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Civil suits claim mistreatment of inmates at RSW Regional Jail

20 February 2020 Shenandoah County Front Royal/Warren County News


Timothy Smith, an inmate at RSW Regional Jail, has filed two civil suits in Shenandoah County Circuit Court against the jail and the jail’s superintendent, Russell Gilkison, claiming various levels of mistreatment.

The first suit asks the jail to allow inmates to purchase books, bibles, and magazines at RSW. To minimize the risk of contraband entering the facility, RSW Regional Jail inmates aren’t allowed to purchase outside reading material of any kind. However, the jail does provide inmates with a free electronic tablet that has more than 60,000 free books, including religions materials. Smith is also requesting $500,000 in monetary damages, claiming his religious rights were violated.

The second suit includes two other inmates and alleges the jail is preventing inmates from filing grievances for mistreatment. Smith said that “Instead of providing a grievance to inmates at the initial phase of complaint—inmates are ‘forced’ to file an inmate request form to seek and obtain an actual grievance form.” The suit requests that the initial inmate request form be removed and also requests $1 million in monetary damages divided between the three inmates who brought the suit forward.

The jail asked the court to dismiss both suits with prejudice, which would prevent the plaintiffs from bringing them back. The court has not ruled on the requests.

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