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Inmate Deaths A Growing Problem At Fresno County Jail

Eric Paul Zamora / Fresno Bee

A violent offender housing cell at the Fresno County Jail.

Eric Paul Zamora / Fresno Bee

Last year was the deadliest for inmates housed in Fresno County Jail in at least two decades. That was the Sacramento Bee’s top story last Sunday, and the first report in its 2019 series that will examine overcrowding, availability of resources and inmate treatment in California jails. The series is in partnership with ProPublica.

In early 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown declared that the state’s prison problems — which included overcrowding and poor conditions — were solved. This was nearly two years after a federal court mandated that the state reduce its prison population by about 40,000 inmates. The reported story about the uptick in Fresno’s jail deaths illustrates the ways prison problems were inherited by county jails.

Reporter Jason Pohl joins Insight to talk about this story and the ongoing project. For more on his Overcorrection” series, sign-up for his newsletter to receive updates as soon as they publish.

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