Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio's Jails Potentially Hazardous to Your Health, whether You're in Jail or Not

According to one nationally recognized expert in correctional medicine, medical care in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's vast incarceration complex is not just potentially hazardous to the health of pretrial detainees and jail staff, but to that of the general public.

Dr. Robert Cohen, a member of New York City's Board of Corrections and the Board of the National Commission on Health Care, is expected to testify in federal court today on behalf of the plaintiffs in Graves v. Arpaio, a jails-conditions lawsuit in federal court that stretches back decades, long before Arpaio came to power.

The basis for Cohen's testimony during a hearing at the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse in downtown Phoenix is to be his November 2013 report on the care provided by the county's Correctional Health Services, which is scarier than some horror flick by M. Night Shyamalan.

Not only do county inmates "not receive adequate care," according to Cohen, deficiencies in the jails' medical system "continue to place patients at a major risk of serious harm -- which includes pain, deterioration of health, unnecessary morbidity and death."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons