Reform group slams Arizona for inadequate prison healthcare

PHOENIX - A prison reform group that says inadequate health care at Arizona's prisons has led to an increase in deaths is urging the state to overhaul its contracted health system.

The report released Wednesday by the Arizona chapter of the American Friends Service Committee says problems have increased with a new a health care contractor hired by Arizona Department of Corrections.

They say problems include denial of care and inadequate staffing.

The group says there have been 50 deaths in state prisons so far this year.

The department's posted in-custody death numbers appear lower, but they're compiled by budget year.

Corrections officials say they can't comment because of a lawsuit alleging inadequate health care filed by the ACLU of Arizona.

American Friends is part of the religious order called the Quakers.

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