Salem Radio Network News Thursday, December 2, 2021

U.S.

Washington, D.C., strikes deal with Justice Dept to improve jail conditions

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The city of Washington has reached an agreement with the U.S Marshals Service to improve its jail facility, after a surprise federal inspection last month uncovered substandard conditions, Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Wednesday.

“We all agree: everyone who is in our jail or under our supervised care should be treated humanely and have safe conditions,” Bowser said in a statement.

The accord comes after the inspection’s findings led the U.S. Marshals Service, part of the Justice Department, to remove 400 federal inmates https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-marshals-remove-400-detainees-dc-jail-due-poor-conditions-2021-11-02 from one of the D.C. Department of Corrections facilities and relocate them to a federal prison in Pennsylvania.

The D.C. jail has come under scrutiny in recent months, with attorneys for some of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendants complaining about poor conditions, lack of access to medical care and challenges with their clients being able to review evidence and assist in their own defense.

In one case, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-judge-says-dc-jail-violated-civil-rights-jan-6-defendant-2021-10-13 held top Department of Correction officials in contempt for impeding access to medical care for one defendant.

He also referred the matter to the Justice Department for a civil rights inquiry.

The inspection, which took place in the week of Oct. 18, looked at two D.C. facilities – a treatment facility and the Central Detention Facility.

It did not uncover problems in the facility where Jan. 6 defendants are housed but did uncover problems with the Central Detention Facility.

Under the memorandum of understanding between the city and the Justice Department announced on Wednesday, they agreed to work together to assess the conditions and remediate them.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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