August 10, 2017

Arizona dogged by suit over quality of health care in prison

8-10-17 Arizona:

PHOENIX For more than five years, Arizona has been dogged by a federal lawsuit that alleges the state provides shoddy medical care for its prisoners.

Now, the state is facing the prospect of millions of dollars in fines over its failure to carry out reforms of its medical system.

Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan was berated in court Tuesday by a judge who described the state's efforts to overhaul prison health care as an "abject failure," two years after it agreed to make such changes as part of a settlement of the lawsuit.

U.S. Magistrate David Duncan grilled the prisons director over whether he tried to undermine a court order that prohibited retaliation against inmates who participated in the class-action lawsuit. Ryan denied the allegations.

The case is among several legal problems to plague the Arizona prison agency in recent years, including a controversial 2014 execution, the rape of a teacher by a sex offender and the death of an inmate left in an outdoor cage.

Here are the facts of the case:


The 2012 lawsuit alleged that Arizona prisons didn't meet the basic requirements for providing adequate medical and mental health care and that prisoners faced dangerous delays and outright denials in receiving treatment. ..Continued..

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