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WATCH: Arizona DOC Showcases Kinder Treatment For Death Row Inmates

The Arizona DOC has decided to allow death row inmates additions privileges, in its effort not to punish them.

Arizona – Changes have been made in Arizona prisons, where death row inmates now live a life of ease, including access to phones, exercise facilities, and freedom from their cell outside of sleep time.

The new rules are in stark contrast to the life that death row inmates used to live, according to Fox10, where they were basically confined to their cells for 23 hours a day.

Their cells didn’t have windows, inmates were not allowed contact with others, and they had to be handcuffed at all times, even when being escorted to their once-a-week shower.

The changes have occurred within the last two months, and reflect a shift in the Arizona Department of Corrections policy.

Carson McWilliams, Division Director of Offender Operations for the Arizona DOC, said “The Correction Department is not here to punish people.”

“It’s here to, first of all, do a couple of things. One of them is provide a safe environment for everyone, inmates and staff. And that second thing is the more opportunity we can let people out of their cells to do activities, it helps them mentally, it helps them to be more pro social.. It lessens the violence.”

Inmates on death row are now allowed to play basketball or volleyball. They can have jobs in the kitchen, long considered a privilege. They can also play board games and chess.

Robert Walden, who has been on death row for 25 years, said that they were treated like “caged animals” before the changes.

“It was like taken from being treated like a caged animal to a human being,” Walden said.

He said that death row inmates now have access to “A Rec Area that’s over six football fields big that has pull-up bars, dip bars, a Basketball court, a Volleyball court. There’s soccer balls out there, you can play Soccer. There’s a bank of telephones where you can use the telephones all the time.”

Walden is a serial rapist who cut the throat of his last victim, and left her body in the home for her husband to find later.

Richard Greenway, who has been on death row for almost 30 years, said “I just have to accept that there are people out there that won’t accept me having these types of privileges.”

Greenway is on death row because he murdered the woman who lived in the house he was burglarizing.

Charles Ryan, DOC Director said “All these guys are just waiting their destiny.” He said that observation has shown for decades, that “if someone is treated like a caged animal, they will tend to act that way, and when inmates get more movement and freedom, the prison is a safer place.”

“Even though they have committed terrible crimes and deserve to be on Death Row, our job to is maintain effective custody and control of them…”

Walden said that death row inmates can even choose between different TV channels, including TBS, Spike, TNT, USA, and the Discovery Channel.

Greenway said, “The only thing that I have to look forward to is death.”

There are 117 men and three women on Arizona’s Death Row. Only 88 of those inmates can benefit from the new rules. The remaining inmates have been found to be too dangerous to allow them out of solitary confinement.

Several inmates have exhausted all of their appeals but the state of Arizona is unable to execute them because it can’t get the drugs it needs for the process.

You can see the FOX10 report showcasing the prison conditions below:

GinnyReed - November Fri, 2017

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