Judge criticizes jail on inmate’s mental health treatment

NORTH PRINCE GEORGE, Va. (AP) — A judge has sharply criticized administrators at a regional jail in Virginia for their mishandling of an inmate in need of psychiatric care.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Chesterfield General District Judge Pamela O’Berry told two top administrators at the Riverside Regional Jail that their handling of the inmate is a “frightening commentary” on the jail’s inadequate mental health services.

O’Berry made her comments Tuesday during a court hearing on the treatment of inmate Niesha Smith. The judge accused administrators of lying and mishandling her order to transfer Smith to a state hospital for an evaluation after Smith exhibited extreme mental health distress.

The judge told the administrators she was “not going to let this go away” and said she will closely monitor the jail during the next 60 days.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com

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