SPOKANE, Wash — There have been eight deaths at the Spokane County jail in the past 14 months.
Jail officials said they are taking steps to keep inmates safe such as taking away bed sheets to prevent suicide. The jail also recently started a program to help inmates who suffering opioid withdrawals. However, some people say it's still not enough, that the jail needs to do more.
Advocates of this issue spoke out at a community march and rally. It is a response to the recent deaths at the Spokane County jail.
"It's about humanity and it's not about criminals and it's not about punishment you know this is about life,” Angelique Sam said, "There needs to be accountability, there needs to be some transparency, there needs to be ears listening and minds open and hearts open.”
Monica Moore wanted to do her part in spreading that message. Moore's cousin Lorenzo died in the Spokane County jail in 2015.
"He never made it past booking,” Moore said.
"His needs were not met because he was deemed a criminal."
As families like Moore's continue to heal, they are calling for change at the same time.
"These are actual people who have lost lives. These are children whose father is gone. There are family members who are suffering. And you know death is not a fit punishment, death due to negligence,” Sam said.