“…The study analyzed 180 in-custody deaths in 10 Maryland detention centers and found that about half of those people died within the first 10 days of incarceration. And for those whose deaths were deemed to be from natural causes, the report shows they died nearly three decades younger than the state life expectancy.
The authors say the study raises questions about whether some of those who died in custody had medical or mental health issues that were overlooked, ignored or not treated properly, or suffered injuries that contributed to their deaths. The authors are calling on officials to do a comprehensive look to determine why the deaths occurred and whether any could have been prevented.
“There is something unique about the jail environment itself that is causing people to die early,” said Terence Keel, principal investigator at UCLA’s BioCritical Studies Lab, which is focused on discrimination and inequality and was a partner on the report. The conditions in jail, Keel said, “create what I think amounts to a public health crisis.””