ARIZONA NEWS

5 inmates hospitalized for drug overdose at Maricopa County jail

May 7, 2023, 2:00 PM

(Pixabay photo)...

(Pixabay photo)

(Pixabay photo)

PHOENIX (AP) — Five inmates at a Maricopa County jail have been treated and released from hospitals after overdosing, according to authorities.

County Sheriff’s officials said the overdoses occurred Saturday at the Towers Jail in Phoenix.

The 720-bed facility houses medium security general population inmates, and most are un-sentenced, pre-trial detainees.

A sheriff’s spokesman said all five inmates received doses of Narcan and were conscious before being evaluated at a hospital.

Last month, seven women incarcerated at the Estrella Jail in Phoenix were hospitalized after overdosing.

Sheriff Paul Penzone, responding to an increase in fentanyl overdoses in county jails, has announced a plan to install seven additional security scanners to screen employees and volunteers who go in and out of the jails for drugs and contraband.

Penzone, who took office in 2017, said drug smuggling needs to be cleaned up at the county’s five jails, and the new security process is expected to begin sometime this summer.

He said there were 282 incident reports of narcotics in the jails last year, and 158 incoming inmate postcards seized by the mailroom that tested positive for being soaked in fentanyl and/or methamphetamine.

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5 inmates hospitalized for drug overdose at Maricopa County jail