Governor Hobbs Unveils Executive Action Establishing Independent Prison Oversight Commission

On Wednesday, Governor Katie Hobbs announced an additional executive order as part of her First 100 Days Initiative, which outlines the first 100 actions she will take as Governor to help build an Arizona for everyone.

The action establishes the Independent Prison Oversight Commission created to improve transparency and accountability of Arizona’s corrections system with the goal of issuing a preliminary report by November 15, 2023, outlining initial findings and recommendations.

The Commission is tasked with inspecting prison facilities and records, and talking with staff and inmates for the purpose of monitoring and reporting information on topics including: Accessibility and quality of mental health and medical care and drug treatment programs, and accessibility to basic necessities such as nutrition, medicine,  sanitary products and sufficient number of qualified staff.

“We cannot deny there is  an urgent need to provide transparency and accountability in Arizona’s corrections system,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “Incarcerated Arizonans should be treated humanely and decently and corrections administrators and officers should feel safe in their workplace. Director Thornell cares about transparency, and it is one of the many reasons he is the right person to tackle these tough problems. But he will need the support of the community as well, and this executive order gives him the tools he needs to be successful.”

“As I have begun to familiarize myself with the operations of the department, it has become clear that this commission will help drive the growth that the system is in need of,” Director Thornell said. “The intentionality of the Hobbs administration, and my leadership, will use tools like this to create the best corrections system for the State of Arizona.”

The executive order can be read here.