Prisoners Removed from Va. Jail

July 16, 2010

Security concerns have prompted the U.S. Marshals Service to remove all its federal prisoners from the Portsmouth City Jail.

Twenty to 25 federal prisoners were moved to other facilities in the region last week. The decision follows the escape of a federal prisoner on June 17.

U.S. Marshal John Hackman says the agency doesn't have an issue
with the jail itself, but security must be improved. Sheriff Bill Watson says the city has forced him to cut staff and failed to repair vehicles.

The inmate escaped by jumping out of a van. Deputies said broken rivets inside the van's cage enabled the inmate to unlock the back door.

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