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Judge ends 42-year-old lawsuit over Maricopa County jail conditions

(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX – A federal judge has ended a 42-year-old lawsuit over conditions in the jails in metro Phoenix.

The lawsuit was filed in 1977 amid allegations that the civil rights of inmates had been violated.

It lingered for decades, and a judge concluded in 2008 that the county provided inadequate medical and mental health care, unsanitary conditions and unhealthy food inside the jails.

Court oversight of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the jails, ended in 2012 when a judge ruled deficiencies in food and sanitary conditions had been corrected.

But oversight of the jails’ medical and mental health care operations – which are run by the county, not the sheriff’s office – continued until Judge Neil Wake ended the lawsuit on Sept. 19.

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