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Resource ID: #25862
Subject: Incarceration
Source: query failed
Date: 2012-06-06



This series of stories, reported over the course of more than six months, examined an out-of-sight, out-of-mind state prison system in Arizona that housed inmates under brutal conditions fostering self-harm, that allowed deadly drugs to flow in from the outside, that left inmates to die from treatable medical conditions and that failed to protect inmates from prison predators. It revealed that over the prior two years needless, preventable deaths had claimed at least five times as many Arizona inmates (37) as had been executed from death row (7), but that systematic cover-ups by the Department of Corrections of the causes of death likely obscured additional preventable death. It revealed a prison suicide rate 60 percent above the national prison average, largely due to the practice of confining mentally-ill prisoners in maximum-security isolation that aggravated their conditions. It revealed how inmates had ready access to heroin, with at least seven lives claimed by overdoses in two years; how shortfalls in medical care, often led to needless suffering, expensive medical complications and death; and how a failure to control prison gangs helped lead to a homicide rate more than double the national correctional average.

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