EXCLUSIVE: Governor calls for formal investigation into conditions at Southern Regional Jail

Published: Mar. 30, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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BEAVER, W.Va. (WVVA) - A representative for Governor Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia, tells WVVA News a formal investigation is being launched into the conditions inside Southern Regional Jail (SRJ).

Specifically, the Governor is directing the Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Jeff Sandy to open a complete investigation into these allegations of the inhumane treatment of inmates and to report back as soon as possible.

In a statement released exclusively to WVVA, the Governor said:

“I have directed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeff Sandy, who oversees our Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, to immediately open a complete investigation into these allegations and report back to me as soon as possible. I believe that our Corrections employees are absolute professionals, who are tasked with a really tough job and, in the face of those duties, do tremendous work. But these are serious allegations. So we need to get to the bottom of what’s really happening.”

The new development comes on the same day a guard who has been in contact with WVVA News said the quarantine section at the jail was closed as of Tuesday, and inmates are no longer in lockdown in that particular section, except those in protective custody. It was the quarantine section specifically where a former and current guard raised concerns over inmates being denied access to water.

WVVA News will continue to follow new developments on this story.

See past coverage here:

Second guard backs up claim inmates being denied water at Southern Regional Jail (wvva.com)

Southern Regional Jail guard confirms inmates going days without water (wvva.com)

Girlfriend of inmate complains of overcrowded conditions at SRJ after death of inmate (wdtv.com)

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