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Event

Deaths in Custody: Accountability in Pennsylvania Jails

Event Date:

June 17, 2024 | 6:00 PM EDT TO 7:00 PM EDT
Participants:
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Each year an untold number of people die in jails across Pa. Their stories often go untold and their...

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Each year an untold number of people die in jails across Pennsylvania. In 2023, PennLive and the Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism built Pennsylvania’s first-ever database of in-custody deaths. Together, they navigated a patchwork of inconsistent systems and records and identified at least 65 deaths in custody, only about 40 of which were reported as required.

Join Pulitzer Center grantees Brittany Hailer and Joshua Vaughn for insight into their reporting methodology on Monday, June 17, 2024, at 6pm EDT. They will be joined by UCLA Professor Terence Keel to discuss how they navigated obtaining public records and worked with families to build the database.

On April 2, 2024, Hailer and Vaughn shared the findings of their database in a Pennsylvania Senate public hearing on the lack of reliable information surrounding deaths in correctional institutions. Additionally, Hailer recently won a landmark settlement against the Allegheny County Jail, which was ordered to revise policies that previously prohibited employees from speaking on matters of public concern to the press or posting information on social media.

The conversation will be moderated by Pulitzer Center Outreach Program Coordinator Mikaela Schmitt, followed by an audience Q&A. Registration is required.

Panelists include: 

  • Brittany Hailer, a staff writer with The Marshall Project-Cleveland. She is the former director of the Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.
  • Joshua Vaughn, an investigative/enterprise reporter with PennLive. Vaughn covers a broad array of criminal justice issues.
  • Terence Keel, a professor in the University of California, Los Angeles' Department of African American Studies and the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics. He has written extensively about race, religion, law, medicine, and the life sciences.

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