One prison, two realities: detainees suffer, but locals say it keeps a poor town afloat

For residents of small-town Eloy, Arizona, the local prison is a critical source of jobs and tax money, but for detainees it’s a world of misery and neglectThe Arizona town of Eloy used to live off cotton until it sucked up so much groundwater the desert floor began to crack and collapse. The town withered and almost died. Then it found a new source of revenue: people, colour-coded in blue, green and khaki uniforms. America’s biggest private prison operator built a complex with four prisons in Eloy and imported prisoners from across the United States. CoreCivic, previously the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), is now Eloy’s biggest employer and taxpayer, contributing about $2m to its $12m general fund budget. Continue reading…


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