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MCSO’s appeal of jail ruling rejected

A federal appeals court says jails in Maricopa County don’t meet constitutional minimums when it comes to food quality and housing conditions for inmates on psychotropic drugs.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a lower court’s ruling Wednesday. It rejected Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s appeal of U.S. District Court Judge Neil V. Wake’s 2008 ruling that found the Maricopa County jail conditions unconstitutional in a number of areas.

The Sheriff’s Office says it has been trying to comply with Wake’s order, including hiring a dietitian to ensure inmates receive food that meets U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines.

The Arizona Republic says MCSO also is attempting to move inmates being treated with psychotropic drugs to housing where the temperature doesn’t exceed 85 degrees.

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