Investigating Jail and Prison Deaths in Virginia

Feb 23, 2017

Jamycheal Mitchell
Credit family photo

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The House Appropriations Committee has approved a compromise that would empower the state Board of Corrections to investigate inmate deaths in local and regional jails.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the panel unanimously approved the bill Monday.

If the General Assembly adopts the bill, it would allow the Board of Corrections to ask the Office of the Inspector General to conduct jail death investigations.

Earlier this month, lawmakers refused to reappoint Inspector General June Jennings because they were dissatisfied with her investigation into the 2015 death of 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell, who died in a Portsmouth jail cell after losing so much weight that his heart stopped.

The bill calls for $100,000 to be included in the budget to pay for the broadened investigative power by corrections staff members.