Hundreds of prison, jail deaths go uncounted by U.S. federal government: report

(Xinhua) 09:18, September 22, 2022

NEW YORK, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Justice Department is failing to adequately and efficiently collect data about deaths in state prisons and local jails, with at least 990 incidents going uncounted by the federal government in fiscal year 2021 alone, according to a newly released bipartisan Senate report.

The report's findings were the focus of a hearing on Tuesday of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which probed this summer the accusations of unsanitary and unsafe conditions at a penitentiary in Atlanta and other allegations of misconduct across the federal prison system.

"Now, the conclusion of a 10-month investigation into how the Justice Department oversees the federal Death in Custody Reporting Act accuses the agency of missing death counts that are readily available on public websites and in arrest-related databases," said NBC News in its report of the issue.

In addition, the law requires that states and federal agencies report in-custody death information to the attorney general, who must then study how the data can help reduce such deaths and provide the results to Congress.

The information was due at the end of 2016, but the Senate report says it won't be completed until 2024, according to the report. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liang Jun)


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