AC at DC Detention Facility Hasn't Worked For Days, Man Says

A man says the facility was so hot that the stainless steel bed in his cell burned his skin

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Javon walked out of Central Cell Block this evening dehydrated, his skin as dry as paper.

His jaw is wired shut.

He says it was broken, and his wrist was injured, after police were called for an incident at his home that ended in his arrest.

He was brought to Central Cell Block from the emergency room Saturday. Javon describes the inside of the facility as airless and sweltering.

He says the stainless steel bed in his cell burned his skin.

He was in pain, could barely breathe and could not eat the sandwich offered him because of his injured jaw, Javon says.

The post-arrest detention facility has been without air-conditioning and ventilation since at least Saturday, News4 has learned.


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On Monday, Javon says he was told he was being released without being charged, and without a hearing.

Taylar Nuevelle, founder of Who Speaks for Me, advocates for the closing of Central Cell Block, known as CCB.

"It's out of date, it's antiquated, it's a place that can be closed down. We have eight precincts in this city, and there is no reason why we can't hold people there," Nuevelle said.

During a heatwave last July, Central Cell Block was without air conditioning for more than four days.

The D.C. Department of Corrections on Tuesday said that everyone had been moved out of the Central Cell Block and repairs were underway.

"A Department of General Services (DGS) contractor is currently onsite at the Central Cell Block (CCB) to complete repairs to the air conditioning system. As soon as the DC Department of Corrections became aware of the issue, we immediately stopped allowing intakes at CCB (this was approximately at 10:30AM on Monday, May 30th).  All those remaining at CCB yesterday, were seen by the Court and either released or held over. There are currently no arrestees at CCB. MPD has agreed to hold all arrestees at the MPD Districts until the cooling issue has been resolved."

Correction (May 31, 2022 at 6:30 a.m.): Central Cell Block is located at the Metropolitan Police Headquarters, not the D.C. Superior Court. This article has been updated.

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