Jail Deaths Are a National Disgrace
More than 7,500 Americans died in jail during the last decade, and two-thirds of them were never convicted of a crime. Those are the stunning topline numbers from an investigation that Reuters published in October.
Anyone who has paid attention to the issue has known for a long time that jail deaths from neglect and occasional malevolence are a nationwide problem—especially when jails become the de facto solution to mental health and drug addiction crises. Last summer, for example, Reason reported on the story of 46-year-old Holly Barlow-Austin, who suffered from medical neglect for months at a Texarkana, Texas, jail before being transferred to a hospital and eventually dying of sepsis due to fungus, cryptococcal meningitis, HIV/AIDS, and accelerated hypertension.
A 2016 HuffPost investigation found more than 800 jail deaths in the y
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