A recent Department of Justice report on the Erie County Holding Center following its weeklong visit earlier this month found the facility to be in sustained substantial compliance when it comes to security and correctional health.

That falls under the direction of the Sheriff's Office, after the law enforcement agency took control of inmate health from the county Health Department in 2016.

The Center's mental health division, however, under the direction of Erie County Mental Health was found only to be in partial compliance and subject to another review in six months.

"People are dying. And they should not be dying while they are in holding," said April Baskin, (D) Erie County legislative chair, District 2.

Baskin is still searching for answers following the death of Robert Ingalsbe, the fourth inmate to die in as many months.

That's 28 deaths under the watchful eye of Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard since he took office in 2005.

"Asking for more transparency and for more clarity, not just from the office of the sheriff, but from the state as well," said Baskin.

Ingalsbe's family, not Sheriff Howard, confirmed the inmate died at a local hospital following a suicide attempt last Friday. He was taken into custody Thursday on a robbery charge.

Insiders say the DOJ's recent visit was part of a 2011 settlement agreement with the Center, after a lawsuit was filed in 2009. The agreement will remain in place with county Mental Health only, until it can sustain substantial compliance for 18 months.

"I do want the Sheriff's Office to be in compliance to whatever structure is put in place for them to abide by," said Baskin.

While Center insiders tell Spectrum News they're pleased with the progress made — progress overshadowed by the number of deaths — Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz did not immediately return a request for comment on the issue.