State gradually shutting down Florence prison

By Mark Cowling | Pinal Central

FLORENCE — The state is following through on Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan to close Arizona State Prison-Florence Complex, with almost half of inmates there transferred out, the Town Council was told Monday.

“We’ve seen a consistent lowering of the numbers at that particular historic complex, and now the North Unit is completely empty,” Town Manager Brent Billingsley told the council. North Unit once held 1,000 inmates within Florence Complex, which held a total of almost 3,600.

Florence officials were stunned by Gov. Doug Ducey’s announcement of the closure in his state of the state address in January. Near the end of September, Florence Complex was down to 2,510 inmates and the number continues to decline, Billingsley told the council in his written report. The complex includes historic prison buildings, along with South Unit and East Unit.

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