After completing an inspection of the District of Columbia prison complex, the U.S. Marshals Service determined that suspects in the January 6 Capitol riot held at the facility need not be removed, the Associated Press reported.
The suspects had complained about the conditions of the jail, and a federal judge asked the Justice Department to conduct an investigation after holding the DC Correctional Director and the prison officer in contempt.
The complex houses local and federal defendants who are set to be tried. Although Marshals determined that the conditions in the facility where the suspects were detained on January 30 were satisfactory, a secondary prison building was found not to live up to the minimum standards. About 400 inmates from the facility will be transferred to another complex in Pennsylvania, federal officials said.
Christopher Geldart, Washington’s deputy mayor for public safety and justice, described federal officials’ findings about the second prison building’s condition as “deeply worrying” in a statement. Local officials are working “regularly” on structural repairs to the aging facility, he said.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
Geldart said city officials worked with the federal government to obtain the Marshals Service’s full report and have also requested a copy of a recent inspection by the prison’s independent oversight body.
“We take the responsibility of caring for justice-involved DC residents seriously and believe they should remain in DC,” he said. “The DOC management is evaluating the relocation of inmates within the facility so that the issues raised can be resolved efficiently and quickly.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland had said during congressional testimony last month that the marshals conducted the inspection and the Department of Justice “conducted a review” of the conditions in the jail.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth had summoned prison officials to court last month in the case of Christopher Worrell, a member of the Proud Boys who has been charged in the Jan. 6 attack, who was delayed medical treatment for a broken wrist. He had been recommended for surgery in June but had still not undergone the procedure by mid-October, in part due to a delay by prison officers in handing over medical documents.
Worrell has been accused of attacking police officers with a pepper spray gel, and prosecutors have claimed he traveled to Washington and coordinated with the Proud Boys before the siege.
Other defendants on Jan. 6, who were held in jail, have denied what they say are deplorable conditions there.
More than 630 people have been charged in the riot on January 6, when thousands of pro-Trump supporters stormed the building in an attempt to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.