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MCSO: 4 inmates hospitalized after possible drug overdoses at Phoenix jail

There's been an ongoing drug crisis inside Maricopa County jails.

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said four inmates at the Watkins Jail in Phoenix were transported to the hospital for suspected overdoses Friday afternoon.

MCSO said all four inmates were breathing on their own when they left that facility near 27th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road. 

This is the latest example of the ongoing drug crisis inside Maricopa County jails. 

In April, five inmates at the Towers Jail in Phoenix were hospitalized for suspected overdoses.

Before that, seven inmates at the Estrella Jail suffered drug overdoses and were taken to the hospital. MCSO said deputies found methamphetamine and fentanyl pills in the area where those inmates were found in an altered mental state.

Drug seizures and overdoses continue to climb at the county jail. 

“This is the problem that we see in our county every day,” said Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone at a press briefing in April.

The sheriff's office is training more deputies to administer Narcan to inmates. In 2022 Penzone said 172 individuals received a dose of Narcan. He anticipates the number in 2023 will grow larger than in 2022.

Fentanyl seizures are also expected to reach record highs in 2023. In 2022 there were 3,162 pills found in county jails with 2,060 fentanyl pills found this year.

This is a developing story. Stay with 12News for updates. 

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