(This story by Jimmy Jenkins in conjunction with The Marshall Project. Get updates on the trial through The Marshall Project on Facebook or Twitter)
This trial pits Arizona DOC against its prisoners, who argue that the medical services they receive are so poor, they constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
Centurion is the latest in a string of for-profit companies that don’t pass muster with the courts. These are a very small sample of examples that attorneys will chronicle:
- A man who died after his swollen legs split open, the wounds seeping pus and swarmed by flies
- A prisoner with mental illness who was in so much distress that he chewed off his fingers
- A man who entered prison with a small bump on his face that went untreated and became a baseball-sized disfiguring tumor:
- And several people were denied access to mental health care who later killed themselves.
Prisons hire these companies, like Centurion, to save money…. but they don’t. Arizona spends tens of millions of dollars on privatization instead of health care. Only five states spend less per patient per yea,r at $3,529. The average median is $5,720. This trial is expected to last three weeks.