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Suit seeks to block more private prison beds

A lawsuit filed in an Arizona court cites security concerns as it seeks to prevent the state from issuing contracts for 5,000 additional private prison beds.

The lawsuit says the state shouldn’t be allowed to award new contracts because the Department of Corrections hasn’t completed a study required under state law for evaluation of private prison services.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court by a Quaker group, the American Friends Service Committee.

The state is evaluating proposals from several companies.

A spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer says the state intends to proceed with its contract process for the 5,000 additional beds because it’s required under state law.

Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson also says the required study is under way.

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