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ACLU Files Records Request On Proposed Private-Prison Contract

Mesa may become the first city in the state to privatize its jail system. Last month, KJZZ reported on the city’s efforts to solicit bids from private contractors, saying it would be a cost-saver for the city, but Mesa got pushback from Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone.

Now, as Mesa’s elected leaders are scheduled to vote on a three-year contract on Monday, the ACLU has filed a public-records request for more details on the proposed contract with private prison operator CoreCivic, formerly known as CCA, Corrections Corporation of America.

We spoke with ACLU of Arizona Executive Director Alessandra Soler and asked her, what is it the ACLU is looking for?

We reached out to the city of Mesa and Mesa Police Department, whose Public Information Officer Diana Williams told us they could not confirm any information “between city of Mesa and CoreCivic private jail contracts until it is reviewed by the City Council.” Again, that vote is scheduled for Monday.

In addition, Detective Esteban Flores of Mesa police told us, “As far as the ACLU’s public records request, all I can say is that we have received it and are in the process of giving them a response.”

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.