Arizona Department of Corrections’ director, Charles Ryan, appeared before a Phoenix judge last week to address whether he tried to undermine a court order that prohibited retaliation against inmates who participated in a class-action lawsuit over the quality of health care in the state’s prisons.
Plagued by years of litigation and allegations the state provides substandard medical care for its inmates, Ryan appeared before U.S. Magistrate David Duncan and denied that Arizona prisons did not meet the requirements for providing adequate medical and mental health care to prisoners.
Hours before Ryan’s court appearance, Eyman Arizona State Prison Complex officials found inmate Jonathan D. Wilson unresponsive in his cell. The responding paramedics and doctor in consultation with the Pinal County Medical Examiner declared the 31-year-old dead from what is being described as an “act of self-harm.”
The cause of Wilson’s death while in the Arizona Department of Corrections’ custody: suicide.
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