Arizona has concluded public hearings on plans to award contracts to add thousands of privately operated prison beds at several locations around the state.
Officials heard support from community leaders and others for the jobs that the facilities would provide. But concerns also have been voiced about expanding the state's reliance on private prisons and in connection with at least one of the proposed sites.
And relatives of an Oklahoma couple killed in New Mexico after three inmates escaped from a privately operated state prison last year say Arizona shouldn't award another contract to the Utah-based operator.
That company is one of the four finalists in the current contract competition for an additional 5,000 private prison beds.