The Henry County Jail is old, overcrowded, and understaffed, and as a result it is a place where violence between prisoners is common. Conditions there violate the requirements of the United States Constitution. This case challenges the conditions of confinement at the Henry County Jail.
In the most recent inspection report by the DOC’s chief jail inspector, who has the title of Executive Liaison – Sheriff and County Jail Operations, the DOC official noted that “there was an additional 3rd bunk placed in each cell a number of years ago. However, there does not exist a letter from the Chief Jail Inspector authorizing the adding of these beds/bunks.” As a result of the overcrowding, some blocks have prisoners who are sleeping on cell floors. This causes a great deal of tension, as the blocks which are triple bunked already have more prisoners confined than the space was designed for.
Additionally, if prisoners are in medical or other forms of distress, it is difficult if not impossible to get prompt attention from guards. Individuals have had seizures in the cells with no staff, and other prisoners had to kick the wall for ten minutes before staff responded.
A class has been certified and the case is proceeding.