PINJ | Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism

Social Justice

‘A significant history of fraud and deception’: Allegheny County Jail doctor disciplined by medical licensing boards across the country

by Brittany Hailer UPDATE, October 5, 2022: After learning of PINJ’s investigation and subsequent story, Dan Laurent, vice president of corporate communications of Allegheny Health Network, informed the newsroom that Wilson Bernales has been suspended pending assessment of his qualifications and state license. “As you have noted, Dr. Wilson Bernales is a PA licensed physician…

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Hours before he died, the Allegheny County Jail released an incarcerated man with intellectual disability from custody

by Brittany Hailer Anthony Talotta, 57, died Wednesday at UPMC Mercy Hospital after he was found unresponsive in his cell at the Allegheny County Jail. Talotta, diagnosed with autism and intellectual disability, was rushed from the jail’s mental health unit. The jail released him from its custody hours before his death. Talotta is the 17th…

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PINJ has paid particular attention to the Allegheny County Jail throughout the pandemic, tracking the deaths of those in custody as well as the conditions incarcerated individuals have been forced to endure.

View all of our coverage on the Allegheny County Jail by clicking here.

More News

Jail officials across Pa. sound alarm as mental health crisis puts people at risk, survey finds

A statewide survey of county jails by Spotlight PA and the Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism revealed many facilities openly admit they are not equipped for the growing mental health crisis by Brittany Hailer of the Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism Danielle Ohl of Spotlight PA County jails across Pennsylvania lack the resources to address…

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Rushdie and Free Speech, from Tehran to Pittsburgh

by Jody DiPerna, Belt Magazine Literature isn’t just under attack in Iran, China, or El Salvador Since the attempted assassination of the Anglo-Indian author Salman Rushdie as he prepared to speak at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York, I’ve been thinking about the ways that writers threaten the status quo by forcing us to…

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a bunk bed with striped linen behind bars

Report: U.S. government failed to properly count deaths of people in prisons and jails

The Dept of Justice failed to enforce the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013, which requires states that receive federal funding to report prison and jail deaths to the agency by Ariana Figueroa, Pennsylvania Capital-Star WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice did not properly count nearly 1,000 deaths of incarcerated people in jails and prisons,…

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Advocating for accommodations has been a constant, but largely quiet, struggle for college students with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990.

Read from our award-winning series, Leveling the Playing Field, here.

Art

A melange of history, lived experience and fable, Caitlyn Hunter’s first book is urgent, magical storytelling

With family stories leading the way, inherited photos sprinkled throughout, and cover art designed by her cousin, “Power in the Tongue” (Tolsun Books), really is a family affair. by Jody DiPerna Caitlyn Hunter is the repository and the spillway of her family’s intergenerational love, trauma and legend. In Hunter’s new book, she sets the tone…

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Education

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Education in Pittsburgh was upended in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly closed schools. Since then, as multiple virus waves have swept the nation, students have been in and out of physical classrooms, learning sometimes online, sometimes in person, sometimes not at all. How will they rebound?

Read more from Playing the Long Game here.

Commentary

Response to the Allegheny County DA’s announcement to seek death penalty in cases 

Robert J. Perkins and Kelvin L. Morris In the past month alone, the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office announced that it intends to seek the death penalty in several new cases. That is a bad idea. For many reasons. Putting aside the moral and religious questions of whether it is ever appropriate for the state…

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Pittsburgh is Still a Contested Symbol

By Ed Simon In his book, ‘An Alternative History of Pittsburgh’ released by Belt Press this summer, Ed Simon considers the history of Pittsburgh from the geologic formation of the region, dating back to about 300 million years ago, to present day. He has been thinking about Pittsburgh and all of the stories that go…

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