September 5, 2023
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.96 Inches (US)
$28.95 USD, £24.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Death in Custody

How America Ignores the Truth and What We Can Do about It

The United States significantly undercounts the number of people who die in law enforcement custody each year. How can we fix this?

Deaths resulting from interactions with the US criminal legal system are a public health emergency, but the scope of this issue is intentionally ignored by the very systems that are supposed to be tracking these fatalities. We don't know how many people die in custody each year, whether in an encounter with police on the street, during transport, or while in jails, prisons, or detention centers. In order to make a real difference and address this human rights problem, researchers and policy makers need reliable data.

In Death in Custody, Roger A. Mitchell Jr., MD, and Jay D. Aronson, PhD, share the stories of individuals who died in custody and chronicle the efforts of activists and journalists to uncover the true scope of deaths in custody. From Ida B. Wells's enumeration of extrajudicial lynchings more than a century ago to the Washington Post's current effort to count police shootings, the work of journalists and independent groups has always been more reliable than the state's official reports. Through historical analysis, Mitchell and Aronson demonstrate how government at all levels has intentionally avoided reporting death-in-custody data.

Mitchell and Aronson outline a practical, achievable system for accurately recording and investigating these deaths. They argue for a straightforward public health solution: adding a simple checkbox to the US Standard Death Certificate that would create an objective way of recording whether a death occurred in custody. They also propose the development of national standards for investigating deaths in custody and the creation of independent regional and federal custodial death review panels. These tangible solutions would allow us to see the full scope of the problem and give us the chance to truly address it.

About the Authors

Roger A. Mitchell Jr., MD, (WASHINGTON, DC) is a professor and chair of pathology at the Howard University College of Medicine. He is a forensic pathologist who previously served as the Chief Medical Examiner and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice of Washington, DC. He is the author of The Price of Freedom: A Son's Journey. Jay D. Aronson (PITTSBURGH, PA) is the founder and director of the Center for Human Rights Science at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is a professor of science, technology, and society in the Department of History. He is the author of Who Owns the Dead? The Science and Politics of Death at Ground Zero and Genetic Witness: Science, Law, and Controversy in the Making of DNA Profiling.

Johns Hopkins University Press
Health Equity in America
From 17

9781421447087 : death-in-custody-mitchell-aronson
September 5, 2023
$28.95 USD

Other Titles from Health Equity in America

My Quest for Health Equity

David Satcher, MD, PhD
Feb 2022 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$28.00 USD - Hardback
$21.95 USD - Electronic book text
$21.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Unequal Cities

edited by Maureen R. Benjamins and Fernando G. De Maio - foreword by Julie Morita, Former Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health
Sep 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$42.00 USD - Hardback
$42.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in

Voices of Campus Sexual Violence Activists

Ana M. Martínez-Alemán and Susan B. Marine
Dec 2023 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$34.95 USD - Hardback

Canada as a Settler Colony on the Question of Palestine

edited by Jeremy Wildeman, Mark Muhannad Ayyash
Oct 2023 - University of Alberta Press
$44.99 USD - Paperback / softback


Gilberto Rosas
Mar 2023 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$25.95 USD - Hardback
$25.95 USD - Electronic book text