UT Austin launches website to promote transparency on deaths of people in Texas police, jail custody

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AUSTIN - Can you believe nearly 7,000 people have died either in Texas police custody, in a Texas jail or prison, between 2005 and 2015?

The University of Texas at Austin says so; and more than 1,900 of them had not been convicted of a crime.  These death by numbers are part of the Texas Custodial Death Report.

The Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis launched texasjusticeinitiative.org to promote transparency in the justice system.  The data can be filtered by gender, race, age, police agency and even cause of death.

According to the data, Latinos make up 28 percent of the deaths in custody, blacks make up 30 percent, and whites are 42 percent.

Amanda Woog, creator of the Texas Justice Initiative, hopes policymakers will put this data to good use.

"Too many people are dying, and it's going to require a collaborative effort to help identify problems and come up with solutions," Woog says.