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DOC appeals contempt ruling against agency director

The Arizona Department of Corrections has asked an appeals court to throw out a contempt-of-court ruling against its director and a $1.4 million fine against the state for failing to adequately improve health care for the 33,000 inmates in state-run prisons.

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A judge presiding in a legal settlement over the quality of health care in Arizona's prisons has raised the possibility of throwing out the four-year agreement and resuming litigation over inmate care because of the state's pervasive noncompliance with the deal.