The Pinal County Board of Supervisors on July 22 unanimously approved a contract with the Arizona Department of Corrections to temporarily house state inmates.
The inmates come from the privately managed Arizona State Prison-Kingman where a riot broke out on July 2. The results of the riot forced the closure of four dormitories and the relocation of nearly 1,200 inmates. Pinal County is housing 372 of those inmates, according to a press release.
The other inmates are being housed in Apache, Navajo and Santa Cruz counties.
Pinal County Manager Greg Stanley said in the release that the negotiations between ADOC and the county departments affected by the transfer of new inmates — sheriff, detention, public health and finance — were fruitful in making sure all costs were covered.
“We have set up a subsidiary account through finance to make sure we are paid for housing these inmates in full,” Mr. Stanley said in the release. “We need to recapture our costs and we will be able to track these through special finance codes.”
Chief Civil Deputy Pinal County Attorney Chris Keller said in the release that this contract is not to exceed 180 days with a maximum number of inmates being capped at 380. Pinal County will be given a lower classification of inmates to ensure that the detention center and staff are able to handle their needs.
Mr. Keller said the contract allows Pinal County to bill for staff wages and overtime every two weeks. Other costs such as mental health services, labor, travel and other indirect overhead will be billed on a monthly basis.
The payment to Pinal County will come from the insurance company for Management Training Corp., the entity that runs the Kingman unit.
Sheriff Paul Babeu said in the release his staff made changes to accommodate the influx of inmates from Kingman. Detention officers placed some of the current jail population in 10-person cells in order to free up two-person cells for the Kingman inmates.
The sheriff said detention officers have been placed on a 12-hour shift to meet staffing needs.
Following the testimony and the vote, Chairwoman Cheryl Chase said she feels that all the bases are covered with this contract.
“The last thing I, or anyone else wants to see, is a replay of the (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) contract,” Ms. Chase said in the release. “I give my thanks to everyone involved to get this contract right the first time. I think this contract is a win-win for both us and ADOC.”
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