Sometimes I have to face the hard truths. I live in Ohio that seems to, like a faucet, only have two settings hot and COLD. We have a football team that is probably NEVER going to see the Super Bowl unless they buy tickets and sit in the stands (sorry Dad) and that, more often than not, there's a guy named "Yank", "Tank" or "Stank" who can get you anything you need, whenever you need it.
There are also other hard truths, bitter pills and points of contention we Ohioans have to face. The face that Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy playing in the park, was shot and killed on sight by a police officer who never even took a pause to access the situation. A place where Timothy Davis was beaten, on video, by police officers then vilified even after the police jokingly made comments about assaulting him. This is the place I call home and also the place where people die in prison because they were denied FOOD and WATER!
God help this place.
According to Cleveland.com the Cuyahoga County jail has been failing to provide inmates with the most basic necessities to sustain them. "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. Cleveland.com 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."
There's also a video that surfaced back in February of several officers using excessive force on an inmate.
"Child inmates are held in the same areas as adult inmates while assigned to isolation or segregation. This is in violation of federal jail standards. While child inmates charged as adults are held in the main county jail, they aren’t supposed to mix in with the general adult jail population for their safety. Those children don’t receive the extra nutrition or exercise they need for development, and don’t receive programs that are educational or aimed at brain development. They are subjected to the same extreme lockdowns as adults. That means they often don’t have access to hygiene, recreation and time outside of their cells."
The U.S. Marshals report also gives details of staff withholding food from inmates, shutting off water, ignoring inmates religious needs, locking the inmates in their cells for 27 hours straight, not giving handicapped inmates access to certain areas and programs and so much more.
The staff members are undertrained but that does NOT negate the fact that most of these infractions could have been avoided by using common sense and basic human decency. Ohio, we've got to do better. This is disgusting.