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Call for Richmond jail investigation

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking for a federal investigation into conditions at the Richmond City Jail.

ACLU of Virginia made the request in a letter to the Department of Justice on Tuesday, citing the recent deaths of two inmates. One death was due to heat exhaustion, while the cause of the other has not been determined.

The ACLU says the deaths are the result of “unconstitutionally harsh conditions” at the jail.

ACLU of Virginia executive director Kent Willis pointed to a news report last week in which Sheriff C.T. Woody said temperatures inside the jail, which is not air conditioned, can reach up to 120 degrees when the mercury hits triple-digits outside.

The sheriff's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ACLU letter.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  |  July 6, 2010; 12:54 PM ET
Categories:  Prison Beat , Virginia  
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Maybe this is something Virginia's Attorney General should be spending a little time on inbetween trying to disprove global climate change and fighting universal healthcare.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 6, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

A jail that is uncomfortable and has no air condition is considered cruel? Perhaps the ACLU should instruct folks not to commit crimes and return to the jail. Whoops, asking for a little common sense. Please accept my apologies.

Posted by: ski1707 | July 6, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

you know ski1707, guards have to work inside the jail at the same temperature inmates do. Temps as high as 120 degrees are not only deadly for inmates, they are for guards too. Also consider some guards might have to wear additional clothing and bullet proof vests.
And incase you didn't know, some people in jail are waiting trial and are innocent until proven guilty.

It seems you are the one without common sense.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 6, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

120 degrees is too hot for anyone, inmates or guards. Just because someone commits a crime doesn't mean that they should have to suffer in this manner. In the U.S. people are incarcerated for things that are legal in other countries. For example, if you use an antibiotic without a prescription you're breaking the law and can be jailed for it in the U.S., even though it's legal to do this in most of the world. Prostitution is illegal here but legal in some parts of the world. I don't think that people who commit these types of crimes should have to endure 120 degree heat!

Posted by: ANONS | July 6, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

ken cuccinelli could not care less. this won't get him headlines and his own governor job in the future. sorry people. i'm usually the one who doesn't give prisoners a bone. however, this is not right.

Posted by: FiatBooks | July 6, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

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