AZ: Female inmate dies after left in outdoor holding cell

10:10 AM Mountain Standard Time on Thursday, May 21, 2009
By Jennifer Thomas / azfamily.com

PHOENIX — A female inmate at the Perryville state prison died after spending four hours in an outdoor holding cell, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections.

While waiting to be moved to a detention unit, Marcia Powell, 48, was placed in an outside, uncovered, chain-linked holding cell at 11 a.m. Tuesday. She collapsed at 2:40 p.m. and was taken to a local hospital. Powell was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

Temperatures were above 100 degrees Tuesday afternoon.

A criminal investigation is under way to determine whether or not there was negligence, according to ADC Director Charles L. Ryan.

“It’s our responsibility to ensure the care and custody of the inmate population,” Ryan said. “The death of Marcia Powell is a tragedy and a failure.”

Three staff members have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is being investigated.

Powell was serving a 27-month sentence for prostitution. She was sent to prison in August.

Link to original on AZ Family

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