PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The State Board of Local and Regional Jails established new terms for keeping the Riverside Regional Jail open on Thursday. Multiple inmates have died at the jail since 2019 and the facility faced numerous allegations of poor conditions, neglect and staffing shortages.
On Wednesday, the state board voted to a consent agreement with Riverside Regional Jail to keep the facility open. A jail review committee voted to decertify the jail back in April.
During a meeting on Thursday, the Riverside Regional Jail board and state board came to an agreement to improve the jail conditions.
The jail has already replaced the mental and medical health provider, the new terms also call for the installation of electronic security inspection system. The jail board agreed to adding three internal audit procedures.
The agreement will last two years, during that time if there are any suspected violations the state board and jail must work together to address and fix them. If the violations aren’t handled properly, the state board could take action.
Thursday’s agreement also brings the pending investigations of three inmate deaths to an end. 8News is working to learn more details on the resolutions of these investigations.
The meeting started with a presentation from a criminal justice consulting group that studied the jail. A representative from the group stated that the facility was in “a good state of repair” and that “living conditions were very satisfactory.”
The consulting group said that previous allegations had been made about bugs and vermin at the jail but none were seen during their inspection.
As for claims of staffing shortages, Superintendent Col. Larry Leabough said that the jail is down 14 officers. There are other positions open but those roles do not need to be filled at this time due to the jail having open wings.
Since June, the jail has hired 47 new workers.
“Since we changed the salary structure, we’ve been getting a lot of applications,” Leabough said.
The starting pay for jail officers recently went up from $36,000 to $40,000 and existing staff got a 5% pay raise.