Justice Department demands changes at Hampton Roads jail, new decision on Parole Board report, Falwell apologizes for Instagram post, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

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• The U.S. Justice Department is demanding sweeping changes at Hampton Roads Regional Jail, where at least 22 people have died in custody since 2015. The department filed a consent decree in federal court that, if approved, will require the facility to increase staffing, provide better medical and mental care and stop using solitary confinement as an alternative to medical treatment. — The Virginian-Pilot

• Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration says the state inspector general will reverse course and give lawmakers an unredacted copy of a report that substantiated allegations the Virginia Parole Board mishandled the release of a man sentenced to life in prison for killing a Richmond Police Officer. Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate had been demanding the document’s release. — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• Falling state revenue amid the pandemic means $135 million in new state mental health programs have been put on hold. “This is going to be austere,” said Sen. Janet Howell, D-Fairfax. “The governor will be announcing his revenue forecast by the end of the week or the beginning of next week, and it isn’t going to be good.” — The Roanoke Times

• When the special session on COVID-19 and criminal justice begins later this month, the Virginia House of Delegates will meet at VCU’s basketball arena, the Siegel Center, to give lawmakers more room to spread out. — Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “At least four tornadoes touched down in and around the Hampton Roads area on Tuesday as a result of Tropical Storm Isaias.” — The Virginian-Pilot

• A North Carolina man pleaded guilty to threatening to burn down a predominantly Black church in Virginia Beach whose pastor participated in a prayer vigil for George Floyd. — The Virginian-Pilot

• “Federal prosecutors have charged 11 alleged members and associates of the MS-13 street gang with sex trafficking and other charges after they say a 13-year-old runaway was repeatedly beaten with a baseball bat and forced into prostitution in northern Virginia.” — Associated Press

• Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. apologized in a radio interview for a since-deleted Instagram post that shows him and a woman posing with their pants unzipped. “I’ve apologized to everybody and I promised my kids, I’m gonna try to be a good boy from here on out.” — HuffPost

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