The US Justice Department is reviewing conditions at Washington DC’s local jail after a judge held top officials there in contempt for impeding access to medical care for a defendant in the US Capitol riots, Attorney General Merrick Garland says.
“The Justice Department is conducting a review,” Garland told lawmakers during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on a wide range of topics.
The Justice Department’s US Marshals Service recently inspected the jail and the department’s Civil Rights Division “is examining the circumstances,” Garland added.
The review comes after US District Judge Royce Lamberth on October 13 held District of Columbia Department of Corrections Director Quincy Booth and Warden Wanda Patten in contempt for failing to turn over notes from a doctor for defendant Christopher Worrell.
Worrell, a Florida man who is a self-proclaimed member of the Proud Boys group, is facing numerous criminal charges for his role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol, including assaulting police and civil disorder.
He suffers from non-Hodgkin lymphoma and broke his hand while in custody in May.
Although a doctor in June recommended surgery for the injury, US marshals were unable to arrange it because jail officials delayed in turning over notes with the doctor’s diagnosis.
In his ruling, Judge Lamberth said he would refer the matter to the Justice Department for a civil rights investigation.