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Thousands of deaths in jails, prisons, and police custody have gone uncounted in recent years. Now the DOJ is calling for changes to federal law.
Our team at the University of North Carolina analyzed death-in-custody reporting policies at every state and federal carceral entity. Data collection is a mess—and many states don’t follow the law at all.
M. Forrest Behne, Craig Waleed, Meghan Peterson, and Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein
All lawmakers have a duty to use every available lever to reduce the number of people in prison, whether by compassionate release or expanded use of furloughs or some other mechanism. Taking these steps will demand immense political courage. But not doing it means consigning people—some just months away from release—to die preventable deaths.
The Department of Justice is leaving researchers, policymakers, and advocates in the dark about deaths in police custody, prisons, and jails.