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PHOENIX – A federal court today approved a settlement that requires the Arizona Department of Corrections to fix its prisons’ health care system, which caused numerous deaths and preventable injuries. The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Arizona, the Prison Law Office, and co-counsel sued the department on behalf of more than 33,000 prisoners in the state’s prisons.
David Fathi, the director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project, said:
Today’s settlement will save lives, bringing drastic improvements to a prison system where the sick grew sicker and even died due to insufficient medical attention. At last, the Arizona Department of Corrections will provide its prisoners with adequate medical, mental health, and dental care. This is what the Constitution and our consciences demand.
The settlement will also allow prisoners in solitary confinement who have serious mental illnesses to have more mental health treatment and time outside their cells and will make other critical reforms in prison conditions.
In addition to the ACLU and the Prison Law Office, other attorneys on the case are Perkins Coie, Jones Day, and the Arizona Center for Disability Law, which is also a plaintiff in the case.
For more information about Parsons v. Ryan: aclu.org/prisoners-rights/parsons-v-ryan
For information about the ACLU’s National Prison Project: aclu.org/prisoners-rights