Arizona Prisons

Republic, KJZZ investigation examines how prison labor works
After 15 months of gathering and analyzing more than 11,000 documents and building a computer program that downloaded tens of thousands of public profiles about prisoners that the Arizona Department of Corrections refused to provide, reporters at the Arizona Republic and KJZZ News found that prison labor has become ubiquitous across the state.
More Arizona prison news
screen shot of court document
The Arizona Department of Corrections is facing millions of dollars in fines each month if it fails to comply with an ongoing settlement agreement over health care in state prisons. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a $1.4 million fine against Arizona over poor prison health care that was first issued in June 2018.
Feb. 6, 2020
Arizona Department of Corrections building
Once again, families of inmates living at the Douglas prison say their loved ones are reporting drinking water that smells and tastes like diesel fuel. In October 2019, after inmates in the Douglas prison made similar complaints of brown, foul smelling water, the Arizona Department of Corrections confirmed water at the prison had a “noticeable petroleum odor and taste.”
Jan. 30, 2020
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the Arizona Department of Corrections, allowing a $1.4 million fine for poor health care in state prisons to stand. The court handed down a unanimous opinion Wednesday rejecting the Department of Corrections’ appeals of several district court orders in the Parsons vs. Ryan prison health care case. The court handed down a unanimous opinion Wednesday.
Jan. 29, 2020
cages at Baker Ward at Arizona State Prison Complex - Phoeni
A high-ranking former Arizona prison health care official has testified about what he calls cruel, dated, insensitive and inhumane conditions in state prisons. Dr. Urdaneta said he quit his job with Corizon in Arizona in May 2019. “I did not want to continue really working within a system that I think was failing in many ways,” he said. “I found the Arizona system very onerous, difficult to work with, misguided and jaded.”
Jan. 23, 2020
Three incarcerated women living in the same unit at the Perryville prison in Goodyear say the Arizona Department of Corrections is withholding toilet paper and feminine hygiene products. KJZZ is not identifying the women or their unit because they all expressed fear of retaliation for contacting the press.
Dec. 27, 2019
Sergio Almanza
Advocacy letters filed by the ACLU in federal court on behalf of incarcerated people in Arizona accuse health care workers in state prisons of falsifying medical records and endangering the lives of their patients.
Dec. 5, 2019
Arizona Capitol building
Arizona state Rep. Diego Rodriguez says privatized health care for inmates in state prisons is a failed experiment whose time has come to an end. Rodriguez has authored a new bill that he says will undo the privatization that was mandated by the state legislature 10 years ago.
Dec. 5, 2019
A new report from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality shows the state is concerned that a well supplying water to a state prison in Douglas could be contaminated.
Nov. 21, 2019
arizona prison cell
A federal judge is giving the parties in the Parsons vs. Ryan prison health care lawsuit 60 days to renegotiate a settlement over conditions in Arizona prisons. In 2012, the original lawsuit was filed in federal court alleging unconstitutional health care conditions for people incarcerated in state prisons.
Nov. 13, 2019
Arizona Department of Corrections building
Attorneys representing the men and women incarcerated in Arizona prisons say the state is not living up to a years-old settlement regarding prison health care conditions, and the matter should be resolved with a trial.
Nov. 5, 2019
Arizona Department of Corrections building
After inmates in the Douglas prison complained their drinking water was brown and tasted like diesel fuel, the Arizona Department of Corrections has confirmed water at the prison had a “noticeable petroleum odor and taste.”
Oct. 21, 2019
Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse
A federal judge overseeing a prison health care settlement between inmates and the Arizona Department of Corrections says the case has gone on long enough.
Oct. 14, 2019
Arizona Department of Corrections building
An expert hired by a federal judge to review Arizona’s prison health care system says the state is wasting money and risking patient safety by forcing the Department of Corrections to contract with a private vendor.
Oct. 3, 2019
James R. Browning U.S. Court of Appeals Building
In 2018 a Federal judge fined Arizona $1.4 million for poor health care conditions in Arizona prisons. The judge had warned the state after years of litigating the Parsons v. Ryan prison health care settlement, that such fines were imminent if the Department of Corrections kept failing basic performance benchmarks.
Sep. 24, 2019
Arizona Department of Corrections building
Arizona will challenge fines levied against the Arizona Department of Corrections in oral arguments at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday. The Parsons v. Ryan lawsuit was settled in 2014 with inmates and Department of Corrections officials agreeing to a set of conditions that would improve prison health care.
Sep. 22, 2019
Arizona inmates
Lawyers representing an incarcerated class of plaintiffs in the ongoing Parsons v. Ryan prison health care settlement say the time has come for action.
Sep. 6, 2019
Ashley Wilkeyson
While incarcerated in an Arizona prison, Ashley Wilkeyson injured her leg. Bills for the subsequent medical treatment were erroneously sent to Wilkeyson’s family and her own address during her incarceration and for more than a year after her release.
Aug. 23, 2019
Nathan Alvarez's x-rays
As Arizona transitions from one prison health care contractor to another, many inmates say they are being left in the balance to suffer without treatment. One man’s injury and subsequent medical neglect will make it much harder for him to return to society.
Formerly Incarcerated Say Early Release Bill Had Unintended Consequences
Jul. 29, 2019
Arizona Department of Corrections
The Arizona Department of Corrections reported that water service at the Yuma prison was fully restored to all units and conservation measures had been lifted.
Jun. 17, 2019
Arizona Department of Corrections building
The Arizona Department of Corrections says running water has been restored at the Douglas state prison after an outage to the main supply was reported last week.
Jun. 11, 2019

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