The superintendent of a Virginia jail is rejecting claims made by inmates who say they are being mistreated for discussing the alleged abuse of a mentally ill man.

Attorney Mark Krudys said inmates named as witnesses in the lawsuit filed by the family of Jamycheal Mitchell are being threatened and mistreated by officials at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail.

Mitchell's family filed a lawsuit last month claiming that correctional officials physically abused and withheld food from him before his August death.

In a court filing Friday, an attorney for Superintendent David Simons said there's no credible evidence to support the inmates' claims. He says that the record will show that the inmates' allegations regarding Mitchell are "unreliable, as are their current allegations of harassment and retaliation."