The D.C. Jail has a culture of unconstitutional conditions and inhumane treatment of residents and employees. The conditions within the D.C. Department of Corrections' facilities have been exposed to the public over the last two years, and we have repeatedly taken DOC to court to address the health and safety needs of individuals living and working at the D.C. Jail.
Last month, we filed a suit on behalf of Sgt. Deon Jones <[link removed]>, a 24-year veteran of the DOC employed at the D.C. Jail. He is suing the District and five DOC employees for sexual orientation and disability discrimination, retaliation, and a severely hostile work environment because he is a gay man.
Sgt. Jones's ordeal is not the only instance of discrimination against LGBTQ+ people who work or reside in the D.C. Jail. This past May, we filed suit on behalf of Sunday Hinton <[link removed]>, a trans woman who was housed in the men's unit at the D.C. Jail, to seek policy changes to ensure that the Jail will respect the humanity and dignity of trans individuals in custody.
The D.C. Jail's dangerous environment also includes the life-threatening lack of COVID-19 precautions <[link removed]>—the subject of yet another lawsuit we filed against DOC. Residents from DOC facilities report the denial of prompt medical care to residents with COVID symptoms, lack of proper screening of visitors , and lack of access to adequate personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
The overall conditions are so bad that in November, after the U.S. Marshals Service found inhumane conditions and treatment of incarcerated people at the D.C. Jail facility known as the Central Detention Facility (or "CDF"), the Marshals Service transferred more than a hundred residents in federal custody to a prison in Pennsylvania.
All this has led us to urge Mayor Muriel Bowser, Deputy Director for Public Safety and Justice Christopher Geldart, and DOC Director Quincy Booth to move as many residents as possible to the Central Treatment Facility and immediately address the urgent health and safety needs at CDF <[link removed]>.
The residents and employees of D.C. correctional facilities do not deserve to suffer through appalling conditions and treatment. As we continue to fight the Department of Corrections, we hope to send a strong message to D.C. officials that they need to make systemic and dramatic improvements to the conditions in which D.C. Jail residents and staff live and work.