Allegheny County Jail

Allegheny County Jail (ACJ) in Pittsburgh is a brutal, death-making institution fueled by the county’s apartheid policing and court systems, which ensnare Black, Brown, and poor people at an extremely disproportional rate.

On an average day, around 1,600-1,800 people are caged at ACJ, including as many as several dozen children. Many are in dire need of mental and physical health treatment, and the majority have disabilities. But ACJ fails dismally at providing appropriate care for its vulnerable population.

People incarcerated at ACJ are regularly subjected to solitary confinement despite a voter referendum in 2021 that put stringent limitations on the circumstances in which the jail may use the inhumane practice. Living conditions are horrible and inhumane: sanitation and hygiene supplies and services, environmental conditions, and food, are routinely subpar or worse. And the jail staff’s brutality and negligence are literally criminal.

ALC’s litigation, communications, and organizing teams, including our Court Watch program, have been engaged in an extensive and prolonged battle to address these entrenched human rights abuses, decarcerate ACJ, and support and advocate for those who are trapped inside and their loved ones.

A sample of ALC’s legal work, reporting, and media coverage related to ACJ is below. To learn more about all the ways we’re fighting to dismantle it and its feeder institutions, search for Allegheny County Jail and related Topics on our homepage.