Suit attacks quality of health care in AZ prisons

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- A lawsuit alleges that Arizona's prisons don't meet the basic requirements for providing adequate health and mental health to inmates, and that prisoners face dangerous delays and outright denials in receiving treatment.

Corrections officials are accused in the lawsuit filed Tuesday of having a deliberate indifference toward the suffering of prisoners and failing to correct problems after they were brought to their attention.

The lawsuit alleges that critically ill inmates were told to be patient and pray to be cured after they begged for treatment.

Bill Lamoreaux, spokesman for the Department of Corrections, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The prisoners asked for court orders declaring that Arizona's prisons violated prisoners' right against cruel and unusual punishment and requiring a plan to better staff the prisons with health care workers.