The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR) has renewed their prison healthcare contract with Centurion of Arizona. This contract will provide healthcare to 10 Arizona state-run prisons with the contract ending in September of 2022. Many have raised concerns with the Department’s decision to renew the contract due to Centurion’s inability to meet benchmarks set in Parsons vs. Ryan and their blatant disregard for human life.
In a recent report, KJZZ journalist Jimmy Jenkins reminded readers that two federal judges have levied contempt fines totaling $2.5 million against the ADCRR for inadequate prison health care in recent years. Arizona is facing more than $24 million in additional contempt fines and possible receivership if things do not improve.
Community members fear that the extension of the contract with Centurion could turn their loved ones’ prison sentences into death sentences, sharing that many who are incarcerated with chronic illnesses require specific treatments that Centurion refuses to provide. With the litany of healthcare lawsuits and benchmarking issues, it’s more imperative than ever that Arizona finds a solution to the current healthcare problems plaguing our prisons.
Independent oversight of the ADCRR would help eliminate these challenges. ATAC is dedicated to implementing an independent ombudsman and citizen-led oversight and advisory committee which would institute transparency and accountability in the ADCRR and ensure third party contracts like Centurion are properly managed. Arizona taxpayers deserve better. Tell your legislators that you support independent oversight of the ADCRR.