Is there a bigger hypocrite in state government than Charles L. Ryan? Let’s look at his record and reflect for a moment what he has done for Arizona. Going for his second term as the director of Arizona prisons, he is set to be re-appointed by Governor Doug Ducey, who apparently ignored the fatality rate inside the prisons and the high costs of litigation defending the state against class action lawsuits and other wrongful death cases too many to mention.
Is there a bigger hypocrite in state government than Ryan? I suppose we can start looking at the state legislature but that would be doing exactly what Charles Ryan does best, deflect, deceive and blame somebody else. Ryan can re-furbish his office, his precious glass wall that protects him from others and symbolizes the barriers he has built since taking over in 2009 as the director of the state’s biggest agency and also the most expensive budget cost.
Leading with questions why he is the biggest hypocrite, there is the question of prison management as a fiscal responsible person. He has failed to control or reign in the extreme costs of running prisons by asking the legislature consecutive times for more money. As a fiscal conservative approach, this is a failed process. Each and every year, this agency has received a supplement to stay afloat.
Under his direction and command he has promised to take care of his 10,000 employee agency from the moment he took office. First, he changed the definitions of staff assaults to manage the reports better. That didn’t help as he filled up detention unit with record high special needs prisoners very expensive to house. Second, he locked up more prisoners into the most expensive custody level there is in corrections, max custody, and third, he asked for more money to double bunk max custody, add max custody beds and deliver more prisoners to the system as time goes by.
Sadly, this hypocrite of a man never reigned in the prison gangs that flourish their sales with heroin, meth and other drugs. He never addressed the protective custody dilemma that was created by the high rate of inmate on inmate assaults. He never stopped the drug flow into the prisons and he boasted about the arrest and discipline of well over six hundred staffers when in fact, he should have focused on staff retention, selection and recruitment process and better working conditions for staff. Blaming the vacancy rate on the former administration, he deliberately forced early retirements, resignations and terminations to create an experience void that can never be replaced causing major operational problems and security concerns for those left behind.
Instead of shrinking the agency, he has expanded the growth causing extreme fiscal pressure and stress on other responsibilities to the state budget including education, children protection, healthcare and many more. In the process, he has lined up consecutive victories for private prison contractors to pick up profit margins in bed space, commissary, healthcare as well as visitation and telephone fees that are designed to be one of the highest in the country.
He made Arizona, a well-deserved and profitable in mass incarceration haven for other contractors to follow and establish their own profit sharing motives as they continue to bribe legislators friendly to the thought of lining their pockets with money from this corporate pocket of wealthy donators to the political system in exchange for their preferred status as a repeat and satisfied customers.
If this was a football game, he would be accused of running up the score on the taxpayers who are footing his expensive bill. If this was a championship playoff game, he would have sacrificed his own staff and key personnel to allow the other team to win and win big. His lack of care, compassion and loyalty to his own team is shameful and should be cause for his removal.
However, that won’t happen because the governor is pulling for the other team as well and wants them to win at any cost. Even if the game is thrown by the coach. A man who deliberately created chaos and mass confusion within his own team and one who refused to score, win and play by the rules so the other team can win. Today, after the final whistle was blown to signal the end, there were two victors after the game, the private prison business and the inmates who control the prisons by default and neglect.
Sadly, letting the other team run up the score and putting our players in harm’s way is not only an embarrassment to the state but a hypocrite way to show when he says he really doesn’t care about the staff and the taxpayers of the state. Letting state resources go to make the other team look good was his goal and even when he played his best, he never really scored one point for the right reasons.