Letter: State should not be in business of building more prisons - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letter: State should not be in business of building more prisons

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Posted: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 8:22 am | Updated: 11:23 am, Thu May 16, 2013.

The plan to build a new 500 bed maximum-security prison is bad public policy and bad economics for Arizona. Every other state is downsizing or closing maximum security prisons because they have learned that they are inefficient (they cost much more than regular prisons) and they are ineffective (they cause more problems including violence and mental health issues).

Other states, including Florida and Texas, have led the way and shown that a more humane prison policy actually decreases crime and improves public safety.

The Pelican Bay prison in California, modeled on the Browning Unit in Eyman here in Arizona, has been declared in violation of the constitution because the conditions constitute torture.

From the United Nations to local courts, super max prisons are being declared inhumane and impractical. I ask our elected officials to NOT allocate any of Arizona tax dollars for this illegal and dangerous institution.

Matthew Ekstrom


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