The Miseducation of Capitol Hill: The Death in Custody Reporting Act

In today’s episode, we discuss a recent Senate hearing led by Sen. Jon Ossoff from Georgia that investigates the abject failure of the federal government to do what the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013 requires it to do—determine how many people are dying in prisons and jails each year, record where they are dying, and explain why they are dying. The Senate investigation found that the Department of Justice missed at least 990 deaths, and most likely many more, in 2021. Ossoff calls the needless deaths we describe in our book and in this podcast, and the failure to account for them, a constitutional and humanitarian crisis. We conclude by offering concrete solutions to the unconscionable lack of data on deaths in custody currently available in the United States.

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