The Governor is asking for more than $1.5 BILLION for Arizona’s prisons, and the final request will be even more than that, because it does not factor in prison health care, running more than $200 Million annually. Big-ticket infrastructure items include $42 million to install much-needed air conditioning in Perryville.

One costly budget item that women don’t have to worry about is private prison expansion. The CEOs of these privately run prisons will never have women in them because “They’re (women) too expensive.” Our medical expenses, reproductive plumbing, wouldn’t allow them to turn a profit.

Becca Fealk, director of Just Communities Arizona, a justice reform advocacy group, was asked what she thought of the new budget. She said, “What we see in this budget is the money going to salaries and the private prison industry. The DOC isn’t using the money it receives in areas it has the most impact on the prison population.”.

Programming and substance abuse classes can only accommodate 19% of the inmates that need it. If the DOC can’t provide help on substance abuse, which is 86% of women in Perryville, then why are we sending them to prison in the first place?