TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - [if gte mso 9]>
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The American Friends Service Committee of Arizona has asked Governor Jan Brewer to create a meaningful and independent oversight committee over the Arizona Department of Corrections.
"Such an oversight committee would allow for better institutional transparency and substantial responses to grievances of inadequate medical and mental health care within the ADC facilities," said Caroline Isaacs, AFSC program director.
This thought stems from House Minority Leader Chad Campbell's call for the immediate resignation of ADC Director Charles Ryan for continued mismanagement of the Arizona prison system.
AFSC also asks that Gov. Brewer investigate the charges against Ryan and determine whether he is fit to serve.
Isaacs states that while it is important to hold ADC Directors accountable for the gross failings of their tenure, putting a new Director into an old and failed system won't change the outcome. She adds that Ryan's failures reveal a total lack of public over site over our prisons.
The oversight committee that AFSC Arizona proposes in the letter to Gov. Brewer must have the ability to hold the ADC accountable in a meaningful way, and must include individuals outside the framework of political influence.
In the letter, AFSC cites overuse of solitary confinement in the maximum security units, a reliance on private for-profit prison companies, and lack of adequate medical and mental health care as prime examples of the need for oversight.
The letter reads "The numerous issues raised on Rep. Campbell's letter are extremely serious, costing taxpayers millions of dollars and undermining public safety as well as the safety and health of prisoners and corrections staff."