NORFOLK, Va. - A former inmate and mom of an inmate at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail said the conditions at the jail are inhumane. They said no matter what their crime, inmates should be treated like human beings.
"I felt like he didn't care, you know?" said Stassi, a former inmate.
"The jail doesn't care. They don't care," said Beatrice Perry. Her son Adonis Perry is a current inmate.
Stassi, who was in the jail for 42 days for a nonviolent crime said, "I think the biggest thing for me was you know not being treated like a person."
The Justice Department announced Monday they are opening an investigation into the conditions at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail.
News 3 has been following conditions at the jail since August 2015, when inmate Jamycheal Mitchell died. Investigators determined Mitchell starved to death. He was in the jail for stealing $5 in snacks. In August of 2016, Henry Stewart died while serving time at the jail. His family claims the jail ignored his repeated requests to see a doctor.
That's something Perry said her son experienced.
"He was calling because they wouldn't give him his medicine. He was saying how bad his feet hurt. Could he see a doctor? They wouldn't let him see a doctor," said Perry. She added hearing how her son was suffering broke her heart. "It made me feel helpless because their responsible for them when they’re there. We couldn't, his family outside couldn't go there and bring him medicine and stuff."
Stassi said hearing about Mitchell and Stewart hits too close to home.
"It breaks my heart because I was there. I can't explain to other people if they haven't been in jail...it's just so sad," said Stassi.
Now, both she and Perry are grateful the Justice Department is finally taking action.
- Operational review to be conducted at Hampton Roads Regional Jail, sheriff says
- Hampton Roads Regional Jail Superintendent is out, Norfolk Sheriff temporarily taking over
- Man pleads for medical help, then dies in Hampton Roads Regional Jail
- Commonwealth’s Attorney requests additional investigation in Jamycheal Mitchell case
- Family of Portsmouth man found dead in jail files $60 million lawsuit
- Change in procedures and leadership at Hampton Roads Regional Jail