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Q&AZ: What Happened To The Lawsuit Against Arizona Regarding Inmate Health Care?

Q&AZ is supported in part by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

KJZZ listener Chandler McElroy used KJZZ's Q&AZ portal to ask about the latest developments in Arizona’s prison health care class action lawsuit.

The Parsons vs. Ryan settlement was approved more than five years ago but the state has yet to live up to its end of the bargain.

After inmates alleged unconstitutional conditions, Arizona promised to improve the level of health care in state prisons.

In the latest development in the ongoing legal battle, attorneys representing the inmates are asking a federal judge to fine the state $400,000 for its continued failure to meet agreed-upon health care benchmarks.

The state claims it has made great strides after contracting with a new health care provider and should be given more time to comply.

Both sides have briefed the United States District Court on their positions and it is now up to Judge Roslyn Silver to decide whether fines are appropriate.

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.