Due to concerns about the transmission of COVID-19, the county’s sheriff’s office says its is unclear when and if the program will resume. The program first shut down in March 2020.
“We cannot have inmates going to places of business, potentially being exposed to COVID, and then exposing other inmates when they return at the end of their work shift,” Andrea Ceisler, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, told FFXnow.
Even when the Fairfax County Health Department gives the green light, it’s still unclear if the office has enough manpower to staff the program, according to Sheriff Stacey Kincaid.
The office doesn’t have enough resources to screen inmates and potential employers. Ceisler added that monitoring inmates offsite is a “labor intensive” activity.
Its vacancy rate has risen from 11% last year to nearly 15% this month. That’s despite launching a website dedicated to recruiting and establishing a full-time recruiting position.
“A major issue concerns pay,” Ceisler said. “Although our deputy sheriff recruits attend the same Criminal Justice Academy as Police Department recruits, complete the same training side by side, and have several overlapping responsibilities, our deputies are paid less than their police counterparts.”
At most ranks, ranks deputies receive 2.5% less than equivalent police ranks. At the rank of sergeant and second lieutenant, deputies receive 7.5% less.
“The pay disparity impacts recruiting as well as retention,” she said.
Over the last three years, the number of inmates enrolled in the county’s work-release program has decreased significantly.
In 2017, 112 inmates were enrolled, and 44 successfully completed the remainder of their sentence while in the program. In 2019, just 48 inmates were enrolled, though 32 completed the remainder of their sentence.
(updated at 4:30 p.m.) Police identified the second man who died at the Fairfax County Detention Center this week as the allegedly unlicensed masseuse who was charged with sexually assaulting a woman at an Annandale clinic.
Kyung Pil Chang, 55, of Haymarket was being held at the jail without bond on four felony charges related to a sexual assault at an Annandale location reported on Jan. 25. Chang was found unresponsive in quarantine housing at the jail around 4:25 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday). After medical staff and deputies rendered life-saving efforts, City of Fairfax Fire and Rescue pronounced him dead at 4:49 p.m.
“This morning, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy. Preliminarily, there are no signs of foul play,” FCPD said in a press release. “Our detectives are coordinating with the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office to gather the facts and circumstances surrounding this death.”
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, a woman had reported that Chang fondled and penetrated her while giving her a massage at the Annandale Gerontology Clinic (4216 Evergreen Lane).
“The victim was able to stop the assault, left the business, and reported the incident,” police said in a news release.
Chang turned himself in Friday after police obtained warrants for aggravated sexual battery, object sexual penetration and practicing as an unlicensed masseuse, police said.
Police say Chang was a contractor for “several other businesses” in Fairfax County, and detectives were seeking to identify those locations.
In accordance with both agencies’ policies, the death is under investigation by the Fairfax County Police Department.
This is the second in-custody death that the county jail has seen in as many days. A 65-year-old man identified by police as George Redmond was similarly found unresponsive in his cell on Monday (March 28) and died that day in a hospital.
Prior to that, the last reported inmate death was Christopher Fojt, 30, of Reston, in April 2021.
The sheriff’s office declined to comment on this week’s two deaths, and the police department did not immediately return FFXnow’s request for comment.
Alan Henney and Brandi Bottalico contributed to this report.
A 65-year-old man incarcerated at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center died yesterday (Monday), triggering a police investigation.
According to the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, a sheriff’s deputy found the man “unresponsive” in his cell at around 9:20 a.m.
“The deputy immediately rendered aid until relieved by ADC medical personnel,” the news release said. “Rescue arrived, continued lifesaving measures and transported the inmate to a hospital. The inmate was pronounced deceased by hospital personnel.”
The Fairfax County Police Department confirmed this morning (Tuesday) that detectives from its Major Crimes Bureau are investigating the death in accordance with the department and sheriff’s office policies.
Police identified the man as George Redmond, stating that he was originally arrested by Alexandria City police for failing to appear in response to a warrant for charges of trespassing and destruction of property.
The Alexandria City Police Department later transferred custody of Redmond to Fairfax County, where Redmond had been in jail since Friday (March 25).
“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy, but preliminarily, there are no signs of foul play,” the FCPD said.
This is the first death at the county jail since April 2021, when Christopher Fojt, 30, of Reston, was reportedly found unresponsive in a cell and died after being transported to a hospital.