Local law enforcement and governments usually oversee their respective jails in the United States, making the system very divided with little oversight by state or federal entities. In North Carolina alone, there are 100 counties, 97 jails, and over 100,000 incarcerated people each year. This figure may be even greater due to the high frequency and short stays of people who cycle through the system.
Because the counties lack a standard system for data collection, it is difficult for policymakers to understand what injustices occur within their facilities and what resources these incarcerated individuals actually need for their various health issues. These issues were only exacerbated as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through these jails.
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