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Allegheny County jail inmates have long waits for mental health care

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

On today’s episode of The Confluence:

Over the weekend, 59 year old Douglas Bonomo of McKeesport died in the Allegheny County Jail’s mental health unit. He was facing charges of indecent assault and was awaiting court ordered transfer to Torrance State Hospital for treatment. Torrance State Hospital is a public psychiatric facility about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh. Vic Walczak, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, explains the process incarcerated people go through to get treatment, and how so many are facing long wait times. (0:00 - 9:14)

Members of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, an indigenous tribe in the region, are urging state lawmakers to formally recognize their existence. They are circulating a petition to bring attention to the issue. Chief Adam Waterbear DePaul, is the tribal story keeper and director of education for the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, and he tells us how the members have persevered, maintaining traditions and education of the community, despite lacking recognition from the state. (9:26 - 18:07)

Bedford Dwellings, a housing complex in the Hill District, has received a $50 million neighborhood revitalization grant. The funds will go toward rebuilding the city’s oldest housing development and adding new housing on the site. WESA reporter Kate Giammarise covered the announcement of this funding and tells us how it will be used. (18:23 - 22:30)

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in Monday to Friday at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here for wherever you get your podcasts. 

Addison is a Junior at Point Park University, majoring in Broadcast Reporting. She is the News Director for Point Park's campus station, U-View Television and reports on the show Daybreak. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her cat, Soup.
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