Why I believe Arizona needs to be better in running their prisons
Living in Arizona can be inspirational-it has all the hallmarks of a patriotic and lawful society. The grandeur of the Grand Canyon symbolizes strength and heritage and many more American values. I believe in Arizona. Arizona is a conservative state but at the same time, proven it can be the exact opposite when a critical situation arises or an adaption is needed.
It can be innovative in rule. Sometimes it is controversial especially being a border state and addressing border and immigration issues. At the same time, I have seen strong leadership to lead and become the spine or the backbone for the needs of many other states. It has led in many different areas which needed to be addressed and as such, the laws were addressed accordingly.
I can compare Arizona with other states as I have lived in a few to know the differences in climate, demographics, and economy social cultures. I see it as a melting pot but also as a place where people live in peace and harmony without too much government interference. Politically, it can be vitriol in nature. Socially, it can be blend of cultures engaged in community celebrations.
Unlike some other states, Arizona seems to be connected to the people and their will on most issues. Arizona believes we all have a right to privacy, a right to be left alone as we go about our business. It is not too intrusive but there when necessary. In the absence of this occasional intrusion, Arizona allows our lives to be our own with consequences attached regulated by laws.
State government does have some trust issues. The reasons are clear and most people understand that transparency and honesty would eliminate most of these concerns. It would be better if government agencies and contractors operating with more accountability. I can also sense a strong interdependence on hybrid governance and engagements of outsourcing our services especially our prisons.
For years, state government has been operating under near complete secrecy about its relationship with private prison contractors and whether or not this relationship is actually saving the state money. We have learned from studies in the past, prison policy guidelines for savings pledges results to the contrary. However, such studies have been halted thus comparison data is no longer available to compare cost factors.
This we expect to be the mood of government and will likely to continue to be denied basic details about this aspect of state government spending and admit a grim defeat that unless the governor allows us to peek at their business portfolios, nothing will be revealed to show any improvement is savings.
Thus although I believe in Arizona, I would encourage all citizens to hold the government accountable for their prison management and spending styles as well as comparative decisions. The governor campaigned on improvements in education and child safety but has neglected both as well as reducing prison costs. He has introduced a five year funding plan for education but skepticism is loud and frequent because he prioritized prisons over education.
In fact, he has raised prison costs beyond the previous budget to accommodate private prison growth. No one has ever been charged with a crime in connection with the CCA executive team connection or for that matter, any other contractor doing business with our state. There is little doubt the legislature had deep pockets for private prison lobbyist knocking on their doors.
No one has challenged the lawful duties of the prison director to serve as a facilitator or portfolio manager for the private business world as it expands and receives state funding via vague but extremely powerful political circumstances. Until this funnel of growth and profit is curtailed, this part of state government will never be held accountable.