A clearinghouse for information, analysis, and resources related to state sanctioned violence in the United States
The day after Sandra Bland died in a Texas jail cell, Native American activist Rexdale Henry was found dead with broken ribs in a Mississippi jail cell. Eighteen-year-old Kindra Chapman hanged herself in an Alabama jail cell the same day. On Sunday, Ralkina Jones was found dead in an Ohio jail cell.
Those deaths are still under investigation. But whatever the ultimate cause, a substantial portion of jailhouse deaths in America have one thing in common: the inmate had no business being in jail in the first place.
Jails, unlike prisons, are mostly for people who have not had a trial yet. “About six out of every ten inmates in this country is unconvicted,” said Cherise Fanno Burdeen, executive director at the Pretrial Justice Institute, a national advocacy group. “Most of them are for misdemeanors, and most of them are low-level charges. If they had their risks assessed, they would be…
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