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Arizona Republic investigation finds Corrections Department using problematic imagery

Jimmy Jenkins
Jimmy Jenkins

A recent investigation by the Arizona Republic has found that training materials and documents used by state Department of Corrections personnel includes imagery that is militaristic and similar to graphics used by gangs and white supremacy organizations.

Images of skulls, lightning bolts and firearms were found in training and operational manuals as well as PowerPoint presentations dating back to 2018. One training video includes footage of a Yuma prison riot set to heavy metal music.

Critics of the department contend these images create an adversarial environment in a place where many of the incarcerated look to corrections officers to keep order, and that they create a hostile atmosphere for families visiting the institutions.

Jimmy Jenkins is the criminal justice reporter for the Arizona Republic.

The Show spoke with him to learn about his investigation's findings.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.