More than four years after a federal judge put the Maricopa County jails operated by Sheriff Joseph Arpaio under court order for neglect of detainees, that same judge, Neil Wake, has ruled that the jails remain under the order. Judge Wake found that the jails continue to provide detainees with inadequate medical and mental health care. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona – which have represented the detainees for close to 20 years – showed during an evidentiary hearing that concluded in March that the scarcity and poor quality of the jails’ medical and mental health care caused unnecessary suffering.
In August 2013, Maricopa County commissioners and the Sheriff asked the court to lift the order placed on it in 2008 – an order which itself resulted from the jails’ failure to provide constitutionally adequate health care and abide by the terms of a 1995 federal court order requiring improvements in health services.
Last year, the Maricopa County jails requested an end to the 2008 court order.