Arizona Department of Corrections

Arizona State Prison Complex-YUMA History

The Arizona State Prison Complex - Yuma has come a long way since the Yuma Territorial Prison that was operational just a mere 100 years ago, paved the way for the Arizona Department of Corrections as we know it today.
Yuma Territorial Prison
Yuma Territorial Prison


The Arizona State Prison Complex-Yuma is located on the southwest corner of Avenue B and Juan Sanchez Boulevard, in the State of Arizona, County of Yuma, and City of San Luis. ASPC-Yuma provides housing to an average population of 2,279 convicted male felons at our minimum, medium and close custody units. It is the responsibility of this complex to provide security, education and recreation programs for the inmate population.  ASPC-Yuma renders high quality security for the public, employees, and inmates. ASPC-Yuma is a major employer in the Yuma County area employing 755 full-time employees.  ASPC-Yuma is a provider of inmate work crews utilized by members of our local, state and community organizations. And finally, ASPC-Yuma has a Wildland Fire Crew that consists of one sergeant, two correctional officers and twenty inmates.  The crew assists fighting fires throughout the State of Arizona.
Yuma Prison
Yuma Prison


The Arizona State Prison, Cocopah Unit, built in 1986, began as a 250 bed minimum security facility on 33 acres.  Its status, upon completion of construction, was unique - particularly in a prison system that was overcrowded.  After all activation processes were developed and readied for occupation, consideration was given to selling the facility to the Federal government.  At that time, the prison was put in mothballs.

In 1987, it reopened, and has continued to expand ever since.  Cocopah Unit is a minimum custody unit that employs 64 staff and is residence to an average of 392 inmates in its general population.

In November 1995, the stand-alone Arizona State Prison became Arizona State Prison Complex - Yuma.

Construction of the Cheyenne Unit began on June 5, 1995.  The construction of the unit took approximately sixteen months, utilizing both commercial construction workers and inmate labor. The Cheyenne Unit encompasses 39.5 acres.  The first inmates were received at this medium custody unit on September 3, 1996.  The Cheyenne Unit employs 232 staff members and an average daily population of 1,007 inmates are assigned to its general population and Detention Unit (CDU). 

On June 3, 1997, construction began on a 37 acre site which would become the Dakota Unit.  The first inmates arrived at the unit on September 22, 1998.  The Dakota Unit, a close custody facility, employs on average 238 staff members who provide supervision for an average daily population of 880 inmates assigned to its general population and Detention Unit (DDU). 

Construction of Complex Administration began on June 3, 1997 and the doors opened on August 15, 1998. Approximately 252 staff members to include Education, Finance, Food Service, Investigations, Maintenance, Medical, Pastoral Care, Personnel, Pharmacy, Records, and Security are assigned to the unit.  Located adjacent to the complex building is the Finance modular unit, Complex Warehouse and Physical Plant building. 

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