Proposal calls for reopening of prison in Douglas due to overcrowding at Perryville

The Arizona Department of Corrections wants to re-open a prison in Douglas, because the only prison for women in the state is running out of room.

The facility is currently a motel, but the state wants to turn it back into a prison. 

The pushback is coming from ACLU Arizona, who says there is a solution here. Officials with the ADC, however, say this is the only option as the number of women going to prison increases. 

"We need to offer these women help instead of sending them to prison," said Kara Williams with ACLU.

For ACLU Arizona, opening up another prison in the state is not an option. Instead, they say more needs to be done to help women behind bars, or headed there.

"Instead of providing women with rehabilitation or diversion programs or offering them an earn-release incentive, they're sending more women to prison for low-level offenses, drug offenses, more social issues than anything else," said Williams.

Officials with ADC say they're running out of space at the Perryville Prison in Goodyear with the increase of women being incarcerated, and the expectation of more women to come. Originally, the Florence-Globe male unit was going to be converted to a female unit, providing relief for Perryville.

As of now in Perryville, there are 4,422 beds, 67 inmates more than what the prison holds. 

"Instead of sending these women to prison, we should be offering them rehabilitation instead of taking them away from their families, children the community," said Williams.

A meeting is set to take place at the State Capitol Wednesday afternoon.