Eileen Dinino, 55, died on Saturday in a cell at the Berks County Jail in Reading, Pa., reports local television station WFMZ.
She died one day into her two-day sentence.
Initial autopsy reports indicate that the cause of death was natural. However, the coroner is still waiting for toxicology tests to come back.
The number of truancy violations charged to Dinino because her kids played hooky was coincidentally the same as her age: 55. They had been accumulating since 1999.
Under Pennsylvania law, parents can go to jail for five days for every single time their kids have an unexcused school absence.
Dinino had the option to pay $2,000 in fines but she couldn’t afford it, reports The Washington Post.
The sentencing judge, Dean R. Patton, said he sentenced the mother to jail reluctantly. He later criticized the sentencing guidelines he said he was required to follow.
“This lady didn’t need to be there,” Patton said, according to the Post. “We don’t do debtors prisons anymore. That went out 100 years ago.”
Local politicians have also expressed outrage about Dinino’s death.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/06/14/mom-of-seven-died-in-this-prison-after-judge-jailed-her-for-her-kids-excessive-truancy/#ixzz34ijNmtso