Arizona Prison Officials Reassigned After Scathing Evaluation


The warden and eight other supervisors of a prison where two officers were held hostage by inmates have been reassigned after a panel concluded that conditions were so bad and security so lax that a crisis was inevitable.

A panel appointed by the governor to review what led up to the longest prison hostage standoff in U.S. history concluded Thursday that problems at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis had continued unchecked for years, reports the Arizona Republic.

“It is going to be a monumental task to turn this situation around,” said Herb Guenther, a co-chairman of the panel. “Our employee morale is in the tank. The esprit de corps has vanished.”

The nine-member panel said a culture of complacency and unprofessionalism contributed to the ability of two inmates to take control of a watchtower in the prison’s Morey Unit on Jan. 18.

Among the problems that panelists cited: low officer pay, deficient training, inmate overcrowding, inadequate staffing, vague security procedures and poor communication.


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