Ariz. Prison To Begin Housing Inmates Again
(03/30/2011)

KINGMAN, Ariz. Arizona Department of Corrections director Charles Ryan announced the ADC will begin filling empty beds at the privately operated prison in Kingman.

The prison, operated by Management & Training Co., came under scrutiny last summer for faulty security and poor operational tactics following the escape of three dangerous convicts.

Inmates John McCluskey, 45, Tracy Province, 42, and Daniel Renwick, 36, escaped the facility through a propped open door and cut through perimeter fencing with the help of accomplice Casslyn Welch.

The prisoners highjacked a semi-truck on Interstate 40, kidnapping its occupants, and murdered two New Mexico residents, according reports. All escapees were apprehended within several weeks of their escape.

In the wake of the prison break, local government officials and law enforcement authorities were shocked to learn the nearby prison complex was housing convicted murderers.

According to earlier reports, 177 medium-custody lifers were housed in Kingman, 57 convicted of first-degree murder and 60 convicted of second-degree murder.

On the day of the break, the 3,400-bed prison housed 3,353 prisoners.

ADC immediately transferred 238 medium-custody inmates from the facility pending a review of operations. All movement of prisoners into the facility was placed on hold following the transfer of remaining convicted murderers.

There are currently 2,006 prisoners in the facility, 683 medium-security prisoners and 1,323 minimum-security prisoners.

The prison break incident spurred the ADC to conduct a thorough review of all 10 state prison facilities.

At Kingman, the existing perimeter fence was mended and upgraded, and a second-perimeter fence to surround the medium-custody unit of the complex was installed. A new prison access road situated away from the prison perimeter also was completed.

The ADC also requested administration changes and Complex Administrator Jerry Sternes and new Hualapai unit Warden Neil Turner were hired.

According to a recent press release from Arizona Department of Corrections, several security inspections determined the Kingman prison is now in compliance with ADC policies and custody standards.

The prison is now adhering to ADC security policies and is ready to house more inmates, Ryan said in a prepared statement. The security failures that led to the escape cannot be allowed to occur again. The state will insist that MTC continue following ADC policies.

However, Ryan said a restriction to prevent the Kingman prison from receiving and housing specific types of prisoners will remain. The restriction prevents inmates convicted of murder, attempted murder, or those who have a history of escape attempts from being housed at the prison.

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