Arizona Department Of Corrections Appeals Federal Sanction To 9th Circuit Court

Published: Monday, July 23, 2018 - 6:09pm
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 10:16am

On Saturday, attorneys for the state filed a notice of appeal in the Parsons v.s Ryan prison health care settlement, indicating they would challenge Magistrate Judge David Duncan’s contempt order, sanction and additional oversight measures.

The 9th Circuit court of appeals set a calendar for the appeal process Monday afternoon.

Before leaving the bench in June, Judge Duncan fined the state $1.4 million for failing to meet agreed upon health care standard in Arizona prisons.

The Arizona Department of Corrections said Tuesday that Corizon Health has reimbursed the state for the entire amount of the fine.

Addressing the legislature in February, Ryan said if the fines are enforced, Corizon Health would pay. “I’ve already made it clear to the the vendor that they’re on the hook,” the director said. 

Lawyers for Department of Corrections Chief Charles Ryan will have until late October to file their briefs on the case.

Attorneys for the inmates filed a brief describing how they would like the money to be spent.

“The Court should use 90 percent of the funds to pay for one or more independent medical experts to investigate and resolve concerns about the medical care of individual class members,” Prison Law Office attorney Corene Kendrick wrote.

In an interview, Kendrick said the position could function as point person for inmates facing serious lapses in treatment.

“Concerns regarding medical care may be brought to the expert’s attention by counsel for Plaintiffs, class members and/or their families/friends, and/or by current or former health care or custody staff. The expert shall investigate all allegations of inadequate care within seven days of receipt of the complaint,” Kendrick wrote in the filing.

Plaintiff attorneys recommended giving the rest of the money to the inmates that were affected by the poor health care in Arizona prisons.

“A sum of $100 for each instance of noncompliance should be deposited in each listed class member’s prison trust account,” Kendrick wrote.

Kendrick says contempt fines can be “coercive, compensatory or both. These people have suffered harm that’s been clearly documented. We’re saying the court should consider the court should give 10% of fine to affected individuals.”

That decision will be up to Judge Roslyn Silver, who was appointed to the case after Duncan’s retirement.

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