Virginia jail review committee recommends closure of Hampton Roads Regional Jail

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A state panel has recommended the de-certification and closure of the long troubled Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth.

10 On Your Side got a copy of the nearly 25-page report from the Virginia Board of Local and Regional Jails. An investigation found the deaths of several inmates between December 2018 and February 2019 could have been prevented, and a review committee says the jail staff failed to provide minimum acceptable levels of care and compliance.

The committee found that the conditions at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail represent a significant public safety threat to inmates and officers. 10 On Your Side uncovered staffing issues at HRRJ in November 2020 and an independent monitor found it was “critical” for HRRJ leadership to find a solution for the staffing shortage.

The committee also found there is no reasonable chance of bringing the facility into compliance with minimum standards.

The committee will recommend that the board de-certify the jail and order the inmates be transferred to the custody of the jurisdiction of origin. Norfolk and Chesapeake announced earlier this year they would pull inmates from the jail.

In 2018, the Department of Justice found that the conditions at HRRJ were in violation of inmates’ basic constitutional rights and protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The jail has 21 days to file a notice objecting to the preliminary findings and recommended penalties.

Click here to read the DOJ findings.

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