July 29, 2012
The mortality rate at the crowded, overheated Richmond City Jail has been far above the national average for facilities of its size the past dozen years.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Sunday the rate was 2.5 times higher than the national average.
Dr. Marc Stern is the former medical director for prisons in Washington state who now is a consultant for the U.S. Justice Department. He said there are two possible explanations for the high number of deaths at the city jail. Either people being arrested and jailed in Richmond are sicker than their counterparts in other American cities or the Richmond prisoners are getting inferior medical care.
Sheriff C.T. Woody Jr. said most of the inmates enter his jail with health problems and many have mental-health problems.