Corizon wins Arizona contract

Rival prison health care provider pulls out after butting heads with state officials

Brentwood-based prison health care provider Corizon has been hired by Arizona officials to take over from a rival less than a year into that company's high-profile contract with the state.

Corizon last spring missed out on the three-year contract to take over the prison health care operations from the state of Arizona. Pittsburgh-based Wexford Health won out and began work mid-summer. But the company soon ran into trouble with state regulators, who said Wexford was falling short of various performance standards. In turn, Wexford said its work was being hindered by the Arizona Department of Corrections. The two parties last week said that, due to "unforeseeable challenges, they had agreed to part ways.

Corizon's new contract is for three years, comes with two one-year extension options and is worth about $117 million per year. It covers 34,000 inmates in 10 facilities and will kick in March 4.

“This is a big win,” said President and COO Stuart Campbell. “We are excited to begin this new partnership and we look forward to building a strong relationship with the Arizona Department of Corrections.”

Word of the Arizona contract award comes days after Corizon officials said they had been given a contract extension for their $130 million-a-year job managing the health of New York City inmates.