PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Corrections plans to re-issue a Request for Proposals for the construction and management of 5,000 prison beds in the near future, but it is not yet known when.
“There is no date, but it will be soon,” said the agency’s director of communications Barrett Marson. “We are still trying to figure it out, but we are hopeful that it will be soon.”
The DOC cancelled the original RFP last September in the wake of an investigation into security issues raised by the July escape of three inmates from the privately operated Arizona State Prison-Kingman — a 3,508-bed minimum-to medium-security complex operated by Utah-based firm Management and Training Corp.
The original Arizona RFP resulted in bids from four firms. In addition to MTC, private prison firms Corrections Corporation of America, based in Nashville, Tenn.; Emerald Correctional Management Co., based in Lafayette, La.; and GEO Group, based in Boca Raton, Fla., submitted proposals.
The RFP cancellation and overhaul of provisions is designed “to ensure that private prison contractors can meet security and operational requirements and to eliminate or reduce unfavorable occurrences within Arizona’s contracted private prisons,” according to the findings of the investigation. The DOC has four other in-state private prisons under its jurisdiction — ASP-Central Arizona Correctional Facility, ASP-Florence-West, ASP-Marana, and ASP-Phoenix-West.
Future contracts, which will include additional monetary offset provisions and sanctions, will also stipulate enhanced contract performance auditing guidelines, and stringent performance outcome and measurement and reporting requirements.