ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota lawmakers are working with the Department of Corrections to draft new legislation to reform how jail deaths are investigated and to strengthen enforcement of medical standards in jails across the state.
The action comes in the wake of a series of KARE 11 investigative reports revealing a suspicious pattern of deaths in Minnesota jails.
Our investigation exposed how the state has turned a blind eye to poor – and at times nonexistent – medical care for sick inmates.
Among the findings:
- Jail inmates needlessly dying while denied constitutionally mandated medical and mental health care.
- A suspicious pattern of inmate deaths under the care of the same jail doctor with history of discipline for unethical behavior.
- National guidelines for investigating and preventing jail deaths being ignored.
- The percentage of deaths by suicide in Minnesota jails is twice the national average.
- Botched state investigations and toothless enforcement contributing to additional jail deaths.
- Falsified jail records – including guards reporting inmate safety checks that were never done.
- Minnesota counties have paid out more than $11 million after lawsuits accusing jails of failing to properly care for inmates. And taxpayers may soon be on the hook for a lot more.
“There is a clear need for reform,” said Minnesota Senator Charles Wiger (DFL – Maplewood).
WATCH BELOW OR CLICK HERE: A SPECIAL REPORT FROM KARE 11 INVESTIGATES - “Cruel & Unusual”
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