Erie County Holding Center

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

After several years of talk about the death of Erie County Holding Center inmate India Cummings, local officials are hoping for definitive answers from a new investigation begun by New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood.

Media pool photo from 2010 tour of Erie County Holding Center

The 2016 death of 27-year-old India Cummings has raised many questions about the care of inmates at the Erie County Holding Center.  As part of our Mental Health Initiative, WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley finds out how inmates are screened for mental health while held at the jail.

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As the lawsuit for the death of India Cummings enters the discovery phase, more details are expected to become public about what a state Commission of Correction report calls a "homicide due to medical neglect."

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With the India Cummings death shifting toward a criminal investigation, a crowd turned out Thursday night in the Delavan Grider Community Center to discuss the case.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The public fight over the 2016 death of India Cummings moved to the steps of City Hall Thursday, as activists increase their calls for criminal prosecutions.

A state review board has issued a report on the death of India Cummings, who died at ECMC following her incarceration at the Erie County Holding Center. Ann Venuto, president of the Buffalo & Erie Co. chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, read the report. She says the Cummings case is another example of how most jails are not equipped to care for the mentally ill.


Avery Schneider / WBFO News

The death of 27-year-old India Cummings after more than two weeks at the Erie County Holding Center in 2016 was in the spotlight at County Hall on Wednesday, with criticism of the care and treatment of inmates there taking center stage.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

For two-and-a-half years, the death of India Cummings has  raised questions. Cummings died after spending 17 days at the Erie County Holding Center. Thursday brought another protest outside the Holding Center, in the wake of a state report that said homicide should be listed as the woman's cause of death.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Erie County Legislature Majority Leader April Baskin will hold a special session of the Public Safety Committee on Wednesday to review, line by line, the State Commission of Correction's Medical Review Board report on the death of India Cummings.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The state agency that investigates inmate deaths is out with scathing findings in the death of India Cummings, the 27-year-old Lackawanna woman who died in the custody of the Erie County Holding Center in February 2016.

Sheriff says deputies acted properly in jailhouse death

May 29, 2018
WBFO file photo/Michael Mroziak

The Erie County Sheriff's Office, New York State Commission on Corrections and US Department of Justice are investigating the death of an inmate, two days after he attempted suicide inside the Erie County Holding Center.

WBFO file photo

A new report on "problematic" jails names the Erie County Holding Center and the County Correctional Facility among the "worst" in the state.

New York State Office of Mental Health

The state Office of Mental Health estimates a third of those incarcerated in New York have some type of mental illness. So why are they locked up instead of in a mental health program? Actually, Erie County has become a leader in diverting these offenders from prison. Progress has been slow, but steady, using a national model of law enforcement called Crisis Intervention Teams.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard held a fundraiser Tuesday at the Deep South Taco restaurant in downtown Buffalo. Dozens of chanting protestors flanked the entrance as ticket buyers arrived.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Erie County Sheriff's Office is hailing an accreditation, awarded by a statewide association, for its Jail Management Division. It is an honor that recognizes the county's jail system for meeting a set of standards, but some are raising questions about several deaths and other incidents behind bars.


WBFO File Photo

With the primary in less than three weeks and the November general election soon after, political campaigns are heating up. The two candidates for Erie County Sheriff are making strong complaints about each other.

Six protestors arrested at Sheriff fundraiser

Jul 14, 2017
Fire Howard Coalition

Six people were arrested at an Orchard Park fundraiser for Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard Thursday evening.

A Cheektowaga man is being held without bail in the Erie County Holding Center, charged with the shooting death of his father.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

A year after India Cummings died at Erie County Medical Center, protestors were at the door of the Erie County Holding Center protesting her death and demanding changes. The lawyer for her family says the cause of death after 17 days in the Holding Center are now clear.

The local lawyer representing the family of a man who died in the Erie County Holding Center is praising the work of the New York State Commission of Correction. The commission issued its final report in the 2012 death of 35-year-old Robert Metcalf, finding it a homicide caused by improper restraint used by Erie County deputies.

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Protestors packed a conference room in the Central Library Downtown Thursday night to complain about the mysterious death of India Cummings after nearly three weeks in the Holding Center.


Mike Desmond/WBFO

The mysterious death of India Cummings in the Erie County Holding Center became very clear to rush hour traffic Tuesday night. Nearly two dozen protestors walked up Court Street to Niagara Square tangling and then stalling traffic.


WBFO's Mike Desmond

Community groups are renewing the call for reform inside the county's jail system. A Tuesday rally in downtown Buffalo highlighted the overcrowded  realities at the Erie County Holding Center and the Correctional Facility.


Chris Caya WBFO News

An Erie County Sheriff's Deputy is behind bars for allegedly smuggling drugs into the Holding Center in downtown Buffalo.

What began as just a traffic stop in Orchard Park turned into a number of charges and infractions for a Buffalo man.

Chris Caya, wbfo

A small group of activists outside the Erie County Holding Center were demanding "Justice for India" Wednesday. 

Photo provided by the Erie County Sheriff's Department

With a great deal of focus on improving graduation rates in the city of Buffalo, a program is underway at the Erie County Holding Center in Buffalo that is allowing teenage inmates to reach high school graduation. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley takes us inside.


WBFO News file photo / WBFO News

A West Side woman has been arrested in connection with the death of her baby.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

A repeat sexual predator is being held at the Erie County Holding Center after an arrest on Thursday.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

A deputy at the Erie County Holding Center has been injured while attempting to subdue an inmate.

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