(For gavel to gavel coverage, see Jimmy Jenkins reporting for the Arizona Republic.)

Psychologists, wardens, medical workers, and the prisoners themselves, testified for a month in this health care trial. On the last day of the trial, the court heard from Centurion’s vice-president, Tom Dolan. Dolan said he advised prison officials that Centurion needed to increase staffing by 15%, and the prison did nothing. For this failure, many prisoners died preventable deaths for not getting basic medical and mental health care.

Despite YEARS of failing to live up to court-ordered standards, repeated fines, and sanctions totaling millions of dollars, Director Shinn got on the stand and had the nerve to say, “Prisoners often have greater access to care than I do as a private citizen.”. He said that under oath believe it or not! Shinn admitted that health care costs had doubled for the DOC since the privatization of services more than a decade ago. He also described the difficulties of providing prison health care as, “Almost like a battlefield.”

The ruling by Judge Silver might not take place until March