The Alexandria city jail is in serious violation of the Virginia Department of Corrections code, according to a report being drafted by a team of state investigators who visited the jail last week.
Among the problems, said an investigator, are that the jail is too dirty, maintains inadequate records and has insufficient inmate grievance procedures.
"There's that--and more," said Philip Patton, head of the state Department of Corrections certification team. "They've got a pretty bad situation there all the way around. These are not just structural concerns. It goes a lot deeper than that."
The report comes less than a month after the release of a year-long study of the jail conducted by the Alexandria Medical Society at the request of Sheriff Michael Norris. That study found the jail, much of which was built in the early 19th century, a serious fire hazard.
Sheriff Norris was unavailable for comment yesterday, but Chief Deputy Michael O'Toole said, "Our record system is fine; our grievance procedure is more than adequate. The jail, all things considered, is as clean as could be expected. The building is working against us here, and we're overcrowded."
While the court-established inmate limit at the jail is 115, there were 126 prisoners being housed there yesterday, O'Toole said. "With crowding like that, you're housing is at best bad," he said.
The state report is scheduled to be delivered to Norris by next week. According to the certification procedures, the sheriff has one month after the report is received to draw up a plan to correct deficiencies. If the deficiencies are not corrected, the jail could lose its state operating money, which makes up about 50 percent of its annual budget.