Judge eyes deal involving racial claims at Arizona prisons

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ A federal judge is considering an agreement between Arizona and a state inmate to end a dispute over claims of racial segregation in prisons.

U.S. District Court Judge Cindy Jorgenson said during a hearing Monday that she would rule soon.

Inmate Stephen Rudisill filed a suit in 2013 alleging that Arizona violates the Constitution by assigning housing and prison work based on race.

The state denies that it segregates inmates but has agreed to roll out an integration program and track progress. The process begins this year and will end in 2021 if Jorgenson signs off on the agreement.

Plaintiff’s attorney Bert Deixler said Arizona is one of the last states to practice inmate segregation based on race. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the practice in a California case from 2005.

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