Ariz. halts use of outdoor prison holding cells

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No more prisoners in unshaded outdoor cells

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The director of Arizona state prisons has suspended the use of unshaded outdoor holding cells in the wake of an inmate's death.

Authorities said Friday that crews will retrofit the cells to provide shade and water.

The move follows the death last week of 48-year-old Marcia Powell. She was left in an unshaded enclosure for nearly four hours May 19 as temperatures topped 100 degrees.

Corrections Director Charles Ryan says Powell, who was serving a sentence for prostitution, should not have been left in the cell for so long. He placed three officers on administrative leave pending a criminal investigation.

The outdoor cells hold inmates temporarily when they are being transferred from one area in a prison to another.

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