Court Supervision Of Phoenix Jails Continues

Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 7:31am
Updated: Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 12:09pm

A federal judge has ruled that some Phoenix-area jails will remain under the court's oversight to ensure adequate medical and mental health care services for inmates awaiting trial.

U.S. District Judge Neil Wake issued a 66-page ruling, more than six months after Maricopa County officials asked him to end his oversight that began five years ago.

At that time, Judge Wake concluded the county provided inadequate medical and mental health care, unsanitary conditions and unhealthy food inside the jails.

The judge's supervision of the county sheriff's office effectively ended in May 2012 when Wake ruled deficiencies in food and sanitary conditions at the jails had been corrected sufficiently. But Wake continued his oversight of the jails' medical and mental health operations, which are run by the county.

Wake noted in his ruling that the jails had made improvements in medical staffing and treatment for some inmates suffering from drug and alcohol withdrawal. But he said issues involving suicide monitoring and placement for seriously mentally ill inmates remained unresolved. The judge issued a timeline for the remaining issues, ordering defendants to prove full compliance by September 2015.

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