Essential Pittsburgh: Public Hearing To Be Held For Unexplained Inmate Deaths

Jun 10, 2015

There has been a public outcry and calls for changes at the Allegheny County Jail in the wake of the unexplained deaths of two inmates in May. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald decided to sever ties with Corizon Health Inc., the provider of health care services at the facility. The first public hearing on the matter has been scheduled for June 23  in the County Council chambers of the Allegheny County Courthouse. We'll talk with County Council member Heather Heidelbaugh and Julia Johnson of the Allegheny County Jail Health Justice Project.

Johnson expresses her concern for the proper treatment and counseling of inmates in hopes to better the health care services in the jail:

"There just needs to be more compassion as far as people with mental health issues and they're compounding those issues at the jail. 60% of people at the ACJ have mental health issues and they are not being give their anti-psychotic medicine, they are not getting counseling." - Julia Johnson

Also in the program, beloved music teacher Adrianne Kelly is retiring after 33 years at Minadeo Elementary School and Steel City Squash is teaching a little-known sport to youth in the Hill District, combining its physical activity with academic development.

Saying Goodbye to Adrianne Kelly (starts at 30:44)

After 33 years, music teacher Adrianne Kelly is retiring. In light of her announcement, she’s received a flood of tributes from colleagues and former students. Before she leaves Minadeo Elementary School in Squirrel Hill we’ve invited her to join us in the studio for an exit interview. 

Steel City Squash (starts at 41:58)

Once confined to country clubs and elite colleges, the sport of squash has gained traction among kids in the Hill District thanks to a program called Steel City Squash, which combines athletic training with rigorous academic development. Executive director Brad Young and board member David Hillman join us to talk about Steel City Squash and the support it offers to youth.  

More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be found here