A federal judge in the District on Wednesday called for the Justice Department to investigate whether staff at the D.C. Jail are violating the rights of inmates detained on charges in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, according to media reports.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth made the comments after ruling that D.C. Department of Corrections Director Quincy Booth and Warden Wanda Patten be held in contempt, NBC News reported.
The jail officials could reportedly face civil penalties for failing to follow court orders requiring them to provide medical records for defendant Chris Worrell, who says staff failed to properly address his broken hand after a doctor recommended he receive surgery in June.
Judge Lambert said he would refer the case to U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to determine if the jail is violating the rights of Capitol riot defendants, the news outlet said.
Mr. Worrell is accused of using chemical spray on police during the Capitol riot. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assaulting a police officer and obstructing Congress’ certification of the presidential election.
The Justice Department has charged more than 600 people so far for their roles in the Capitol riot. Some have complained of harsh treatment in jails by staff and fellow inmates.
The Washington Times sent a request for comment on Wednesday to the D.C. Department of Corrections and the Justice Department.