A 55-year old mother of seven was found dead in her jail cell in a Pennsylvania jail on Saturday morning. Eileen DiNino of Reading, Pennsylvania was arrested and sent to prison for the weekend after she was unable to pay the 2,000 dollars in fines she received for her children’s truancy, according to WTRF News. State police say the mother of seven was found unresponsive in the Berks County Prison. The cause of death is still undetermined, and according to WFMZ, legislators are questioning how she died and why she was sent to jail in the first place.
The judge who sentenced DiNino explained that according to the law, it was the only option for erasing the fines the woman had accrued after her children had shipped school. The truancy fines had been accumulating since 1999. DiNino had 55 violations against her after her children missed numerous days of school. According to the judge, state law allows for five days in jail for each violation, so the sentence was lenient. “That unfortunately is part of the law in Pennsylvania and I think it is insanity. There has got to be a better way to deal with truancy than putting somebody in prison,” Christian Leinbach, the County commissioner, explained.