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ACLU Of Arizona Sues MCSO Over Conditions In County Jails

The ACLU is filing a lawsuit on behalf of Puente Human Rights Movement against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office over conditions in county jails as the number of COVID-19 cases among inmates rises.

The jail health care provider Correctional Health Services reports nearly 400 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

Sandra Castro Solis is a community organizer with Puente Human Rights Movement. She says because of the high number of infections, she believes there is no way MCSO can be complying with CDC guidelines on social distancing in the jails.

“This would create adverse health conditions if not death for folks who have previous medical conditions,” Solis said.

She says Puente is calling on Sheriff Penzone to release medically vulnerable inmates.

The lawsuit accuses MSCO of unsafe conditions as well as inadequate testing and screening of inmates.

→  Read The Latest News On The Coronavirus Disease 

Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.