GREENSVILLE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — 8News is digging into concerns after another inmate died in custody at Greensville Correctional Center.
According to the Department of Corrections, the inmate was found unresponsive in his cell on Saturday, Oct. 14. Officers attempted life-saving measures, but the inmate did not survive.
A spokesperson for the DOC said the cause of death is under investigation; however, 8News sources shared the inmate died of a fentanyl overdose. This marks the fourth inmate death at the prison this year.
“It’s horrible,” said one concerned staff member who wished to stay anonymous. That staff member also shared concerns about the recent death of another worker in the prison’s parking lot.
Authorities said the female employee, a sergeant, was found dead in her car around 8:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 6.
The woman’s remains were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond for examination and autopsy, according to police; however, staff says they have not been told the cause. They also shared the woman’s body remained in her car for hours before she was discovered.
“No parking lot checks were done which could have led to her discovery on the same day of the occurrence,” said one concerned staff member.
In September, 8News reported on the staffing shortage inside the prison, which employees said was leading to issues within the facility.
“There’s definitely not enough COs [Correctional Officers],” one guard said. “It’s mentally and physically exhausting day to day. You never know what you’re going to run into. Sometimes you have to rely more on the inmates for your safety because you really can’t rely on your officers to get there.”
That guard said they’re often required to work 16 hour shifts. “We’re severely understaffed. They [inmates] could easily hurt anyone of us at any time. It’s scary.”
8News reached out to the Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) to learn where the department stands with its staffing numbers. A spokesperson responded with the following statement.
“The Virginia Department of Corrections does not release vacancy data for security personnel by individual location. Security staffing policies, plans, and specific levels are withheld to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of our security measures and prevent potential threats or breaches. It should be noted the DOC also employs a variety of strategies to augment staffing levels at sites experiencing high vacancy levels, and these rates alone are not a complete picture of staffing. For example, staff are often deployed across DOC locations to meet operational needs and support the overall public safety mission.“