Porter County inmate sues over jail conditions

2012-12-04T13:57:00Z 2013-02-26T15:48:03Z Porter County inmate sues over jail conditionsMarisa Kwiatkowski marisa.kwiatkowski@nwi.com, (219) 662-5333 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | A Porter County inmate is suing the sheriff and jail officials, claiming overcrowded and unsanitary jail conditions, federal court records show.

Jerome Scott filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday against Sheriff David Lain, Jail Warden John Widup and Capt. Robert Taylor. He claims he was forced to endure "inhumane conditions of confinement," according to the lawsuit.

Scott said he was forced to sleep or sit directly on concrete in a holding cell, then was moved to another holding cell with a round circle in the middle that held feces, urine and blood. He also claims other inmates had open sores and were vomiting and shaking because of drug and alcohol withdrawal, court records state.

In court documents, he complains about the jail's medical care, food, lack of exercise, room temperature and inattention of jail guards. Scott's lawsuit argues the cells are so overcrowded that it is difficult to use the bathroom for fear of urinating on another inmate, and he complains of spiders in the showers and a recent flood.

This is not the first complaint filed this year by an inmate regarding conditions of the Porter County Jail.

A recent federal study by the National Institute of Corrections found the jail to be clean and well managed, yet crowded and understaffed. The study suggested officials immediately open a third pod of the jail to alleviate the overcrowding issue.

Porter County Sheriff's Department spokesman Larry LaFlower said Tuesday that department officials do not comment on pending litigation.

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