Short stints in local jails can turn into horrific death sentences.

Every year, dozens of Pennsylvania prisoners die needlessly in county jails operating without oversight. Most are pre-trail detainees charged with minor crimes for which they haven’t been convicted. A few serve sentences of less than two years for low-level offenses. Allegheny County’s jail, holding about 1,500 prisoners, is more lethal than most. Since April 2020, 16 prisoners have died there, a rate double the national average.

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