After 7 deaths, Cuyahoga County found to have violated inmates civil rights


Former Staff
Jun 2007
Cuyahoga County fails to provide jail inmates with the basic necessities they to need live. It withholds food and water and doesn’t provide medical and mental health care for inmates, according to a blistering report released Wednesday by the U.S. Marshals.

The report says that the inmates’ constitutional rights are routinely violated.

The report offers a clear picture of a jail rife with deplorable conditions, described by marshals' investigators as inhumane.

The jail investigation comes after the deaths of seven inmates between June 10 and Oct. 2. learned of the seventh death during some two months of investigating the jail. Three of those inmates committed suicide. Fifty-five other inmates tried to take their own lives within the past year, the marshals found.

The county doesn’t investigate what led to the deaths, the report says.

Among the findings in the 52-page report made public Wednesday:

· Warden Eric Ivey withholds food as punishment and inmates aren’t fed properly.

· Jail staff shut off water to toilets and sinks.

· Pregnant women are forced to sleep on mats on the floor.

· Vermin infest the kitchen.

· Inmates sometimes are denied toilet paper and toothbrushes.

· Officers decked out in paramilitary gear routinely threaten inmates until they fear for their lives, going so far as to call some prisoners snitches in front of other prisoners.

· Medical staff lack proper licenses to provide treatment.

· Inmates with mental illness are denied care, even while they’re in isolation.

· Children are housed with adults.

· Inmates spend long stretches of time locked in their cells, sometimes up to 27 hours at a time, once for 12 days in a row.

The problems are so egregious that the U.S. marshals say the county won’t be able to fix them in a timely manner.
U.S. Marshals: Cuyahoga County deprives inmates of food, water and Constitutional Rights amid string of seven deaths

This doesn't surprise me a bit. I imagine if it weren't for the deaths, this would continue and I suspect many jails and prisons are just as bad.

"What you do to the least of my brethren you do to me". Too bad we don't have more activism in this area.

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