Nearly 400 inmates at the D.C. Jail will be moved to a different correctional facility after a surprise inspection by the U.S. Marshals Service uncovered substandard conditions, officials said Tuesday.
“The U.S. Marshal’s inspection of [the D.C. Jail] revealed that conditions there do not meet the minimum standards of confinement as prescribed by the Federal Performance-Based Detention Standards,” USMS said.
As a result, USMS said all of the inmates under its custody at the D.C. Jail, also known as the Central Detention Facility, will be transferred to a federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
Marshals began the unannounced inspection on Oct. 18, five days after a federal judge in the District called for the DOJ to investigate whether D.C. correctional staff are violating the rights of inmates charged in the Jan. 6 riot.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth made the comments after ruling that D.C. Department of Corrections Director Quincy Booth and Warden Wanda Patten must be held in contempt for alleged medical mistreatment of Jan. 6 detainee Chris Worrell.
USMS, however, said that none of the federal inmates facing Capitol riot charges will be transferred because they are all housed in the D.C. DOC Central Treatment Facility, where conditions were deemed to be adequate.
“The U.S. Marshal’s inspection of CTF did not identify conditions that would necessitate the transfer of inmates from that facility at this time,” USMC said.
Meanwhile, a top USMS official sent a letter this week to the D.C. Corrections Department describing the unsanitary conditions at the D.C. Jail which houses roughly 1,500 male inmates, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
Marshals reportedly saw many cells in which water “had been shut off for days,” as well as multiple cells with “large amounts” of human waste in the toilets.
They also allegedly observed jail staff “antagonizing” inmates and telling them “not to cooperate” with the marshals’ inspection, including an instance in which a staffer told an inmate to “stop snitching.” Food and water were said to be withheld from inmates as punishment and “Evidence of drug use was pervasive.”
The Washington Times sent a request for comment on Tuesday to t
Asked for comment, the D.C. Department of Corrections provided a statement from Christopher Geldart, the city’s deputy mayor for Public Safety and Justice.
Mr. Geldart said the USMS allegations are “deeply concerning.”
“We take seriously the responsibility of caring for justice-involved D.C. residents and believe they should remain in D.C.,” he said. “DOC leadership is evaluating moving inmates within the facility so that issues raised can be addressed efficiently and expeditiously.”