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News & Observer series on jail deaths features insights from Elon's Jones

Jonathan Jones is the director of the N.C. Open Government Coalition and an instructor in the School of Communications. 

A five-day series examining the death of inmates in North Carolina jails includes the expertise of Jonathan Jones, the director of the N.C. Open Government Coalition and an instructor in Elon's School of Communications. 

Jonathan Jones, director of the N.C. Open Government Coalition and instructor in communications

The series by the Raleigh News & Observer focuses on the deaths of jail inmates that were largely ignored and the impact on jails from mentally ill and drug-addicted inmates who could have been treated elsewhere. The Aug. 11 article titled "After jail deaths and litigation, some courts have a secret," includes comments from Jones, a former prosecutor in Durham who now heads the coalition, which works to ensure and enhance public access to government activity, records and meetings. 

Jones commented on two separate cases involving the death of female inmates with serious health issues that he said are examples of state Superior Court judges keeping the public in the dark about settlements with the families of the two women. 

“We’re talking about spending taxpayer dollars on claims of wrongdoing by the government, and often these are settled without an admission of guilt,” Jones told News & Observer reporter Dan Kane. “But even though there’s no admission of guilt or responsibility, there’s a transfer of funds, and citizens need to know whether or not their government bodies are being good stewards of their tax dollars.”

Read the entire article here

Owen Covington,
8/11/2017 10:20 AM