The U.S. government collects detailed data on who’s dying in which jails around the country – but won’t let anyone see it. So, Reuters conducted its own tally of fatalities in America’s biggest jails, pinpointing where suicide, botched healthcare and bad jailkeeping are claiming lives in a system with scant oversight.
Harvey Hill wouldn’t leave John Finnegan’s front yard. He stood in the pouring rain, laughing at the sky, alarming his former boss’ wife. Finnegan dialed 911.
“He needs a mental evaluation,” the landscaper recalls telling the arriving officer. Instead, Hill was charged with trespassing and jailed on suspicion of a misdemeanor offense that could bring a $500 fine.
It was a death sentence.