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Mother of seven found dead in jail cell serving time for children’s truancy [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-6-13 02:56:16 |Display all floors
June 12, 2014

A Pennsylvania woman who was serving a two-day jail sentence for failing to pay fines accrued by her children's truancy was found dead in her cell over the weekend, inspiring the judge who sent her there to condemn the system that mandated her sentence.

                  Eileen DiNino, a  55-year-old mother of seven from Reading, Pennsylvania, was found  dead in her cell on Saturday. She was in the midst of a 48-hour  jail sentence that was meant to erase her $2,000 debt, which had  built up since 1999 by her sons' truancy from a vocational  school, according to the Associated Press.

  Police said the cause of death has yet to be determined, but the  tragedy has already infuriated much of the community and the  judge who sent DiNino to the Berks County jail.

  “Did something happen? Was she scared to death?” said  District Judge Dean Patton, who told reporters that he has been  unable to sleep in the wake of her death yet had no other option  under the law than to impose the sentence.
  He said he sentenced her to 48 hours because a short time behind  bars sometimes helps “break the habit” for parents who  become comfortable with allowing their children to miss school or  who fail to take them there. Truancy fines do not exceed $75 but  can quickly add up as citations continue and court costs  multiply.

  Patton said DiNino was “a lost soul” who struggled to  control her children and often missed scheduled court proceedings  or showed up without the necessary documents.

  “She cared about her kids, but her kids ruled the roost. She  was just accepting what was coming, and (would) let the cards  fall where they may,” he said. “This lady didn't need to  be there. We don't do debtor's prisons anymore. That went out 100  years ago.”

  According to the Reading Eagle, over 1,600 people have been put  in jail in Berks County due to truancy fines since 2000.  Two-thirds of those detainees were women, with critics of the  so-called habit-breaking policy blaming the language barrier that  stands between the many Hispanic families in Reading and the  various school districts.

  “What you see is kind of a slice of inner-city life,”  lawyer Ricahrd Guida, a veteran of a decade of truancy cases,  told AP. “The people at home taking care of the children are  mothers. Many times, they're overwhelmed, and some of these kids  are no angels.”

  DeNino's surviving family members told the Reading Eagle that her  death has left them devastated – a feeling made more painful by  the idea that her time in jail would be the end of a long  chapter.

  Instead of appearing in court in dirty clothing with unkempt  hair, DiNino surrendered herself in a calm, controlled manner.
  “She was a different person. She was cleaned up,  smiling,” Judge Patton said. “I think she realized, when  this thing is done, the weight was off her shoulders.”

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Post time 2014-6-13 02:58:43 |Display all floors
Paul Bogdanich 12.06.2014

Living in America is not the mythical circumstance many people seem to think it is. Over the past 30 years America has become much more authoritarian and barbaric. The whole society lives in fear. Currently people are buying bullet proof blankets for their children to take to school. I kid you not. Imagine the mental scaring for those children. Kind of ironic really when one looks at how our foreign policy scars (real scars not merely mental) the children in the rest of the world. Palestine, Lybia, Iraq, Afghinstan, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine, all over. It's just hideous.

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Post time 2014-6-13 03:00:20 |Display all floors
davros OfSpyro 12.06.2014

When we kicked all those religious nuts and self righteous lunatics out of Europe we never expected them to find a country so rich in resources and then genocide the people there to get their righteous little paws on everything. Trouble is they've grown in numbers and power and are now an even bigger problem in the world. Killing, inprisoning their own in appalling circumstances and thieving from everybody else (sorry policing). They are a plague in the world.

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