In one measure of the health problems in prisons and jails, Texas’ death-in-custody total for 2014 reached 615 people by year’s end, says the Texas Attorney General, including 410 people who died in custody of the state criminal justice agency and 205 people who died in custody of local jails or officers in the field, reports the Grits for Breakfast blog. By comparison, the state executed 10 people last year. The state death total dropped from a high of 463 in 2012.
There has been an average of 430 prisoner deaths per year in the Texas Department Criminal Justice over the last eight years. Says Grits for Breakfast: “These deaths were never scheduled, thus never delayed, and for the most part no newspaper reporter ever told their stories. But they remain just as dead as the men and women killed in the execution chamber, their families grieve as ardently.”