A Florida-based private prison company will assume the operation of the state prison in Golden Valley on December 1. The Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) has selected the GEO Group to assume the contract that had allowed Utah-based MTC to run the prison.
A history of problems at the prison facility, punctuated by inmate rioting that caused more than $2-million in damages in early July, prompted Governor Doug Ducey’s decision to transition operation to a new vendor. The GEO Group is one of five private prison firms that expressed interest in operating the prison in Golden Valley.
“Upon completing a thorough evaluation and substantive negotiations, GEO’s offer and assigment was acceptable to the Department,” and ADC news release stated. GEO will be compensated at the same per diem rate per inmate that was the case in under the contract with MTC.
Some conditions of the MTC contract are amended in the transition to operation by the GEO group, several involving personnel and training.
- GEO will send 15 staff to ASP-Kingman to begin retraining current (MTC) correctional staff (80 hours) and supervisors (40 hours), starting November 2. They will train 20 staff every two weeks in November and continue training all remaining applicable staff throughout the Phase-in period (December 2015 through March 2016).
- ADC will observe GEO’s training of ASP-Kingman staff to ensure policy compliance.
- GEO and ADC agree to exercise the first 5-year renewal period, which extends the contract to February 14, 2023 at the current per diem pricing.
ADC said repairs to the Cerbat unit of the prison are to be completed by Saturday. Repairs at the Hualapai Unit are scheduled for completion by January 15, 2016.
Hundreds of inmates were shipped out of the prison after the rioting left portions uninhabitable. ADC spokesman Andrew Wilder said about 1,750 inmates are currently housed in the 3,400 inmate prison.
Wilder said transporting inmates back into the facility should bring the population up to 2,000 in December. He said the prison should be loaded to capacity sometime next spring, likely in March.