Allegheny County Jail

On a blue sky cloudy day the sun sits warm across the riverside face of Pittsburgh's Allegheny County Jail.

Allegheny County Jail

PINJ’s investigations into the jail and its conditions

Latest STORIES


PINJ has paid particular attention to the Allegheny County Jail throughout the pandemic, as virus mitigation forced incarcerated individuals to remain in their cells for 23 hours a day, illness and staff shortages among incarcerated kitchen workers caused meals to be limited at times to baloney sandwiches prompting an investigation by the County Controller and severe staff shortages in the medical and mental health staffs, reduced treatments and programs for the incarcerated. PINJ has tracked the deaths of those in custody of the Allegheny County Jail for two years, culminating in a three-part series.

MORE ALLEGHENY COUNTY JAIL COVERAGE


Combined drug overdose cited as cause of death for man incarcerated at Allegheny County Jail
By Brittany Hailer Victor Joseph Zilinek, 39, an incarcerated person at the Allegheny County Jail, suffered a drug overdose resulting in his July 13 …
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 …
Allegheny County announces contract for ‘historical review of fatalities’ hours after fifth jail death
By Brittany Hailer Ronald James Andrus, 78, died in the Allegheny County Jail Sunday. Andrus was being held on a probation violation at the …
Citations, fines, and terminated contracts: an inside look at the Allegheny County Jail health code violations
The jail has been cited by the Allegheny County Health Department 162 times since 2014. By Jake Dabkowski Since 2014, The Allegheny County Jail’s …
A fourth person dies in Allegheny County Jail custody
By Brittany Hailer Victor Joseph Zilinek, 39, died Wednesday in the Allegheny County Jail, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner, marking the fourth …
Allegheny County sued after jail allegedly failed to prevent the suicide of incarcerated person
By Brittany Hailer Content warning: this story includes topics of suicide, suicidal ideation and self-harm  A year after he was found unresponsive in the …
“Are we running a jail or a cemetery?” Mother asks Allegheny County Jail warden 
Jake Dabkowski Inadequate medical staffing at the Allegheny County Jail, jail officials' failure to notify families of deaths in a timely manner and Warden …
A man died in jail. Now his mother calls for an investigation into a judge’s decision to keep him there despite charges being dropped.
By Brittany Hailer The mother of a man who died at the Allegheny County Jail in March has filed a request for an investigation …
Blunt force trauma to the head cited as cause of death for former Catholic priest incarcerated at Allegheny County Jail
By Brittany Hailer Paul Spisak, an incarcerated person at the Allegheny County Jail, suffered blunt force trauma to the head resulting in his Jan. …
An incarcerated man died in the Allegheny County Jail Thursday, marking third death this year
By Brittany Hailer Jerry Lee Ross Jr., 48, died at the Allegheny County Jail Thursday, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner. This death …
Her husband died after transfer to the hospital from the Allegheny County Jail. Theresa Harris questions why she wasn’t asked for permission on his surgery and DNR order
By Brittany Hailer For several days, Theresa Harris’ daughter refreshed VineLink, an online portal that indicates if someone is in custody at the Allegheny …
Lack of transparency and oversight leave officials, families and media with questions following Allegheny County Jail deaths
By Brittany Hailer In Allegheny County, families of incarcerated individuals who die after entering the Allegheny County Jail have difficulty getting details about what …
In most of the state autopsy reports for those who die in jail are public, but not in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties
By Brittany Hailer Allegheny County and Philadelphia County are the only counties in Pennsylvania where autopsy reports from coroner and medical examiners offices are …
Thirteen men died after going to the Allegheny County Jail. Here are their stories.
By Brittany Hailer Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago, 13 men incarcerated at the Allegheny County Jail have died, the …
Medical emergency in the Allegheny County Jail results in the thirteenth death since April 2020
As with other jail deaths, few details have been made available  By Brittany Hailer Another man incarcerated at the Allegheny County Jail has died …
A death in a Allegheny County Jail exposes COVID’s hidden toll
Brittany Hailer This story first appeared in the Pittsburgh Current in December 2020. For days, members of the Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board did …
Incarcerated person dies following incident at Allegheny County Jail
By Brittany Hailer Paul Spisak, 77, died Sunday in a hospital after the court released him from Allegheny County Jail custody following an incident …
County officials investigate accounts given by the incarcerated about conditions at the jail. Was it investigation or intimidation? 
By Brittany Hailer Allegheny County Police Superintendent Christopher Kearns and County Jail Warden Orlando Harper on Friday released the initial findings of an investigation …
At the same time the Allegheny County Jail returns to 23-and-one lockdown, more than three dozen corrections officers test positive for COVID-19
Medical staff is also short, with reports of just one nurse available at times By Brittany Hailer The Allegheny County Jail is once again …
Recreation time at the Allegheny County jail means being handcuffed to a table for four hours in the women’s acute mental health unit
Brittany Hailer A woman incarcerated at the Allegheny County Jail mental health unit said she spends four hours a day –the entirety of her …