Scott Statement on Virginia Attorney General’s Request for Federal Investigation of Hampton Roads Regional Jail
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s request that the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division open a pattern-or-practice investigation of the Hampton Roads Regional Jail:
“I commend Attorney General Herring for requesting a federal pattern-or-practice investigation of the Hampton Roads Regional Jail. The circumstances surrounding the death of Jamycheal Mitchell last year and the recent death of Henry Clay Stewart raise serious questions and concerns about this facility. These investigations can determine whether or not the constitutional rights of the incarcerated, as well as federal law, have been violated.
“Data on deaths that occur in jails, prisons, or in the process of arrest must also be collected to identify patterns and problems so that local, state and federal officials can assess what steps need to be taken to reduce incidences of avoidable deaths. That is why I sponsored the Death in Custody Reporting Act of 2013, which was signed into law by President Obama in December 2014. I am working closely with the Department of Justice to ensure that the law is fully implemented so that this data can be collected and evaluated.
“The recent deaths at Hampton Roads Regional Jail are an unfortunate reminder of the need for this data.”
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