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Resource ID: #28644
Subject: Criminal Justice
Source: Staff
Affiliation: WFAA-TV (Dallas)
Date: 2019-12-01



Texas is a law-and-order state, and sympathy for people arrested and put in jail is rare. That’s why it’s significant when lawmakers here act to protect the rights and lives of those behind bars. It wouldn’t have happened without our “Jailed To Death” investigation into why people were dying in county jails run by LaSalle Corrections, a private, for-profit company.

As a direct result of our stories, state lawmakers passed a new law that strengthens training requirements for county jailers across the state – not just in those run by for-profit companies. It also mandated that any time a for-profit company’s jails fail inspections they receive additional scrutiny from the state jail commission.

Our reporting found that, essentially, death was a cost of doing business for LaSalle. In case after case, we found that deaths in LaSalle jails followed a predictable and heartbreaking pattern: too few guards with no real training either using inappropriate amounts of force or lying on forms saying they were checking on sick inmates.

The result? Death sentences for people picked up on suspicion of minor crimes.

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