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PHOENIX -- Arizona intends to purchase a privately run prison but still have it run by a commercial company.

The state will pay $150,000 to buy the Marana Community Correctional Treatment Facility, a 500-bed minimum-security prison that houses male prisoners with drug and alcohol problems, the Arizona Capitol Times reported.

A provision in each contract for the state's five privately run prisons allows the state to buy each at a nominal price as the contract expires.

Legislative budget analysts estimate the state could save $850,000 annually by buying the Marana prison from Utah-based Management and Training Corp.

The department has requested bids from companies interested in running the prison after the state takes possession in October.

Management and Training Corp. has managed the prison since it opened in 1994, and a spokesman said the company will submit a bid to continue running it.

``We've created strong relationships within the community and we look forward to continuing our partnership with ADOC,'' spokesman Issa Arnita said in an email.

Management and Training Corp. also runs the state prison in Kingman where three inmates escaped in July 2010. The escape resulted in two state employees losing their jobs and a revamped oversight system by the department.

Associated Press,

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