“FBI Investigates Death of Intellectually Disabled Inmate at Virginia Prison”

By | July 25, 2023

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The FBI is investigating the death of an intellectually disabled inmate at a Virginia prison. Charles Givens, who was serving time for murder at the Marion Correctional Treatment Center, was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead in February 2022. A federal lawsuit filed by Givens’ sister alleges that he was “sadistically tortured” and beaten by correctional officers before his death.

The FBI’s involvement in the case was confirmed in an email from an FBI victim specialist to Givens’ sister’s attorney. The email stated that the case is currently under investigation and that the FBI cannot provide details about its progress at this time.

Givens’ sister, Kym Hobbs, welcomed the news of the FBI’s involvement and expressed hope that someone will take action. The lawsuit alleges that Givens had suffered routine abuse at the Marion facility before his fatal encounter.

Details of the lawsuit were first reported by NPR, which also raised broader questions about conditions at the facility that houses inmates with mental health issues. The lawsuit states that Givens had a traumatic brain injury and needed assistance and supervision with daily functioning. It also alleges that he was a “target of the Defendant correctional officers’ abuse” due to his Crohn’s disease.

An autopsy report determined that Givens’ cause of death was blunt force trauma of the torso, but the manner of death was undetermined. The correctional officers accused in the lawsuit have denied the allegations, and none have been charged with a crime.

The conditions at the Marion facility have raised concerns, including reports of inmates being hospitalized for hypothermia. A special grand jury impaneled last year described the living conditions in the prison sector housing mentally ill inmates as “unsuitable” and “inhumane.”

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The FBI’s investigation into Givens’ death brings hope for justice and accountability in a case that raises serious questions about the treatment of intellectually disabled inmates and the conditions in correctional facilities..