In the Last 10 Years, Nearly 7,000 People Have Died in Custody in Texas

Almost 7,000 people in Texas have died while in police custody or behind bars over the past 10 years, says a University of Texas at Austin research institute, the Texas Tribune reports.

Nearly 2,000 who died had not been convicted of a crime, Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis data shows.

"We can't have an informed conversation about who's dying at the hands of police or who's dying in jails if we don't literally know who's dying and how they're dying," said Amanda Woog, a postdoctoral fellow at the institute. "I think this information can help us get to the bottom causes of mortality in the criminal justice system and with that lead us to solutions."

Of the 6,913 incidents, 4,870 people died of natural causes, 772  committed suicide, 573 died in a "justifiable homicide," 275 died from alcohol or drug intoxication, 255 died for other reasons, and 168 died from an accidental injury. Sixty-eight percent were in prison, 16 percent died during an encounter with law enforcement before being booked, and another 16 percent died in a county or city jail.

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