Death rate rising in U.S. jails, Reuters data project finds

In this news, we discuss the Death rate rising in U.S. jails, Reuters data project finds.

The death rate in more than 500 major US prisons has risen by more than 8% since the last official data was released in 2016, according to a Reuters investigation, overwhelmingly carried out by people never convicted of their alleged crime.

After stabilizing in 2016, the death rate globally climbed during the first three years of the Trump administration to reach the highest point in the 12-year period 2008-2019 examined by Reuters. Using more than 1,500 public record requests, Reuters investigated 523 prisons with 12 years of inmate death records – all US prisons with 750 or more inmates, plus the 10 largest prisons or prison systems in most States. The resulting database is the largest record of prison deaths outside of the US federal government. It details more than 7,500 inmate deaths in a prison universe that represents three-fifths of the total United States prison population.

At least two-thirds of the deceased detainees identified by Reuters between 2008 and 2019, or 4,998 people, were still waiting their day in court and were presumed innocent when they died, never having been convicted of the charges on which they were charged. inmates. The death rate in more than 500 prisons has climbed 35% in the decade ended last year, Reuters has revealed, fueled by illness, suicide and drug and alcohol overdoses in establishments with little supervision and sometimes insufficient in terms of medical and mental health services.

More than 2,000 have committed suicide, including 1,500 awaiting trial or charges. A growing number – more than one in 10 last year – have died of the acute effects of drugs and alcohol. Nearly 300 people have died after languishing behind bars, without conviction, for a year or more. Data shows that over the past three years, the suicide rate in prisons has declined as many institutions have launched suicide awareness and intervention initiatives. But the drug and alcohol overdose death rate has risen by about 72% amid the opioid epidemic.

The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics has been collecting data on inmate mortality for two decades. It publishes reports containing data at the national level on prison deaths and some figures at the state level. But death statistics for individual prisons are withheld from the public, officials and monitoring agencies under a 1984 law restricting the release of BJS data. The Reuters report identified prisons with high death rates dating back a decade. The most recent BJS report on nationwide prison deaths was released in 2016. Justice officials told Reuters they currently do not plan to release additional reports.

The data captures prisons in 44 states plus the District of Columbia. It does not include six other states – five where all detention centers are managed by unified state correctional agencies (Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Vermont), and Alaska, which uses a hybrid model that It also relies heavily on a state network. – racing facilities. To read the full survey, Dying Inside, click https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-jails-deaths/ (Written by Jason Szep. Edited by Ronnie Greene.)

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News Highlights:

  • The death rate in more than 500 prisons has soared 35% in the decade ended last year, Reuters found, fueled by illness, suicide and drug and alcohol overdoses in establishments that are poorly supervised and sometimes unsuitable for medical and mental health services. More than 2,000 have committed suicide, 1,500 of whom are awaiting trial or charges.
  • Death rate rises in US prisons, Reuters data project says
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