapees gave us kidnappings, a shoot-out with police and the murders of two people in New Mexico. It’s time to shut down this entire joke and get rid of Walker, Sockwell and Johnson – these clowns have cost us and are going to cost us millions if we don’t do something. And to Kari Jones – to hell with that. The supposed benefit of poorly paying jobs does not offset the danger this for-profit, private nightmare holds for our county.”
Letter from a Kingman Resident:
I am a Kingman Resident since 2000. I was here when the prison was built. We were told it would be a DUI prison with minimum custody inmates…that was a lie. I worked for the prison for a time and was totally amazed at what type of inmates were kept in the facility. Sure, there were DUI’s, but there were also murderers, robbers, abusers and such. You see, the Arizona Department of Corrections has something called classification which allows higher custody inmates to work their way down to minimum yards. Some of these inmates should have remained where they were and not transferred to a minimum DUI yard.
The correction officers are trained but for a minimum yard and sometimes the inmates are better equipped to handle officers than the officers are inmates. People are under the assumption that all the inmates at MTC are in cells. They are not. They are housed in dorms with 200 inmates to a dorm. When 200 inmates decide as a group not to do something in can make life very uncomfortable.
The prison in Kingman is 35 miles from town which keeps most of the negative behavior away from the general public, however with a facility only 5 miles from town negative behavior will impact the general public more than everyone thinks. When the escape happened here in Kingman, truck drivers were taken hostage. If an escape happens in Globe the escapees will have access to an entire population because they are located so close to the general public.
Granted the prison will increase revenue and offer jobs in a time when they are sorely needed however is it worth the safety of your children, your spouse or even yourself when something goes wrong???
If I had a choice to look at a prison being built again in Kingman I would take more time, ask more questions and make different decisions. For the State and the private prison contractors it all boils down to money, for others like the family in New Mexico whose parents were brutally murdered by someone from a “DUI” prison I am sure all the money in the world can’t replace the lives of their family members.
A resident of Kingman
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