ACLU sues Ariz. Corrections over poor dental, medical care

Prisoners in the custody of the Arizona Department of Corrections receive such grossly inadequate medical, mental health, and dental care that they are in grave danger of suffering serious and preventable injury, amputation, disfigurement and even death, according to a federal class-action lawsuit filed by a legal team led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Prison Law Office.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona against Charles Ryan, director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, and Richard Pratt, the department's interim director of the division of health services, asks, among other things, that constitutionally adequate healthcare be made available to prisoners, that medications be distributed to patients in a timely manner, and that prisoners not be held in isolation in conditions of social isolation and sensory deprivation that put them at risk of harm.

The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages.

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