PHOENIX — Arizona lost a key battle in a settlement over the quality of health care in its prisons.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a lower-court judge has the power to order corrections officials to develop a general staffing plan to remedy deficiencies in inmate care.
Lawyers for inmates say one of the biggest barriers in providing adequate care is not having enough health workers on hand.
The 2014 settlement said the court retained the power to enforce the agreement, but the settlement also said the court couldn't order the hiring of a specific number or type of staff.
The 9th Circuit now says the court may issue a general staffing order that doesn't require a specific number or type of staff to remedy noncompliance with the settlement.