Court orders Arpaio to fix conditions at jails 10-13-2010

A federal district judge is ordering Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to abide by a federal district court mandate to fix unconstitutional conditions in the Maricopa County jails, which could jeopardize the health and safety of prisoners.

In 2008, U.S. District Judge Neil Wake's ruled that the sheriff needed to change how his jails were run. Some of those changes included ending overcrowding, making sure all inmates received proper medical and mental health care, and giving full access to any medication they needed.

The sheriff's office also needed to make sure all detainees had access to sinks, toilets, toilet paper, soap and exercise areas.

A panel of three-judges ruled that the sheriff's office has not lived up to that mandate and needs to make the changes.

The American Civil Liberties Union went to trial against Arpaio in August 2008 over the conditions within each of the jail's five facilities that house pretrial detainees.