- Associated Press - Monday, May 25, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Four out of Arizona’s 10 state-operated prisons are run by women.

The Arizona Republic reports (https://bit.ly/1FQSbEy) that until recently, Arizona had five female wardens.

None of the four consider it an anomaly to have risen to top positions in a historically male-dominated field at the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Wardens manage correctional officers and are responsible for food service, maintenance, wastewater, and, of course, keeping inmates locked up.

Judy Frigo runs the Perryville complex in Goodyear, a prison for only women. The other three female wardens run all-male facilities.

Berry Larson is warden of the Winslow prison. Laura Escapule runs the Yuma prison, while Meegan Muse operates the prison in Douglas.

“We have a lot of female executives throughout the department, and many have worked their way up from entry-level positions,” said Corrections Director Charles Ryan, who appointed all four women as wardens. “These four women are examples of people who earned their way to their positions.”

Of the current 137 executive-level positions, from majors to director, women hold 53, or nearly 39 percent, of the jobs, Ryan said.

Men, meanwhile, hold the overwhelming majority of correctional-officer jobs, with men constituting nearly 71 percent of all 9,086 positions within Corrections.

Ryan said having women as wardens is part of the department’s succession plan.

“In our business, you have to grow your own. They (employees) are not migrating from around the United States,” Ryan said.


Information from: The Arizona Republic, https://www.azcentral.com

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