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Mesa Council To Vote On Private Jail Contract

The Mesa City Council will vote Monday on a contract to privatize its jail services.

The measure is a result of Mesa’s attempt to reduce public safety costs.

The Mesa Police Department is recommending private prison operator Core Civic be awarded a $5 million annual contract to transport and detain misdemeanor offenders that would have previously been held at the Maricopa County jail.

MORE: Mesa Could Become First City In Arizona To Privatize Jail Services

Mesa estimates the new arrangement could save the department more than a $1 million a year.

UPDATE - Mesa releases Core Civic contract before vote. Highlights include:


  • Contractor must develop emergency plan in case of riots.
  • Pay rates will be based on average daily population.
  • Core Civic Agrees to provide "humane treatment."
  • Inmates will be transported to and from Florence Facility 3 times a day, 7 days a week.
  • Actions are open to public records review.
  • Records are available for city to inspect.
  • There will be a contract monitor.
  • The compensation rate will be fixed for two years, adjusted afterward in accordance with CPI.
  • Contract can be terminated by either party with 60 day notice at any time.

Mesa Core Civic Contract For Private Jail Services

Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.