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Utah company being blamed in Ariz. prison escape

By Nicole Gonzales | Posted - Aug. 2, 2010 at 10:03 p.m.



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CENTERVILLE -- Two inmates who escaped from an Arizona prison Friday are still at large. Now, the state's department of corrections is placing some blame on the Utah company that operates the prison.

Three convicted murderers escaped the Kingman Prison Friday night. Apparently, they cut through the outdoor fence of the medium-security facility.

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The next day, law enforcement officers captured one of the convicts, but the manhunt continues for the other two.

In the meantime, the Arizona Department of Corrections is trying to figure out how this could have happened. Officials there are blaming prison security, which is operated by Management and Training Corporation, based in Centerville, Utah.

"My concern is that the staff at this prison may have been lax in doing their job, and that probably created the opportunity so that they could escape," said Charles Ryan, director of the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Management and Training Corporation, or MTC as they call themselves, released a statement Monday, which did not answer any questions about what went wrong.

Instead, the statement simply said: "MTC continues to cooperate with the ADOC (Arizona Department of Corrections) and to assist in the agency's investigation into this incident."

MTC's website provides some insight about the company. An online video states: "In 1987, we opened our first private prison. MTC is now the third largest private operator of adult correctional facilities in the nation."

MTC operates 17 correctional facilities around the country. The company says it recently won contracts for three more prisons in Texas, valued at over $135 million.

E-mail: ngonzales@ksl.com

Nicole Gonzales

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