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Woman, 37, dies at SCI pending court appearance

$1,200 bail too high, ACLU says
October 10, 2018

The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware is questioning the death of a Smyrna woman who was being held on about $1,200 bond in a Sussex County prison.

Tiffany Reeves, 37, was pronounced dead at 6:12 a.m. Oct. 8 at Sussex Correctional Institution, where she was being held on $1,202 bond while awaiting a future court date, said Jayme Gravell of the Delaware Department of Correction.

Gravell said no foul play is suspected, and Reeves' body was turned over to the state Division of Forensic Science. No further information was released.

Kathleen MacRae, executive director of the ACLU of Delaware, said Reeves should not have been held in prison on $1,202 bail for not paying fines.

“Putting people in prison because they cannot afford to pay fines is wrong and unconstitutional,” she said. “Setting a high cash bail for such people defies logic. We must end these practices and stop the tragedies they cause.”

Gravell said Reeves was taken into custody Oct. 5 following a court-issued capias for failure to appear. Court records show Reeves was scheduled to appear in Kent County Family Court at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 8. Her original charge was endangering the welfare of a child, Gravell said.