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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
8:30 AM Wed, Nov. 14th

Prison company remains silent on plans for other sites

PRESCOTT VALLEY - Officials from the Utah-based company that had considered a 100-acre site outside the town limits for a prison are not saying if they are considering other sites in Yavapai County or elsewhere in the state.

Management and Training Corp. of Centerville, Utah, had proposed a 2,000-bed prison for nonviolent male offenders approximately one mile north of Highway 69 and parallel to Old Fain Road. However, overwhelming opposition from an audience of more than 100 people persuaded the Town Council Thursday not to sign a letter of support for the company. Town Manager Larry Tarkowski explained that prison companies that respond to the request for proposals from the Arizona Department of Administration must obtain a letter of support from the local jurisdiction.

Mike Murphy, vice president for corrections marketing for MTC, is out of the office until Oct. 29, according to the introduction to his voice mail. Carl Stuart, communications director for MTC, did not answer repeated calls to his office and cell phones.

MTC officials also looked at potential sites in Chino Valley, Paulden and the Verde Valley, state Rep. Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, said after the Prescott Valley Town Council work/study meeting Thursday. He said private prison companies from throughout the country are exploring potential sites in Arizona.

"There is a budgetary commitment for some prison beds," Tobin said. "We are sending our prisoners to Oklahoma and other states."

Arizona needs 6,000 more prison beds, said Nolberto Machiche, media director for the Department of

Corrections.

He said state-run prisons will house 4,000 inmates, and the state will lease 2,000 beds in a new private prison.

"And they are all going to be minimum-custody prisoners," Machiche said. The Department of Corrections contracts with prison companies in Oklahoma and Indiana to house Arizona convicts.

Meanwhile, the site that MTC proposed on the outskirts of Prescott Valley is part of 881 acres where Fain Signature Group envisions building an industrial park. The council discussed plans for the park this past December.

"Right now, we really don't have anything planned, per se" for the location, said Lew Rees, marketing director for Fain Signature Group.

Contact the reporter at khedler@prescottaz.com