POLITICS

DOJ Finds Deadly Hampton Roads Regional Jail Violates Constitution, Federal Law

A HuffPost investigation found that the Virginia jail had one of the highest death rates in the country.

WASHINGTON ― A Justice Department civil rights investigation has concluded that a deadly Virginia jail violated the constitutional rights of detainees by providing inadequate medical and mental health care and placing mentally ill detainees in restrictive housing.

Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia, gained national attention after the 2015 death of Jamycheal Mitchell, a mentally ill 24-year-old who spent nearly four months behind bars after being accused of stealing about $5 worth of groceries. The jail was spotlighted in HuffPost’s jail death series, which found it to be among the deadliest facilities in the country. One detainee death uncovered by the project was that of Mark Goodrum, a stroke victim who died in custody because he was unable to afford his $100 bail on a charge alleging he smoked marijuana in his apartment.

A Justice Department investigation released Wednesday found that Hampton Roads Regional Jail “fails to provide constitutionally adequate medical and mental health care to prisoners, including by placing prisoners with serious mental illness in restrictive housing for prolonged periods of time under conditions that violate the Constitution.” The probe began during the Obama administration, in December 2016.

The report is embedded below. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.