Arizona Prisoners Say State Retaliated After Testimony In Health Care Case
Inmates in Arizona prisons say the state retaliated against them for testifying about poor health care conditions.
Inmates have been testifying in federal court as a part of the Parsons v. Ryan settlement between the prisoners and the state.
Every prisoner that testified on July 14 said they did so even though they feared retaliation from the state.
In follow-up phone calls with those inmates, their lawyers say the prisoners’ concerns were justified.
One male inmate said he thought prison staff were trying to turn his fellow prisoners against him. Another inmate at the Perryville women’s prison said she was moved from her cell.
“It clearly looked like it was done to intimidate or chill the ability of prisoners to communicate with the attorneys for the plaintiffs and with the court,” said plaintiffs' attorney Corene Kendrick.
Federal Judge David Duncan held an emergency telephonic hearing on Friday where he verbally ordered an end to the retaliation saying "every class member to this action shall be able to feel safe from retaliation when they are communicating with the Court or with their counsel."
The state is facing more than $2 million in penalties for health-care conditions related to the case.