Arizona Department Of Corrections Calls Court Order Protecting Inmates 'Disappointing'
After testifying in federal court to poor health care conditions in Arizona prisons, several inmates alleged the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) retaliated against them by taking their belongings and moving them to a different cell.
A federal judge ordered the inmates be returned to their status quo and warned the state against any further actions that could have a chilling effect on future testimony.
In an email to all staff filed to federal court as proof of compliance with the order, Department of Corrections director Charles Ryan called the order "disappointing" and "troubling."
Corene Kendrick is an attorney for the inmates. She said the email shows the ADC isn’t taking the protection of her clients seriously, “because on the one hand he says 'follow this order' and then he proceeds to say ‘this order is garbage and here are all the reasons why.'”
In his email, Director Ryan called the media coverage of the allegations of the inmates “jaundiced.”
The Arizona Department of Corrections did not respond to a request to comment for this story.
On Friday, Judge Duncan ordered that Director Ryan appear before the court and show proof that he instructed his staff as he outlines in the email. The court says it was provided no transcript of the information conveyed from the Director to ADC staff.
The judge ordered that Ryan apprear at a previously scheduled status hearing on August 8 and 9. Inmates from the Department of Corrections will also be testifying to poor health care conditions in Arizona prisons.