Arizona could face fines in lawsuit over prison health care

PHOENIX (AP) - A court hearing this week will focus on whether Arizona will be fined for falling short in improving health care for its prisoners.
    
The judge overseeing a lawsuit over prison health care also will examine an allegation that the state's provider denied care to an inmate to avoid paying a fine.
    
The hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday were called after the judge repeatedly voiced frustration over what he called Arizona's "abject failure" to make the improvements it promised when it settled the lawsuit.
    
The judge threatened to fine the state $1,000 for each instance of noncompliance in December and January.
    
The state acknowledged more than 1,000 instances in December. That means Arizona could be fined as much as $1 million for that month alone.

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