Arizona severs ties with private prison operator

The State of Arizona has severed ties with a private prison company following riots at a Kingman prison.

The riots stretched over three days, causing extensive damage and forcing the state to move more than 1,000 inmates to other facilities.

The prison is located in northwestern Arizona, in an area of Mohave County called Golden Valley.

The prison holds more than 3,500 medium and minimum security inmates and had been operated by Management and Training Corporation since it opened in 2004.

But all of that changed following the release of a scathing report.

Gov. Doug Ducey says there is no expression of accountability bigger than the one made Wednesday.

A report conducted by the AZ Department of Corrections of the prison is being called scathing by the Governor. He says what was happening at the prison was frightening, troubling, and unacceptable. More than on third of the MTC performance discrepancies identified in 2010 after three inmates escaped from the same facility and killed a New Mexico couple are still the same five years later.

The report shows underperformance in staff communication with inmates, inmate population training, and inmate controlled movement. The most recent unrest began July 1 in a minimum-security unit when private corrections officers tried to stop an inmate-on-inmate assault.

A full-blown riot broke out the next day in another unit. The riot left some housing units so badly damaged that more than 1,100 prisoners had to be moved to other facilities.

Nine corrections officers suffered minor injuries.

"This is about accountability, our actions should send a loud warning shot to all prison operators. Fail at your job and you will be held accountable. Risk public safety and we will end your relationship with the State of Arizona," said Gov. Ducey.

Ducey says they will now be taking a closer look at all of the private prisons operating in the state. He says MTC will be responsible for paying for the damages to the prison, not taxpayers.

Arizona will start the legal process, and begin its search for a new management group for the Kingman facility.