RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Board of Corrections became legally responsible for overseeing jail death investigations over 105 days ago and has yet to launch a single probe.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports a law spurred by the 2015 death of 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell took effect in July, and the Department of Corrections hasn’t hired the lone, part-time investigator funded in a compromise for full-time positions.
No single agency had been responsible for scrutinizing jail deaths until it was assigned to gubernatorial appointees on the board, which was reconstituted to bring in experts to review suspicious cases.
Mitchell, who had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was jailed on charges that he stole $5 in snacks from a 7-Eleven. A medical examiner said he died four months later of heart failure and severe weight loss.
Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com