BEAVER, WV (WVNS) — According to Attorney Steven New, of New, Taylor & Associates, 150 inmates and multiple correctional officers joined together for a federal civil rights lawsuit citing deplorable living conditions at the Southern Regional Jail (SRJ) in Raleigh County.
A 30-day notice of their intent to file the lawsuit was given on July 26, 2022. SRJ reportedly has 30 days from when the letter of intent was filed to provide their response.
Attorney Steven New said he and three other attorneys, Robert Dunlap, Tim Lupardus and Zach Witten, have proof of less than sub-par living conditions and other actions within SRJ.
New also stated, while the joint lawsuit involves 150 inmates and multiple correctional officers, there will also be individual lawsuits. New said the cases could be coming out waves, considering the mass amount of cases being looked at. Cases of violence or serious medical malpractice will be brought to court separate from the joint lawsuit.
According to New, several correctional officers came forward backing up claims made by inmates.
“If we come forth with just the evidence we have right now, pictures and videos of the overcrowding and the absolute inhumane conditions within the West Virginia Jail system, I think even the most anti-criminal person in the world would say that’s still someone’s loved one.”Attorney Steven New | New, Taylor & Associates
New also cited a case involving client of Attorney Tim Lupardus, where an inmate was allegedly able to be stabbed in his cell 16 times due to broken cell doors. New also spoke on apparent unchecked gang-activity running rampant within the prison.
“Thing like this, here in the United States, just should not go on, and that is what we hope to accomplish with this case.”Attorney Steven New | New, Taylor & Associates
The potential lawsuit comes just months after the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security’s investigation into allegations of poor conditions at Southern Regional Jail did not find evidence of poor conditions.
59News reached out to both SRJ and the WV Division of Corrections. They were unable to provide any statement or additional information at this time.
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