ACLU Asks DOJ to Investigate Richmond Jail
With temperatures in the Richmond City jail reportedly reaching 120 degrees, the ACLU has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate and possibly intervene. Charles Fishburne reports.
The ACLU of Virginia yesterday asked the United States Department of Justice to launch an investigation into conditions that, he said, recently led to at least one confirmed, possibly two, deaths from heat exhaustion at the Richmond City Jail.
Willis: We believe that the quickest remedy here is for the Department of Justice to do what it can do.
Kent Willis, ACLU’s Executive Director.
Willis: The Department of Justice has the authority to investigate and file lawsuits to relieve prison conditions that are considered 'cruel and unusual' under the constitution.
Willis says that's exactly what happened to shut down the old Spring Street Penitentiary.
Willis: We filed a lawsuit against them in the early 1990's, and the court looked at the state and said 'you have to close this facility and you've got 30 days to do it.'
City Sheriff C.T. Woody was not commenting yesterday, but has often complained about temperatures in the un-air-conditioned jail that can reach 120 degrees.
Charles Fishburne, WCVE News