In an effort to address staffing shortages and enhance overall officer safety, Governor Ducey during his State of State Address today announced that Arizona will be shutting down Florence State Prison. Shuttering the prison and transferring inmates currently housed there to other facilities will remove the need for maintenance and repairs at the prison, saving taxpayers $247 million over three years.
During the speech, Governor Ducey said. “There’s another marker we are going to meet this year. We’re shutting down a state prison. It will enhance safety at our remaining facilities and save taxpayers $274 million over the next three years.”
As part of the move, existing staff from the Florence prison will be relocated to the Eyman prison located less than three miles away. The additional staff will allow the Eyman complex to become fully staffed, eliminating the Correctional Officer II vacancies and providing inmates with better access to programs and other services, such as enhanced second chance programs. No Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry employees will lose their jobs as a result of the move, and all will benefit from the increased safety brought on by increased staffing levels.
Inmates currently housed at Florence Prison will be relocated to a combination of third-party operators and county corrections facilities.