Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Unsuited for Jail Suit Shows the Need for Alternate Offender Housing

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Unsuited for Jail Suit Shows the Need for Alternate Offender Housing

Article excerpt

In recent weeks, members of the Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board have expressed discomfort with the number of pregnant women incarcerated there. Now, a federal lawsuit alleges that pregnant inmates have been placed in solitary confinement for minor infractions of jail rules.

County officials were alerted a couple of weeks ago to complaints about the use of solitary confinement for pregnant inmates, and jail officials took steps to minimize the practice before the suit was filed. Still, the suit underscores the need to find alternative placements for nonviolent offenders and pregnant inmates whenever possible. Incarceration should be reserved for those most deserving of it and who are physically able to do the time.

In the suit, filed with the aid of civil rights advocates, five women allege they were placed in solitary confinement for as long as 22 days while pregnant. …

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