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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Inmate Files Lawsuit Alleging Inhumane Treatment and Violation of Rights at RSW Regional Jail in VA

Written by: Sam Orlando

FRONT ROYAL, VA – A lawsuit was filed Wednesday at the U.S. District Court in Roanoke, Virginia by Chris Eugene Holloway, an inmate at RSW Regional Jail, located in Front Royal, Virginia. Holloway alleges that he has been subjected to mistreatment and that his constitutional rights have been violated by several correctional officers and other unknown named officers at the facility.

Summary of Allegations

In the court documents, Holloway details several incidents that he claims violated his federal rights. His lawsuit includes nine separate counts, including:

First Claim: Holloway states that on June 10, 2023, a Correctional Officer identified as "Sot Miller 19" along with three unknown male officers forcibly stripped him of his street clothes without justifiable reason. Holloway claims he did not exhibit any threatening behavior towards any officer nor indicated any intent to harm himself.

Second Claim: Holloway was allegedly held in a "day cell," which he describes as having a hole in the floor for a bathroom and no running water, from June 9, 2023, until June 26 or 28. The cell is supposedly only used for inmates at risk of harming themselves or others and typically for no longer than 72 hours. Holloway alleges that he was falsely reported as suicidal by another Correctional Officer known as "Preacher" as a form of punishment.

Third Claim: The inmate also accuses the jail of bureaucratic obstacles that deter the filing of grievances, making it difficult for inmates to formally complain about their treatment.

Fourth Claim: Holloway argues that Correctional Officers and nursing staff are not properly trained to evaluate an inmate’s mental health. He was placed on suicide watch without proper evaluation.

Fifth Claim: Holloway was supposed to appear in Shenandoah County General District Court on June 12 but was prevented from doing so due to being falsely labeled as suicidal or mentally ill.

Sixth Claim: Holloway claims that he was given urine and breath tests, which showed no presence of drugs or alcohol, negating any claim that he needed to be placed in a “dry cell” for detoxification reasons.

Seventh and Eighth Claims: Further allegations include being denied due process, and being subjected to inhumane treatment, such as being sprayed with mace ("mass" as spelled in the complaint) at close range.

Ninth Claim: Holloway alleges that on July 29, Correctional Officer Dava Thomas filed a false incident report claiming he tampered with a security camera, which he denies.

Relief Sought

Holloway seeks $100,000 from each defendant and also requests that the “dry cell” be closed permanently. He is also demanding that the officers involved be removed and fired. In addition, Holloway has requested a trial by jury.

RSW Regional Jail has not responded to these allegations as of press time.

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