Arizona Department of Corrections Director Submits Resignation

Aug 12, 2019

The embattled director of the Arizona Department of Corrections is resigning.

Credit Arizona Department of Corrections

Charles Ryan notified Governor Doug Ducey on Friday that he plans to retire on September 13 after more than 10 years at the helm of Arizona's prison system. Ryan has faced growing pressure from civil rights advocates who started a "Fire Chuck Ryan" campaign over alleged inhumane conditions in prisons.

A judge last year found Ryan in contempt for failing to follow through on promises to improve inmate health care, and the state was fined $1.4 million.

The judge has threatened further fines.

Earlier this year, the department was rocked by revelations that inmates at the Lewis prison complex west of Phoenix were able to open their locked cell doors and attack corrections officers and other prisoners.