Possible fine amount rises in prison health care lawsuit

March 7, 2018

PHOENIX (AP) — The amount of a possible fine that Arizona could face for falling short in improving health care in state prisons is increasing.

A judge has threatened to fine the state $1,000 for each instance during December and January in which it failed to make the improvements it promised when settling a lawsuit over health care in state prisons.

The state has acknowledged that it has more than 1,900 instances of noncompliance in December and January.

That means the state could be fined as much as $1.9 million.

U.S. Magistrate David Duncan also is considering holding Corrections Director Charles Ryan in civil contempt of court for falling short in making the improvements.

Prison officials are seeking to disqualify Duncan from the case, arguing that the judge is biased against them.

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