Here’s what KTAR News learned from overdoses, drugs in Arizona prisons

Mar 31, 2023, 4:35 AM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — This week, KTAR News has spoken with state leaders on the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry, overdoses and drug use in prisons.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and ADCRR Director Ryan Thornell both expressed their desire to revamp a system they believe is troubled and neglected.

Here’s what we learned:

Overdose inside Arizona prison points to larger problem, concern for state leaders

Narcotics are making their way into correctional facilities and in some cases, leading to emergency situations.

The scope of overdoses and how the drugs are making it into prisons are top concerns for Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, who took office in January.

“I think this is why transparency is so important, because it sounds like a lot of stuff has happened that maybe has been tried to be covered up,” Hobbs, when told of the Lewis overdoses, said in an exclusive interview.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs speaks on prison priority, problems and plans for reform

Katie Hobbs has put the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry in her crosshairs since becoming governor in January.

In an exclusive interview with KTAR News, Hobbs spoke on why she has made state prisons a priority, problems she’s encountered and plans for reforming the system.

Arizona corrections director says drugs getting into prisons, has plan for reform

Newly appointed Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry Director Ryan Thornell acknowledges drugs are getting into to prisons and being used by inmates.

“We also know there’s substance use within our facilities,” Thornell said. “That’s an issue in corrections that we’ve been battling for decades.”

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Here’s what KTAR News learned from overdoses, drugs in Arizona prisons