Cops, Courts & Prisons


Originally published in the Winter 2020 edition of the Virginia Defender, issue 61, printed February 17. Reproduced here in for accessibility and archival purposes. To find other stories in the Winter 2020 issue or to download the full PDF, see this post. For the full web catalog, see our Full Issues page.

Riverside Regional Jail was in the news again Feb. 21, when Fred Lavigne, 53, of Chesterfield County, was found unresponsive in his cell. According to jail spokeswoman Charlene R. Jones, suicide is suspected, but the state medical examiner’s office will determine the official cause of death.

The week before, the jail’s superintendent, superintendent, Carmen DeSadier, resigned after less than 10 months on the job.

According to a report by Channel 12 news, DeSadier left behind a more-than-100-page summary of concerns.

“My biggest concern is for the inmates, because their basic needs are not being met,” the report quoted her as saying.

Riverside experienced two prisoner deaths in 2017, causing the state to put the jail on probation for three years.

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