Practically, in every nation in the world, imprisonment is a standard penalty for criminal offenses. Those doing time in jail are not expected to enjoy themselves since they are deprived of basic human rights and comforts.
But the reality of incarceration varies widely from one jail to another, and from one state to another. Arizona is also filled with many criminals and prisons.
So, today I will be discussing some major prisons in Arizona.
1. Arizona state prison complex, Douglas
Prisoners may serve their time in one of Arizona’s 13 facilities, including the state’s largest prison, the Douglas State Prison Complex. The Arizona Department of Corrections owns and manages the prison. The maximum capacity of this facility is 2148 prisoners. And it first opened its doors back in 1984.
In the Arizona state prison complex, riots and protests are nothing new. A rebellion broke out shortly after the prison’s 1987 inauguration; the situation was so dire that the whole facility had to be destroyed. Many convicts will die, and others will be able to escape, because of this. Thirty-seven convicts’ deaths were confirmed, and the remainder were unsubstantiated rumors.
Although the Arizona state prison complex – Douglas was quickly restored and back in service, a protest against racial disparity occurred there in 2017. Seventeen prisoners were killed during the riot, while six of the prison’s best guards and personnel were killed trying to quell the commotion.
2. Arizona state prison complex – Eyman
The Eyman State Prison Complex in Arizona is the biggest prison facility in the state. Upon opening in 1991, it had a maximum capacity of 4549 prisoners. In response to the increased likelihood of infiltration and rioting, a combination of levels 3, 4, and 5 of prison security was installed. And it is being guarded by a strong force.
Homicides and deaths in custody often occur at the Eyman facility in the Arizona state prison system. Inmates at the Eyman State Prison Complex in Arizona have committed serious crimes including murder and more.
3. Arizona state prison complex – Florence
Established in 1908, the Florence facility of the Arizona State Prison Complex has a maximum capacity of 3,946 prisoners. The majority of federal inmates are housed there, as may be expected from a facility with four separate layers of security.
The Arizona state prison complex in Florence has four layers of security, but in 2020, there was reportedly a large riot that resulted in an explosion in the prison’s culinary unit and the escape of several hundred groups of convicts.
Since so many police, guards, and kitchen workers were killed during this conflict, it was dubbed a “war zone” by the authorities. The violence led them to decide to step up security measures. Even still, the Arizona Department of Corrections wasn’t having any of it, so they requested a probe into the riot’s causes when it was believed that the missing gory male officers were implicated in the chaos.
Check out these Infamous Serial Killers in Arizona.
4. Arizona state prison complex – Lewis
It is located on Arionna, one of the thirteen poisons, and is just around thirteen miles from Arizona’s capital city. Up to 1397 convicts may be housed there. Its proximity to the nation’s capital makes it a target, thus it has been outfitted with five tiers of protection. The Arizona Department of Corrections manages and operates the facility.
Despite the fact that the Lewis prison complex in Arizona has the highest level of security, there are still many cases of convicts committing murder. In 2017, Timothy Monk knocked through a cell door and killed a prisoner whose murder went unsolved.
He also threatened the jail librarian with a knife before he was cornered and subdued by guards and other employees. Even though he was only left alone in the rest unit for a few hours, he managed to hold the librarian prisoner for two of those hours.
He was found dead in the prison library where he had kept the librarian prisoner, but no one bothered to conduct an inquiry into his death since it might have been the convicts who broke down the door and killed him, or it could have been the staff, because he had also held one of them hostage.
5. Arizona state prison complex – Perryville
With a capacity for 460 prisoners, the Arizona State Jail Complex – Perryville is the state of Arizona’s second-largest prison. Opening in 1981. There are only women on death row who live there.
In 1997, a correction’s officer was killed in the Arizona state prison complex in Perryville. The officer had called three inmates for good behavior, opened their hands and all cuffs, and left them free to talk to him, at which point one of the inmates stabbed the officer repeatedly before backup arrived.
They were then charged with murder and given life sentences without the possibility of parole or reduction.
6. Arizona state prison complex – Tucson
The Tucson facility of the Arizona State Prison System, with a population maximum of 4830, was first established in January 1978. Due to its location 127 miles from the state capital, it has layers 3 and 4 of security.
Deaths among the prison’s prisoner population are common because of the tight quarters in which they are housed. Fights between themselves or deaths from inadequate medical care are to blame. More than 300 detainees lost their lives between January and May 2022.
To date, only a small fraction of the inmates whose deaths have been investigated have had their motives revealed. Meanwhile, there are still mysteries to be solved. People have speculated that the security staff is responsible for their deaths, but there is no proof of this. One group is stabbed to death, another group is beaten to death, and a third group bleeds to death.
Don’t forget to take a look at our list of the most dangerous cities in Arizona.
7. Arizona state prison complex – Phoenix
The Arizona State Prison Complex in Phoenix serves as the state’s primary prison and administrative center for the state’s 12 other correctional facilities. Currently, it is home to over a hundred inmates who have been sentenced to die; the whereabouts of the remaining inmates are unknown.
Despite the prison’s high level of security and the presence of numerous guards, murders continue to occur in the prison’s cafeteria and other facilities on a regular basis. Inmate Kenneth W. Thompson has been transferred to the Arizona state prison complex in Phoenix, despite a lengthy record of homicides committed at other Arizona prisons.
Still, he was able to access a knife, murder two of the other inmates in the cell by stabbing them. He has been sentenced to life in prison, but that hasn’t stopped him yet. Now he is isolated from other inmates and confined to a single cell with few amenities.
8. United States Penitentiary Tucson, Tucson
Many famous inmates have spent time in the United States Penitentiary in Tucson. One such person is Anthony Casso, who was given a life sentence of 455 years but passed away in prison. Drug trafficker Ross Ulbricht, racketeer Whitey Bulger, sex trafficker Keith Raniere, and pedophile Brian David Mitchell are just a few more.
The Tucson jail has housed several notable inmates, including Timothy Villagomez, Phillip Giordano, and Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham, to name a few. Among the convicts themselves, fights are the most common source of trouble there.
9. Arizona State Prison – Kingman
With a capacity for 3,500 inmates, the privately owned Arizona State Prison – Kingman provides minimal and medium security. Specifically, the area is known as Golden Valley, and it can be found in Arizona’s Mohave County.
More than a thousand convicts had to be relocated because of the prison’s destruction. The GEO Group of Boca Raton, Florida was awarded the contract to manage state prisons again in August 2015. As part of a settlement of a federal class action litigation over the management of the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility, the company was released from its contract in Mississippi in 2012.
In a civil claim for damages stemming from federal indictments and convictions exposing corruption and bribery of state officials in the prison system, the Mississippi State Attorney identified GEO Group and 14 other contractors in February 2017.
10. Marana Community Correctional Treatment Facility
The Arizona Department of Corrections maintains 13 prisons around the state, one of which is the Marana Community Correctional Treatment Facility (MCCTF) (ADC). Marana, Pima County, Arizona is home to the plant, which is around 100 miles south of Phoenix.
The Arizona Department of Corrections has contracted with this secure, minimum-security private jail to house and rehabilitate 450 adult male offenders who have shown a need for alcohol or drug misuse counseling. On October 7, 1994, the doors of the building were opened to the public. The Management and Training Corporation of Utah runs and oversees the operation.
Around 450 inmates may be housed safely in MCCTF’s lone housing unit, which operates at Level 2 of security. The ADC uses a scoring system to categorize detainees and determine which degree of security is most suitable for them. With 5 being the greatest danger or requirement, the scale runs from 1 to 5.
11. Lewis Corrections Department
One of the 13 prison institutions run by the Arizona Department of Corrections, the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis is located in Buckeye, Maricopa County, 43 miles west of Phoenix, the state’s capital.
12. Red Rock Correctional Center
The Red Rock Correctional Facility is a moderate detention center for men that is privately controlled and operated by the Corrections Corporation of America under a license with the Arizona Department of Corrections. It is situated in Eloy, Pinal County, Arizona.
Despite what you may have heard, life outside of prison is really far riskier than life behind bars.