Lawrence County District Attorney investigating riot at Lawrence County Jail – About Your Online Magazine


NEW CASTLE — An incident that took place June 1 at the Lawrence County Jail is under criminal investigation through the office of Lawrence County District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa.

Lamancusa made that announcement Wednesday during the county prison board meeting.

“Charges are going to be filed in this case. We have witness statements,” Lamancusa said. “I can say based on my preliminary review of the evidence, this was not a peaceful protest.”

While Lamancusa didn’t want to reveal too many details regarding the incident due to it being an active investigation, jail Warden Brian Covert offered up some insight.

Covert said that day inmates at a housing unit refused to go into lockdown for lunch, as is protocol.

A jail captain instructed inmates to comply, which they did not do, which eventually led to a commotion.

Lamancusa said the situation was handled properly by jail personnel, but as the situation began to investigate, outside law enforcement agencies was needed to be brought in to deal with the inmates.

Covert said since that day, the entire housing unit is not being operated as an “RH” or restricted housing unit.

That means the inmates are locked up 23 hours a day, having one hour a day outside their cells.

He said there are currently around 30 inmates in that housing unit. Jail officials are reviewing the unit weekly to see when it no longer needs to be an RH unit.

Covert said some inmates have had issues with the showers, mail and computer kiosks, stating jail officials are working to address those concerns as quickly as possible.

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Paula Fonseca