The Bail Project / Newsroom  / Jails (Page 13)

“When Nicholas Colbert, a 36-year-old Army National Guard veteran, died last Friday in the Cuyahoga County jail, in Cleveland, Ohio, he became the ninth detainee to die in the jail system over the last year—and the fifth to die by suicide…The jail’s conditions are the subject of a class action lawsuit filed in December that was amended last month. Twenty plaintiffs, including current and former detainees, accuse the co-defendants of failing to provide safe and habitable living conditions for people incarcerated in the jail.”

Due to “sweeping changes to California’s justice system” intended to ease prison overcrowding. And it has – but it’s shifted the overcrowding crisis onto jails, which were built to hold people for a short period of time, and which now struggle to handle incarcerated people with chronic medical and mental-health problems. Deaths in California jails have jumped by 26 percent since they started receiving long-term prisoners. 

Summarized by Lillian Kalish

In Fulton County, women with psychiatric illnesses are held in solitary confinement for at least 22 hours a day and often wait months in isolation for a hospital bed to become available“; men found incompetent to stand trial are “housed at Fulton County Jail, where they are provided full-day programming, including counseling and group activities.” Healthcare in the county’s jails has been under scrutiny for years: in 2017, Correct Care Solutions managed the jail healthcare system for only 75 daysduring which 5 people died.  The current healthcare provider has also been accused of “dangerous and deadly neglect.”

Summarized by Jacob Koffler

At least 70 percent of these people were awaiting trialThese jail deaths are preventable, too, as the leading cause of death is suicide. A patchwork of reporting systems has left jail deaths underreported and jail administrators unaccountable. Additionally, it’s getting worse: over the past 10 years, jail deaths have consistently increased in Oregon and Washington. 

Summarized by Jacob Koffler