Last week the U.S. Marshall’s Service conducted an inspection of DC’s Department of Corrections facilities and determined that the main jail did not meet federal standards. As a result, the Marshall’s Service planned to move approximately 400 jail residents to the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa.
On Wednesday, Nov. 10, as reported in the DCIST, the District entered into an agreement with the federal government promising to improve living conditions at the D.C. Jail. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Chris Geldart stated, at a D.C. Council oversight hearing, that a memorandum of understanding had been executed with the Marshals Service. saying that the two parties will work together “to provide a collaborative, accurate assessment of conditions of confinement” at the jail and then create and execute a plan to fix problems.
Marshall’s Service inspectors had described cell toilets clogged with human waste, a pervasive smell of marijuana throughout the jail, and witnessing guards punitively withhold food and water from jail residents, among other problems. Geldart provided few specifics in the hearing about the exact steps DOC would take to fix conditions but promised a “top to bottom” examination of operations at the jail.