Judge Orders Inspection of DC Jail Following Lawsuit

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In the next 72 hours, inspectors will check the conditions inside a D.C. jail amid the coronavirus pandemic. There’s growing concern about the spread of COVID-19 inside the Southeast D.C. facility.

More than 40 inmates have tested positive, according to the D.C. Department of Corrections.

Some inmates have filed a class action lawsuit seeking early release and enhanced cleaning of the facility.

A judge ordered two independent inspectors to make an unannounced visit and review of the Central Treatment Facility. They are supposed to report back their  findings by Wednesday.

Those inspectors will be permitted to bring video equipment and cellphones with them for their inspection, items typically restricted inside the jail.

In court records released this weekend, inspectors are supposed to be checking when inmates qualify for testing, when they are isolated, if new inmates are quarantined for two weeks and if the thermometers are working properly.

They should also note whether inmates are given a weekly bar of soap.

In response to the lawsuit, the Department of Corrections said it has sufficient cleaning supplies and has increased the frequency with which it cleans common areas inside.

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