Stop Unauthorized Funding of Private Prisons


Target: Arizona House Appropriations Chairman John Kavanagh

Goal: Demand that the Chairman stop using taxpayers’ dollars on unauthorized extra funding for a private prison company

An Arizona legislator, John Kavanagh, recently added almost $1 million to the budget of a private prison, because company lobbyists told him that they weren’t profiting enough from the beds they provide Arizona’s prisons. This large bonus was added on top of the $45 million the already state pays this private prison to house Arizona’s inmates, but it was not even requested by the Arizona Department of Corrections, nor was it approved in the Senate budget. The prison is not even currently at maximum capacity, so the private request for the additional bonus seems illogical.

Kavanagh claimed that since the $45 million was the rate given to the private prison during the recession, it needs to be raised since the economy is now more stable. The private prison’s lobbyists went straight to the Chairman to request the bonus rather than going through the proper procedure for additions to the budget. According to information from two human rights organizations, Kavanagh received 6 campaign contributions from the private prison’s executives during the last election. This personal connection superseded the approval process through a state agency.

Demand that representatives keep the public’s best interest in mind rather than catering to companies and corporations. By signing this petition, you will help urge Chairman Kavanagh to refrain from wasting taxpayers’ dollars on unapproved additional funding for private prisons.


Dear Chairman Kavanagh,

I am outraged at your addition to the budget that provides nearly an extra one million dollars to the private prison company, GEO Group. This substantial bonus was not approved by the Senate, nor was it requested by the Arizona Department of Corrections.

You claimed that the “cut rate” needed to be adjusted because of the recent boost in the economy, but taxpayers’ money should not have to be wasted on large bonuses for private facilities that have not even seen a rise in the number of inmates. The GEO Group should go through the correct process in order to receive additional funding, but you authorized it without waiting for the majority vote.

Please do your duty as a representative and hold the public’s best interest in mind rather than catering to companies and corporations. I am urging you to stop wasting taxpayers’ dollars on unauthorized bonuses for private prisons.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: ‘A Look At The Life Of Prison’ via Wikipedia

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