Department says it lacked access probing inmate's death

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - State officials say they were unable to complete a thorough investigation into the death a mentally ill Virginia inmate because they didn't have enough authority to access certain records and interview key employees.

Virginia's inspector general issued a report last month calling for several changes in the handling of mentally ill inmates in the wake of 24-year-old Jamycheal Mitchell's death in a Portsmouth cell.

Responding to the inspector general's report, news outlets report that the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services' interim commissioner Jack Barber said in a letter released Monday that his department needs more money from the General Assembly and better cooperation between various agencies.

Mitchell died in his jail cell in August, three months after a judge ordered for him to be sent to a state mental hospital.

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