A woman dies in prison, and her death is now making national news. People in Pennsylvania are shocked by her death. Eileen DiNino was jailed for a 48 hour sentence earlier this month to cover fines related to the truancy of her children. She is the mother of seven children, and her children had a problem attending school regularly. Her boys had the most recent issues with school attendance. Corrections One reported on this sad story on June 17.
Eileen DiNino didn't know she would die while in jail. It is safe to say that no one did. She entered the facility on Friday night, and she was meant to spend only 48 hours in jail. When she was released, the fines she owed to the state would be forgiven. Eileen owed $2,000 in fines because of the truancy issue, and the fines went as far back as 1999. She had not paid for the fines in four years, according to CBS News. District Judge Dean R. Patton sentenced the woman to jail, and he wondered if she was "scared to death" when he learned about what happened to her.
The cause of her death is not yet known. The 55-year-old woman was found dead in her cell on Saturday by authorities at the Berks County Jail. She was halfway through her sentence when her body was discovered. The guards found her in her bunk, and she was unresponsive. She was taken to the hospital, and she was declared dead shortly after her arrival. With the cause of her death still unknown, many are wondering how a woman only meant to spend two days in jail ends up dead. Toxicology reports are pending, and those might shed more light on this odd death. An autopsy was done, and it revealed nothing.
The woman had nine active cases and 55 citations against her in the period between now and 1999, but your children not attending school properly is not a reason for death. The judge that sentenced her even admitted that she "should not have died alone in prison." He has "lost sleep" because of her death.
Senator Judy Schwank has also expressed her outrage over DiNino's death. She said the following, according to Corrections One: "I have questions as well as what happened to the woman in prison. How did it happen that she passed away? Did she need medical attention and not receive it. I cannot understand how someone ends up going to jail. They did not murder someone, they did not steal, they did not commit a felony. How does jail time equate to resolving this particular problem?"
DiNino was not the first person jailed for truancy fines in the state of Pennsylvania. In fact, over 1,600 have been jailed for unpaid fines since 2000. Patton had hoped to scare Dinino straight. He wanted her to clean up her act, and he revealed that it might have worked. When she showed up for her jail sentence, she had cleaned up her appearance, and she looked like a woman that was ready to change her life.
What happened in the 24 hours following her arrival at the prison? No one can really know what happened in her cell that day. Her life ended, and she has four children at home without a mother. There are three more that have grown up, but they still lost a mom too. Hopefully, some answers for what happened to this mother while in jail will come to light with more investigation.