At least 22 people have died at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail since 2015, and officials have been slow to act and transparent when they do.
"Institutional reform doesn’t come easily, said Michele Deitch, a jail oversight expert and senior lecturer at the LBJ School and the School of Law at The University of Texas at Austin.
“'One would hope that it will not take litigation to turn this around,' she said. 'And the conditions are clearly problematic. You’ve had terrible, terrible harm caused to people because of the conditions, you have the Justice Department investigating. You don’t need litigation here. This is a matter of will to fix the problem combined with addressing the lack of resources and structural issues.'"