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IssaEl21 IssaEl21 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,144
IssaEl21 is a jewel in the roughIssaEl21 is a jewel in the roughIssaEl21 is a jewel in the rough
Exclamation Lie # 9: “Jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Lie # 9: “Jobs, jobs, jobs.”

At all the hearings, the sales pitch was the same: This prison will create umpteen construction jobs and kazillions of guard jobs. The corporations are manipulating the financial distress of rural Arizona towns to get themselves a multi-million dollar contract. So, what will the people of the next Arizona Prison Town get?

Well, they’ll get a few jobs, but not nearly the number they were promised. Here’s why:

Private prison corporations are based in other states. They are huge companies and bring in their own architects and construction companies. They usually have relationships with distributors, and because buying in bulk is cheaper, they will go with those companies over local ones. They will tell you that they will “try” to use as many local vendors “as possible,” but then they will determine that those local vendors are not competitive in their pricing or cannot handle the volume and they will go with the ones that they usually use.
These towns are tapped out. Every one of them already has at least one prison or a prison nearby. Eloy has several. Pinal County, where Eloy and Coolidge are located, has 6 CCA prisons, two entire state prison complexes (with about 5 units each), a few federal detention centers, and a county jail that also rents out space to CCA.
The private prisons can’t keep people in the jobs they have now. The Arizona Republic has reported that, “This year, through the end of June, the state has withheld about $844,000 from Kingman, $54,000 from Marana (also operated by MTC) and about $6,000 from Geo Group’s Phoenix West and Florence West prisons for failing to fill vacant positions quickly enough.”
Obviously, working in a prison isn’t for everyone. These are difficult jobs, with long hours, and stressful conditions. One corrections officer described it as “long stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of terror.” Not every unemployed person in this town is going to want to work in the prison. Or they will get a job there and quit shortly after.

Oh, and here’s another interesting twist: The Yuma Sun recently reported that Bullhead City has reached a deal with the Arizona Department of Corrections and Management and Training Corporation for inmates from the Arizona State Prison in Kingman to perform park and street maintenance work in the city. That’s right: Instead of creating jobs, they are tossing Bullhead City residents out of these low wage jobs and replacing them with prison labor. How many jobs will be lost there? How many other towns will follow suit?
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