PHOENIX — Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan is appealing a judge’s order that said he and another prison official could be held in civil contempt of court and the state could face fines for repeatedly falling short in improving health care for inmates.

Lawyers representing Ryan and Assistant Corrections Director Richard Pratt filed a notice last week saying they were appealing the Oct. 10 order.

The order came as a judge and attorneys for prisoners have complained that officials were dragging their feet in making the improvements they promised three years ago when settling a lawsuit that alleged inmates were getting shoddy health care.

Prison officials will be required early next year to file a list of every instance during December 2017 in which it was unable to comply with the changes.