Heavy rain has been infiltrating inmate cells and a cell block control room inside Washington, D.C.’s main jail in Southeast, the News4 I-Team has learned.
Correctional leaders say the severe leaks forced them to close one of the jail’s housing units and move at least 120 inmates into a separate part of the facility. Leaks in the Central Detention Facility's roof are causing growing problems inside the building.
An I-Team report in November revealed the city had requested $800,000 in emergency funding to make repairs and prevent further damage and problems. The first phase of the repair project was completed in December, including the caulking of sections of the roof above the jail’s administrative offices. I-Team cameras were permitted access to record images of water stains and leak-related damage inside the administrative areas of the jail.
A complete replacement of the roof is not scheduled to begin until April. Sections of roof above the inmate cells are not scheduled to be replaced until August.
The Department of General Services has a phased plan to address the remaining needed roof work and is handling additional problems as they occur, a spokesman said.
"We completed Phase 1 of roof repair as planned at the end of 2015 and have recently remedied focused water/leakage issues that were the result of inclement weather," he said. "We will continue to handle any unforeseen issues as needed in tandem with the remaining phased repairs."
In November, Taylar Nuevelle, a former DC inmate and spokeswoman for the Jail and Advocacy Project of University Legal Services, said the need for a new jail is urgent.
“It’s more than disrepair. It’s old and antiquated. It’s a disregard for our most marginalized citizens," Nuevelle said.