Mountain State Spotlight – When Kyle Steven Robinson died last year in Southern Regional Jail, the West Virginia Department of Corrections didn’t offer many details besides his name, time of death, and that foul play wasn’t suspected.
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The agency didn’t say the reason he was there in the first place: charges of littering and a missed court date. Or that he had languished in jail for 81 days without a chance to post bail. Or that he died of a drug overdose, according to his mother.
Robinson’s death wasn’t an isolated incident. Over the past year, West Virginians have seen headline after headline about deaths in Southern and the state’s other regional jails. Since Robinson’s death in September 2021, five more men have died in the same facility. The correctional system is one of the nation’s most deadly, with inmates dying at rates far above the norm. And the challenges that marked Robinson’s life and death are common for many poor West Virginians, including those who are dying in our state’s jails.
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