Crime & Safety

Inmate in Richmond jail found died earlier this week, third this year in the same jail. Leaders seek answers.

Richmond, Virginia – A total of three Richmond City Jail inmates have died so far this year, with the latest death taking place earlier this week, the Richmond City Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a statement on Monday.

According to the local authorities, an inmate who was in custody when the death occurred was reportedly experiencing a medical emergency at the correctional facility, and medical units from the Richmond Fire Department and the Richmond Ambulance Authority and the Richmond Police Department were immediately alerted to the inmate’s condition. Two days later, no additional details are given to the public by the officials, who cite an ongoing investigation into the incident.

The identity of the victim hasn’t been released yet, but according to a recent report by WRIC, the inmate was Vance Holloway. According to unofficial sources known to the local station, the inmate was found in the early morning hours of Monday around 6 a.m., and there were reportedly drugs in the cell where the inmate was located. None of this is officially confirmed yet, however.

Last month, a female inmate was found dead in the same jail just three days after she was arrested on drug possession and assault charges. The initial reports indicated that the death was caused by a drug overdose, but no official information about the cause of death has been provided.

Monday’s death was the third inmate death so far this year. Some of the city’s leaders want to know what’s going on in the Richmond City Jail and why three inmates have died since the start of the year. Councilwoman Reva Trammell, who also serves as the Chair of the Public Safety Standing Committee, has been the most vocal this week, and she has openly sought responsibility from Sheriff Antionette Irving, who she claimed is performing subpar in managing affairs at the jail.

In November, after the second inmate’s death this year, Trammell called on the state leaders, more specifically the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, to investigate if the jail is managed as it’s expected to be. This week, Trammell once again called for the same actions.

In addition, Trammell raised the labor shortage and deputy assault questions.

The death of a Richmond City Jail inmate comes just one day after the Virginia Department of Corrections confirmed the death of an inmate at Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone Gap on Sunday afternoon. According to the department, the inmate was transferred to a hospital for treatment after sustaining serious injuries in an apparent attack by another inmate.

The victim was identified as Carl Wilkins, 33, who was pronounced dead at an area hospital. Wilkins was reportedly found unresponsive in his cell. There is also an ongoing investigation into this incident.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), a growing number of inmates have died in jails and prisons across the country in recent years. Virginia also follows that trend.

Deaths in Virginia jails had been running between 40 and 44 in recent years, but last year, 71 inmates died, the Board of Local and Regional Jails’ annual review found. At any given time, there are more than 20,000 inmates in the state of Virginia.

Viola Higgins

I’m a mother of 2 little angels that I continuously try to figure out and spend the other half figuring out how to be a great wife. Writing is my passion and I write regularly for the Virginian Tribune and several other national news outlets.

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