Sandra Bland’s death in a Texas county jail in 2015 led to, among other things, deeper scrutiny of how people are treated in lockup. As tragic as her death was, though, a recent Texas Observer investigation found that hers was one among over 1,100 since 2010. Observer writers Michael Barajas and Sophie Novack reviewed more than 400 Texas Ranger investigations during months of reporting on the matter.
They found incidents of neglect, apathy and abuse. And of those who died in jail, most were “legally innocent” and awaiting trail. Listen to an interview with Barajas in the audio player above or read the transcript below to learn more about how some jail conditions led to preventable deaths.