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DC Jail Moves 400 Inmates After Accused Capitol Rioters Complained About Terrible Conditions

Around 400 inmates at the Washington, D.C., jail will be transferred to a federal prison in Pennsylvania after accused Capitol rioters complained about terrible conditions, the DCist reported on Wednesday.

A federal judge ordered an inspection of the facility after holding D.C. jail officials in contempt for not providing information about a Jan. 6 defendant’s medical treatment, according to the DCist. The inspection found “evidence of systemic failures” including toilets full of human waste and guards who kept food and water from inmates.

Jan. 6 defendants have allegedly been denied medical treatment and jail officials reportedly violated their rights, legal representation for around 40 of the inmates said, the DCist reported. However, the 40 defendants whose lawyers complained won’t be transferred out of the facility.

Around 1,400 inmates are currently at the D.C. jail about which advocates and local residents have tried for years to raise awareness related to the dismal conditions, according to the DCist.

The inspection “was prompted by recent and historical concerns raised regarding conditions at the DC DOC facilities, including those recently raised by various members of the judiciary,” the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The U.S. Marshal’s inspection of CDF [Central Detention Facility] revealed that conditions there do not meet the minimum standards of confinement as prescribed by the Federal Performance-Based Detention Standards,” according to the U.S. Marshals.

The U.S. Marshals investigation included around 300 interviews with D.C. jail inmates, according to the statement. The inspection also found the water was shut off in several cells for multiple days so inmates couldn’t wash their hands or flush their toilets, the DCist reported.

“Evidence of drug use was pervasive, and marijuana smoke and odor were widespread,” according to a memo from acting U.S. marshal for D.C. Lamont J. Ruffin, the DCist reported. Several inmates were injured and hadn’t received medical treatment, and guards antagonized inmates and didn’t follow COVID-19 guidelines.

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