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The Philadelphia Inquirer: Samantha Melamed - April 23, 2021
Danielle Calabro had not heard from her younger brother, Christopher Hinkle, in a few days. Then, on April 12, she received a life-changing phone call: Hinkle, 37, had been arrested on drug charges and placed in a Philadelphia jail, where he had been badly beaten.
When she finally saw him at Jefferson-Torresdale Hospital, Calabro said it was “a horrific, horrific scene.”
“It looks like he went through an extremely traumatic experience,” she said. ”He’s currently fully paralyzed, in a medically induced coma, and his prognosis to live is extremely poor.”
Doctors advised the family to plan for end-of-life care, she said. If he should die, Hinkle would be the fifth man allegedly beaten to death by a cellmate in a city jail since August.
It’s the latest instance of what staff and observers say is a mounting crisis at Philadelphia jails, where the population has increased to 4,718. The jails have been effectively in lockdown since the start of the pandemic. They’ve also been in civil-rights litigation, and are under court order to let people out of their cells at least three hours a day.
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