Arizona Prisons

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A federal court judge has once again held the Arizona Department of Corrections in contempt for failure to comply with prison health care benchmarks. A U.S. District Court judge has fined the state $1.1 million.
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Feb. 24, 2021
barbed wire at an arizona prison
Arizona lawmakers responded to whistleblower reports alleging inmates in state prisons are being held beyond their release dates. The House Appropriations Committee held discussion on a bill that would create an independent ombudsman and oversight committee to monitor the Department of Corrections.
Whistleblowers: Bug Keeping Some Inmates In Prisons Beyond Release Dates
Feb. 22, 2021
According to Arizona Department of Corrections whistleblowers, hundreds of incarcerated people who should be eligible for release are being held in prison because the inmate management software cannot interpret current sentencing laws.
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Feb. 21, 2021
prison cells at Arizona State Prison Complex
A new bill in the Arizona Senate would facilitate the transfer of inmates from state prisons to community supervision to help stop the spread of COVID-19 behind bars.
Feb. 9, 2021
prison cells at Arizona State Prison Complex
Several bills made it through the state House Committee on Criminal Justice Reform on Wednesday. One piece of legislation would create an oversight body to investigate conditions in the Arizona Department of Corrections. Chaired by Rep. Walt Blackman, the committee heard a slate of bills that would impact sentencing and conditions in state prisons.
Feb. 3, 2021
Arizona Department of Corrections
Jewish inmates in Arizona state prisons are suing the Department of Corrections over a change in the kosher meal program.
Jan. 19, 2021
Arizona Department of Corrections
The Arizona Department of Corrections announced new COVID-19 mitigation efforts on Friday, but it remains unclear when inmates in state prisons will be vaccinated.
Jan. 15, 2021
Arizona Department of Corrections building
Health care workers at the Yuma Regional Medical Center say guards from state prisons accompanying COVID-19 positive inmates are endangering the lives of staff and patients by entering the hospital without proper personal protective equipment.
More Arizona Prison Health Care News
Dec. 31, 2020
prison cells at Arizona State Prison Complex
Inmates housed in Arizona’s prison system will soon see a second round of COVID-19 testing. Rapid virus tests will be available for prison employees as needed.
Dec. 30, 2020
Amidst a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks in Arizona prisons, families are calling for their loved ones to be released. At the beginning of the pandemic, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Department of Corrections Director David Shinn said they would not be reducing the prison population to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Dec. 17, 2020
Edwin Jensen
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, a state prison warden has died. Edwin Jensen was the warden of the Yuma prison, which houses more than 4,400 incarcerated people.
Dec. 16, 2020
correctional officer
As vaccinations begin to roll out across the nation, Arizona is prioritizing people who live and work in state prisons. Several state prisons have recently experienced large COVID-19 outbreaks. Nearly 7,000 inmates and staff have been infected since the beginning of the pandemic.
Get The Latest News On COVID-19 In Arizona
Dec. 16, 2020
David Shinn
A national criminal justice reform group is calling for the termination of Arizona Department of Corrections Director David Shinn.
Dec. 15, 2020
prison food
A new study from a criminal justice research center investigates the food in state prisons across the country. According to the authors, the research examines "how the quality, quantity, and experience of food in prison affect physical health, mental well-being, and human dignity."
Dec. 9, 2020
Arizona Department of Corrections building
The Arizona Department of Corrections says hundreds of people incarcerated at the state prison in Yuma have tested positive for COVID-19. It’s the largest outbreak in the state prison system since the beginning of the pandemic.
Dec. 8, 2020
Arizona Department of Corrections building
Incarcerated people who work in the kitchens at the Eyman, Lewis and Yuma state prisons claim they were forced to serve expired meat to their fellow inmates, resulting in foodborne illnesses. Several inmates report being diagnosed with H. pylori infections, which they attribute to the food and unsanitary conditions in the kitchens.
Nov. 17, 2020
Adobe Mountain School
More youths have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Adobe Mountain School in Phoenix, Arizona’s juvenile detention center. Fifty-nine youths there have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic.
Nov. 16, 2020
Tracie Otero and her brother Joseph Vidiola
Medical records obtained by KJZZ show an inmate at the state women's prison repeatedly requested a diagnosis and treatment for severe pain before she died by suicide last week. Tracie Otero contacted KJZZ in August saying she was in immense pain and was considering taking her life.
Sep. 28, 2020
Arizona Department of Corrections building
Inmates at the Yuma prison say they were threatened with violence and ordered by prison officials to refuse COVID-19 testing to keep outbreak numbers artificially low. The Arizona Department of Corrections recently began mass testing of all inmates in the state.
Aug. 21, 2020
Email correspondence between Hickman’s Family Farms and the Arizona Department of Corrections shows the business hoped to build a “permanent work camp” on its property in Buckeye to house the female inmates who work there.
Aug. 19, 2020

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