Health, Safety, and Security Conditions in the H. Carl Moultrie I Courthouse Space Utilized by the U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia Superior Court
Evaluation and Inspections Report I-2007-008-R
Office of the Inspector General
Our analysis showed that the USMS space in the Moultrie Courthouse fails to meet security standards for detention facilities and occupational health and safety standards for administrative buildings, and that this results in unacceptable working conditions. We believe these substandard conditions will continue unless the District of Columbia Courts and the USMS decide on the applicable security, health, and safety standards for the USMS space and on who will be responsible for requesting and expending funds for repairs and improvements to meet the standards.
The District of Columbia Courts have completed a feasibility study, have begun two short-term initiatives to correct substandard conditions, and are considering long-term plans for capital improvements to the USMS space. The first initiative is designed to correct 5 of 111 substandard conditions in the cellblock. A second initiative is in the planning phase and may correct some of the substandard conditions in the administrative area. Further, the District of Columbia Courts and the USMS have begun negotiations on long-term plans to improve working conditions in the Moultrie Courthouse. Regardless of the short- or long-term plans chosen by the District of Columbia Courts, an agreement on the applicability and implementation of health, safety, and security standards will be necessary to implement the plans. Without such an agreement, the District of Columbia Courts cannot take timely action to correct substandard health, safety, and security conditions in the cellblock or the administrative area. As a result, the Marshal, Deputy Marshals, and administrative staff will continue to work under substandard conditions until an agreement is reached.
Because of the number and severity of the substandard conditions we identified, we believe it is imperative that the District of Columbia Courts and the USMS reach agreement on correcting these conditions as expeditiously as possible. The agreement between the District of Columbia Courts and the USMS should address:
The application of federal standards for detention facilities and occupational health and safety standards for administrative buildings to the Moultrie Courthouse;
The responsibility for timely maintenance and repair to maintain federal standards for detention facilities and occupational health and safety standards for administrative buildings;
The plan to correct serious substandard conditions in the cellblock, administrative area, and juvenile holding facility;
The method that will be used to determine the number of Deputy Marshals, Detention Enforcement Officers, and administrative staff that the USMS will request for the District of Columbia Superior Court in its annual budget request; and
The inclusion of a specific request for funds to meet health, safety, and security standards in the USMS space in the Moultrie Courthouse in either the USMS budget request to the Department of Justice or the District of Columbia Courts’ budget request to the Office of Management and Budget and to Congress for each fiscal year.
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