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PHOENIX -- The Red Rock Correctional Center, a privately-operated facility south of the Valley, is becoming home to almost 1,600 Arizona inmates.

Lower-level offenders from overcrowded state prisons are beginning to be transferred to the seven-year-old center in Eloy, which is about halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. The medium-security facility had been home to male inmates from California and Hawaii, but once the Correctional Corporation of America won the Arizona contract last year, it moved those inmates to other facilities.

While CCA manages the prison, the Arizona Department of Corrections is still responsible for public and inmate safety.

"The private operators hire their own staff but other than that we ensure inmates are managed appropriately we oversee every aspect of care and housing," said Doug Nick, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Corrections.

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