The Oklahoma County jail can be a deadly place.
At least 44 jail inmates have died in the jail's custody since Jan. 1, 2000, records show.
Several were suicides, often by hanging. A few were beaten to death by other inmates. One may have been killed by detention officers. Many died from natural causes, but sometimes those health problems may have been aggravated by beatings or poor care.
Some of the deaths were actually in the jail. Others occurred after inmates were moved for medical treatment.
Three times — in 1998, 2002 and 2005 — babies born to jail inmates did not survive.
In a year-old report made public this week, the U.S. Justice Department pointed to some of the deaths to justify its conclusion that inmates' rights are being violated in the jail.
Federal officials removed 160 federal defendants from the jail because of the problems.
Among the factors behind the deaths are "an inordinately high risk of detainee-on-detainee violence,” virtually nonexistent direct supervision of detainees, "deficient suicide prevention” and inadequate health care, the report found. County officials insist improvements already have been made.
One of the examples in the Justice Department report was the 2005 baby death. The Justice Department said the care of the baby's mother was "unconscionable;” the mother had been handcuffed to a rail for most of 10 hours.
How sheriff responds
Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel, who oversees the jail, said the number of deaths doesn't seem high since the jail books in up to 45,000 people a year.
Read the letter sent from Oklahoma City to Sheriff Whetsel
Read the DOJ report