Conditions and access to medical care in Arizona's state prisons had so deteriorated under Ryan that the ACLU and Prison Law Office, among others, filed a suit against him and AZ DOC Health Services Director Richard Pratt last year on behalf of 14 state prisoners, with plans to make it a class action involving every state prisoner. The abuse of solitary confinement in managing mentally ill prisoners was a central feature of the suit as well.
On March 6, 2013, "Parsons v Ryan" was finally certified as a CLASS ACTION.
Thank you not only to all the legal staff who brought it this far, but also to Wendy Halloran, KPNX, and the families who have survived the horrors of prison violence in this state with a resolve to make sure that the gross indifference to human life at the AZ DOC kills no more....here's the story on Channel 12/KPNX when the suit was first filed:
Below the mural remembering state prisoners who died from deliberate indifference, suicide, or other violence under Jan Brewer's administration is the full text of the Parsons v Ryan complaint seeking class action status to sue the AZ Department of Corrections Director and Health Services Director over gross medical, dental and psychiatric neglect, and the abuse of solitary confinement to manage prisoners with mental illness. We are still awaiting Judge Neil Wake's decision on the motion for class designation so the case can proceed as a class action suit.
These are just a few of the nearly 70 names of the AZ Department of Corrections' wrongfully-dead, remembered on the sidewalk outside of the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Courthouse in Phoenix (January 25, 2013) - thanks to all who came out to help.
These were not isolated incidents, by the way, Judge Wake. Under Chuck Ryan, the homicide and suicide rates have both doubled, the assault rate has tripled, and the incidence of gross medical neglect and outright abuse suggest pervasive, system-wide problems affecting potentially every prisoner. The scale of constitutional violations by the AZ DOC (and now Wexford Health Sources) is staggering. I don't know how this case could be anything BUT a class action...