MCSO: Some veterans receiving better care in jail than at Phoenix VA

May 25, 2014, 3:56 PM | Updated: 3:56 pm

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says that many veterans have claimed they receive better care in local jails than they get at Phoenix Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The county has approximately 8,300 inmates in jail under Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jurisdiction. MCSO said in a press release that Arpaio separated the veterans to a “specialized pod” last December in one Phoenix jail so they could get extra assistance with health care issues that are common with military service — such as PTSD.

MCSO said its jails offer behavioral programming for inmates with PTSD, in addition to having anger management, job training and housing assistance programs.

“We have an obligation to do all we can for all those who have worn the uniform
in defense of this country,” Arpaio said in the press release. “What has allegedly happened at the VA hospital here is unfortunate. We owe it to these veterans to confirm that the
medical care they receive while in the Sheriff’s Office care and custody meets their

The MCSO release goes on to explain inmates’ assessment of their care in county jails:

According to several inmates who recently spoke with detention staff, the level of
care in the jails is an improvement over the local VA hospital. Inmates in the
veteran pod say the jailhouse medical staff there responds more quickly to inmates’
needs, never refuse to treat them for ailments as some have been refused treatment
at the VA and that drug prevention programs are far more readily available in jail
than at the VA. One inmate complained of lost records at the VA, another spoke
of the slowness of care veterans receive there.

Arpaio planned to visit nearly 100 incarcerated veterans in west Phoenix’s Towers Jail on Sunday afternoon to thank them for their service as Memorial Day approaches.

The inspector general at the Veterans Affairs Department said 26 VA facilities nationwide are under investigation, including the Phoenix hospital at the center of allegations, about treatment delays and secret waiting lists intended to hide gaps in care.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

office building with trees...

SuElen Rivera

2 Phoenix Biltmore-area office buildings sell for $72.1 million

Two large office buildings that sit along the heart of the Camelback Corridor in Phoenix recently sold for $72.1 million. 

3 hours ago

Republican presidential candidates, from left, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former New Jers...

Associated Press

3rd Republican presidential debate is set for Nov. 8 in Miami, with the strictest qualifications yet

The third Republican presidential debate will be held in Miami on Nov. 8, a day after several states hold off-year elections.

4 hours ago

During the equinox, the Earth’s axis and its orbit line up so that both hemispheres get an equal ...

Associated Press

The fall equinox is here. What does that mean?

The equinox arrives on Saturday, marking the start of the fall season for the Northern Hemisphere. But what does that actually mean?

5 hours ago

Tempe police officer Candance Kanavel is competing in the Miss USA pagaent. (City of Tempe)...

Danny Shapiro

Tempe police officer to compete in Miss USA Pageant as Miss Arizona

A Tempe police officer will trade in her badge for a crown next week when she competes in the Miss USA Pageant as Miss Arizona.

7 hours ago

A Border Patrol officer sits inside his car as he guards the US/Mexico border fence, in Nogales, Ar...

Serena O'Sullivan

Gov. Hobbs to grant $10 million to Nogales Police Department for border security

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced Friday a $10 million grant to the Nogales Police Department that will help protect the U.S.-Mexico border.

8 hours ago

Chandler residents can apply to 4 new assistance programs...

Serena O'Sullivan

New programs help Chandler residents with neighborhood improvements

Chandler residents could soon say goodbye to cracked sidewalks, cat colonies and loneliness thanks to four city assistance programs.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.


Ignite Digital

How to unlock the power of digital marketing for Phoenix businesses

All businesses around the Valley hopes to maximize their ROI with current customers and secure a greater market share in the digital sphere.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.

MCSO: Some veterans receiving better care in jail than at Phoenix VA