HENRY COUNTY, Ind. -- Mark Redmon says conditions inside the Henry County Jail are shocking.
He knows this because until Tuesday morning, he was an inmate there.
“It was traumatizing,” said Redmon. “It was terrible.”
Redmon admits he’s not perfect. After all, making mistakes is how he ended up in the jail in the first place.
He says he was pulled over by an Indiana State Trooper for speeding on I-70 in Henry County. But there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest for previous traffic misdemeanors in Porter County, so they took him to the county jail.
The Valparaiso native contends that just because you’re an inmate, doesn’t mean you should live in filth. That’s what he says inmates are forced to do there.
“It is dirty,” said Redmon. “There’s people sleeping on the floors next to toilets.”
Redmon states some inmates sleep on mattresses on the floor because the bed frames are too painful to sleep on.
“There’s three beds per cell, but some of them are so bent up, like from inmates bending them or whatever, there’s no way somebody could lay on that,” said Redmon.
Redmon’s claims echo those listed in a class-action lawsuit filed against the sheriff and county officials last Tuesday while Redmon was still held in a cell there.
That lawsuit includes pictures of the conditions similar to what Redmon describes, including multiple inmates in single-bunk cells, mold in the bathrooms and dozens of inmates sleeping in what used to be the rec room, without a toilet.
Major Jay Davis, with the Henry County Sherrif’s Office disputes some of Redmon’s claims about his stay in the jail.
Redmon, for instance, claims he was in the jail for nearly two weeks, while court records indicate he was only there for nine days.
One thing Davis and Redmon do agree on though, is that the jail is overcrowded.
Former sheriffs, now commissioners named in the lawsuit as defendants and paid experts have all come to that same conclusion.
Redmon believes there’s only one solution.
“Tear this place down and build something new for these people,” said Redmon. “They deserve it.”
Right now county commissioners are paying for a study to figure out how to fix the problems at the jail.
Before, commissioners have told FOX59 they see a new, modern jail with a better design as the solution, but want to wait to see what the experts say.
But they also acknowledge that the last time experts told the county more staff and big changes at the jail were needed, the county council, also named in the lawsuit, didn’t provide the funding.