PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — The Justice Department says it will investigate conditions at a Virginia jail after two inmate deaths attracted attention and sparked local investigations.
The department said Monday in a press release that it will determine if inmates receive proper medical care and psychological services.
Virginia's attorney general had asked the department to investigate the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth. Jail officials have denied any wrongdoing and have said they would welcome any probe.
Since 2012, 18 inmates have died. The causes of death have ranged from internal bleeding to heart problems to a suicide.
Among them is Jamycheal Mitchell. He died at the jail last year. The 24-year-old mentally ill man was arrested after stealing junk food. He died four months later from heart failure accompanied by severe weight loss.