South Ga. jail unfit for humans, grand jury says

Monday, April 15, 2013 8:24 AM
Last updated 6:50 PM
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Atkinson County grand juries have said since 2006 that the county needs a new jail. The current grand jury is the first to say the jail is unfit for human habitation and call for its demolition.

“That’s the first time they’ve put it so bluntly,” Sheriff David Moore said.

The 18-bed south Georgia jail has cell doors that are extremely hard to open and close after years of welding on patches. There is raw sewage on the floor at times, and the sheriff and others have described the lighting as almost non-existent.

The grand jurors issued the jail inspection committee report April 1 and urged the County Commission to address the issue at its next meeting and come up with an immediate solution.

Moore has some sympathy for the county commissioners, saying they just took office Jan. 1 and that jail conditions have remained unaddressed for years.

“It isn’t their fault,’’ he said, “but it’s their problem now.”

Built in 1976, the jail “is just completely worn out,’’ Moore said.

“The concrete floor has big cracks, the plumbing is completely shot. It leaks profusely,’’ he said.

Getting around the bad plumbing compromises security, he said.

“If a toilet breaks in one cell, I have to leave cell doors open so they can go next door,’’ he said. “When you put out a cot for a drunk, you have to leave a cell door open so he can get to the toilet,’’ Moore said.

Even with cell doors open, inmates are still locked behind the main door, but with only one jailer at a time, Moore said as bluntly as the grand jurors, “It is not safe for my employees.”

Moore said he wants to avoid a lawsuit over jail conditions, but a solution won’t be easy.

“We’re poor. We’re broke,’’ he said of the county. “Timber and [farm] fields don’t generate much tax base.”

The once-thriving mobile home manufacturing industry that boosted local property and sales taxes is about gone, he said.

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Little Lamb
44957
Points
Little Lamb 04/15/13 - 08:39 am
4
0
Consolidation

They could consider consolidating with another county.

GnipGnop
11759
Points
GnipGnop 04/15/13 - 09:12 am
5
5
Just like....

graveyards are unfit for victims. I have no sympathy for those that live outside the boundary of rules and then think everyone else should abide and give them a cushy place to sit. Bologna!! Jails should be horrible places with unfit living conditions not cushy heated and air conditioned homes with cable and places to hone your physical conditioning and criminal skills.

LillyfromtheMills
12864
Points
LillyfromtheMills 04/15/13 - 09:44 am
3
2
The sheriff said

It was not safe for his employees!

GnipGnop
11759
Points
GnipGnop 04/15/13 - 09:47 am
4
1
I know Lily

I was making a general statement as to jails in general...I should have been more clear. I would never want a situation where jail employees are at risk.

concercitizen
340
Points
concercitizen 04/15/13 - 09:48 am
3
0
Must be awfully embarrassing

Must be awfully embarrassing for the sheriff not to offer accommodations befitting a Saturday night drunk.

Just My Opinion
5439
Points
Just My Opinion 04/15/13 - 11:33 am
3
0
I think it's obvious that

I think it's obvious that this Grand Jury is making this official statement for the benefit of the sheriff's office and it's employees, not as much for the inmates comfort. Although any inmate should be afforded a place that is at least safe. If a fire broke out, they'd have to be able to remove the inmates.
My question is this...what would Andy and Barney do if this were the Mayberry jail?? Have a Bake Sale? Get the men's group from the church to put in some work time?

Little Lamb
44957
Points
Little Lamb 04/15/13 - 11:55 am
4
0
Outhouse

If the sewer piping under the jail floors is clogged up, they should just make the prisoners build their own outhouse nearby.

LillyfromtheMills
12864
Points
LillyfromtheMills 04/15/13 - 11:56 am
4
0
Put them in tents

With pink jumpsuits G2 - I knew what you were saying - Andy would have just brought Otis home with him.

OJP
6212
Points
OJP 04/15/13 - 12:07 pm
3
3
@GnipGnop: The founding fathers and the U.S. Constitution

are at odds with your view on this:

8th Amendment:"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Criminals are still human.

InChristLove
22452
Points
InChristLove 04/15/13 - 12:36 pm
7
0
"Criminals are still human"

"Criminals are still human" ....Thank you.

As horrible as we humans can be sometimes, no one deserves to have to live in sewer and conditions determent to one's health. I have no problem taking away luxuries and comfort, but I would not want a friend or family member who may have made a bad choice spending 30 days in unsanitary conditions. This is a jail, not a prison and if your son committed a DUI would you want him living out his sentence in this condition. What about a father or brother?

Darby
24798
Points
Darby 04/15/13 - 12:49 pm
4
2
Work on the security for the officers

and let the miscreants deal with their living conditions. The innocents among them you can let go.

Oh, wait!! I forgot, they're all innocent!

GnipGnop
11759
Points
GnipGnop 04/15/13 - 01:14 pm
6
1
not having....

cable TV and the creature comforts is not cruel and unusual..

Farmboy
925
Points
Farmboy 04/15/13 - 02:12 pm
4
2
A 5 Star Hotel..

Is something jail should not be anyway. They call it punishment for a reason.

InChristLove
22452
Points
InChristLove 04/15/13 - 03:09 pm
4
4
Farmboy, running sewer and

Farmboy, running sewer and unsanitary facilities are far from 5 Star Hotel and gnipsnop, cable TV and creature comforts may not be cruel and unusual but what do you call running sewer on the floor.....humane?

I pray humanity is a little more humane that some of these post.

Farmboy
925
Points
Farmboy 04/15/13 - 03:29 pm
4
2
Whatever the case may be, 1 thing is for sure...

Criminals are a lot better off here than they would be at some other places overseas..running sewer or no running sewer.

GnipGnop
11759
Points
GnipGnop 04/15/13 - 07:57 pm
2
0
ICL....

I was talking about jail in general not this particular jail...read above comments.

itsanotherday1
41410
Points
itsanotherday1 04/15/13 - 10:18 pm
2
0
Cruel and Unusual

As to this story, I have to agree with ICL; but in a broader perspective I think that clause has been too liberally interpreted. On one hand, I think we are a bit too rigid with offenders who could be redeemed; but on the other hand, too limited in our options to deal with the incorrigible.

We take in criminals, and turn out hardened criminals because we can't isolate the hardened lifer from the guy caught dealing dope, or getting stupid while on a drunk. We do ourselves no favors when we only consider punishment and not the long term effects of prison life on someone who will return to society.

KSL
125020
Points
KSL 04/16/13 - 12:07 am
1
1
I think it goes deeper,

I think it goes deeper, itsanother. You put a lot of pressure on "profilers."

KSL
125020
Points
KSL 04/16/13 - 12:08 am
1
1
Or people considering parole.

Or people considering parole.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 04/16/13 - 07:10 am
2
0
At any given time, over 50%
Unpublished

At any given time, over 50% of jail inmates in the U.S. have not been convicted of the crime for which they are being held. Many are yet to be even charged with a crime. Not to say that most are truly "innocent," but under the law (see U.S. Constitution), until proven otherwise, they are.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 04/16/13 - 07:15 am
2
0
itsanotherday, good luck with
Unpublished

itsanotherday, good luck with determining who is redeemable and who is "incorrigible." You'd be wrong 50% of the time....so, you might as well flip a coin. The Rand Corporation spent many millions of our taxpayer dollars trying to figure that out in the 1980s, under the "selective incapacitation ideal," and that's the best it could do.

onlynaugusta
41
Points
onlynaugusta 04/16/13 - 07:35 am
2
2
A Little Uncomfortable

I think all jails need to be like this. There would be less crime because criminals would know that jail isn't a nice style of living . Criminals even get health care when alot of citizens who haven't committed a crime are refused at the hospital door.

Alot of crimes are committed because they feel it's better to live in jail with 3 hots and a cot than on the street. Stop wasting tax payers money to have it nice when we have homeless people not getting a hot meal once a day.

You do the crime, you do the time regardless of the conditions!

itsanotherday1
41410
Points
itsanotherday1 04/16/13 - 08:15 am
0
0
Palmetto, when I say

Palmetto, when I say incorrigible; I'm referencing their behavior while incarcerated. We really don't have a way to isolate the gangbangers from the guys just trying to do their time and go home. From all I gather on the documentaries I watch, it is dog eat dog and you are coerced into taking a side just to survive.

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