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Arizona transfers 716 from prison with lock problems

May 17, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Department of Corrections has transferred more than 700 inmates from Phoenix-area state prison with cell door lock problems to other prisons.

The prisoners were moved from one of three units that a union representing guards says have lock problems that led to an inmate’s deaths and the severe beating of two guards.

Department spokesman Andrew Wilder said Thursday that the 716 inmates were sent from Lewis prison in Buckeye to five other state-run prisons.

The department recently put padlocks on 1,000 high-security cells at the prison, which houses more than 5,000 inmates. After the transfers, about 600 cells in two other units secured with padlocks remain occupied.

The department said inmates have tampered with locks for about two years and that various other fixes were ineffective.

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