Marana prison strike threatened - Tucson Local Media: Import

Marana prison strike threatened

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Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 11:00 pm

Fliers left on vehicles in the parking lot of the Marana Community Correction Treatment Facility, 12610 N. Silverbell Road, last week threatened a strike by the private prison's guards, possibly June 30, several sources said and a company official confirmed.

The fliers demanded the resignations or firing of several Marana prison officials to avoid the strike. The fliers appear to be a reaction to the firing of Capt. Ken Anderson June 1, sources who requested to remain anonymous said.

Company spokesperson Curtis Price Jr. said contingency plans are in place in case of a strike, but was unable to elaborate about what those plans are.

Cam Hunter, spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Corrections, said all of the state's private prisons are required to have contingency plans for a work stoppage.

She said DOC officials were aware of the strike threats made on the fliers and said state prison guards will be made available to MTC if requested by the company.

The Marana facility is a minimum security prison operated by Management and Training Corporation, a Utah-based company that operates 10 private prisons in five states. The company is about to begin operating a second Arizona prison in Kingman.

The Marana prison has been through a small amount of turmoil in the last several months. Besides the firing of Anderson and the discipline of several guards for making prisoners do pushups (see story, left,) long-time warden Gill Lewis abruptly resigned April 30 and no permanent replacement has been hired. Lewis has been named in an employment discrimination complaint filed by former prison employee Mike Jacobson last year with the civil rights division of the Arizona Attorney General's Office.

Lewis and Carl Stuart, communications director for the company, said in May that Jacobson's complaint did not play any role in Lewis's decision to resign.

Jacobson said in May he was notified April 30 by the civil rights division that the complaint had been dismissed, but he expects to appeal the decision and planned on filing a lawsuit against Lewis and MTC. Jacobson and his wife have been soliciting support for that action from former and current MCCTF staff.

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