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Bartholomew County Inmates Cause Thousands Of Dollars In Damage
Updated September 7, 2017 7:14 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(COLUMBUS) - Bartholomew County Jail inmates caused havoc over the holiday weekend that will take thousands of dollars to repair.

Sheriff Matt Myers says the inmates injured several members of the jail staff and caused a flood in the jail and broke out mesh and glass door inserts to use as weapons.

The flooding was caused when inmates used towels to block the bottom of their cell doors, then intentionally allowed the shower and toilets to overflow. When the water reached several feet high in the cells, they released the dams at once and let loose the flood.

Three jail staff suffered minor injuries when the inmates threw pieces of the shattered door mesh at them and used pieces of the metal as weapons. Myers says one officer suffered injuries to her abdomen and lower leg and two others suffered minor injuries after an inmate kicked out a portion of his cell door, tore apart the bottom and threw metal rods at them.

Sheriff Myers estimates that it took less than six minutes for the involved inmates to dismantle the door panels and turn them into weapons.

Video evidence and reports on the incidents are being forwarded to the county prosecutor's office for possible charges, but Sheriff Myers says there is little that can be done to address the problem from a disciplinary standpoint because there is not enough room in the jail to segregate the inmates that caused the chaos.

Sheriff Myers estimates it will take more than $8,000 to just repair the damage to the cell doors.

The sheriff says that the jail is overcrowded and with a reduced staff there are not enough jail officers available to keep an eye on all the inmates.

Without the ability to actually patrol inside the cell blocks the inmates have the time and coordination to come up with destructive mischief.

Ultimately, the sheriff would like to reopen portions of the old jail to be used for further inmate detention, as well as drug treatment facilities.

The current jail arrangement has 232 beds, but there were nearly 250 inmates when the incident happened.

The weekend's damage further reduced the number of available cells, Sheriff Myers added.

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