Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone holds news conference on fentanyl in jail and other issues

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office held a news conference on April 18 regarding contraband in the jails.

During the news conference, Sheriff Penzone said in general, there has been an increase in inmate deaths, either in MCSO's jail or holding cell, or those who were incarcerated in an MCSO jail or holding cell, but died at a hospital, and drug-related deaths have increased.

"Fentanyl will take more lives than COVID did," said the Sheriff.

Sheriff Penzone said a number of his staff members have been trained on how to use Narcan, which can be used to reverse an overdose. So far in the 1st Quarter of 2023, 96 individuals were administered Narcan. In 2022, 172 individuals were administered Narcan. In addition, Sheriff Penzone said his office has purchased body scanners.

The news conference also touched on the issue of non-violent offenders in MCSO's jails.