Arizona fined $1M for failing to improve prison health care
Added 02-24-21 09:03:02pm EST - “A federal judge presiding over a legal settlement on the quality of health care in Arizona's prisons has imposed $1.1 million in contempt of court fines against the state for failing to follow through on its promises to improve inmate…” - Washingtontimes.com
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PHOENIX (AP) - A federal judge presiding over a legal settlement on the quality of health care in Arizona’s prisons has imposed $1.1 million in contempt of court fines against the state for failing to follow through on its promises to improve inmate care, marking the second time the state has faced penalties for remaining noncompliant with many elements of the six-year-old deal.
The fine was imposed Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver after corrections officials had been dogged by complaints that they were dragging their feet in making all the changes to which they had agreed.
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Over the last several years, the judges who have handled the case have expressed frustration over the state’s noncompliance, leading to a $1.4 million contempt fine in 2018 against the state and a civil contempt finding against then-Corrections Director Charles Ryan.
Silver then had threatened to impose more fines and raised the possibility of throwing out the settlement and bringing the case to trial. A court-appointed expert has concluded that understaffing, inadequate funding and privatization of health care services are significant barriers in improving health care for about 30,000 inmates in Arizona’s 10 state-run prisons.
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