The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry (ADCRR) has asked lawmakers to authorize a $1.3 billion dollar spending plan in 2022, an increase of more than $100 million over FY 2021. The Department, led by Director David Shinn, currently has the third highest line item in the state budget and is the only executive agency without independent oversight.
From 2018 to present, the Arizona prison population has steadily decreased from 42,071 to 36,266 while the appropriated funding has increased from less than $1.1 billion to the current $1.3 billion annually.
Despite having such an inflated budget, Arizona prisons continue to be riddled with security failures, crumbling infrastructure, inadequate healthcare, software deficiencies and high rates of staff attrition. It is imperative that independent oversight is implemented to ensure the Department is being better stewards of their allocated funds.