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Yesterday we posted an item on the Department of Corrections shutting down visitation to the D.C. Jail from April 8 to April 19. The rumors have been flying since March. We’ve heard that the jail has had problems with inmate doors not working. We’ve heard that there was a fight recently that caused a number of inmates to get transferred to Baltimore. Maybe these were reasons for the jail canceling its visiting hours?

Sylvia Lane, an analyst for the Department of Corrections, says the reason for the shutdown is far more banal. She says that this is part of the DOC’s biannual “shakedown.”

“The Department of Corrections conducts a biannual mass shakedown of the jail. It covers a two week period. The jail is going to be back fully operational on April 20,” Lane says. “The shakedown began on April 6. The shakedown takes place to ensure the safety and security of the facility.”

Lane says all inmate movement is restricted except for emergencies, attorney visits, and court appearances. The shakedown is basically a search of the entire facility. This is the jail’s third or fourth year doing such shakedowns.

As for the rumors of broken cell doors and a huge fight, Lane referred me to Fenty’s spokesperson Mafara Hobson. I am patiently waiting for answers.

Photo courtesy of cipcol.org.