15 lawsuits allege mistreatment of inmates at area jails


Editor’s note: An I-Team investigation found more than a dozen lawsuits against area jails claiming inmates were beaten, raped, medically neglected or killed in jail. In addition to possibly costing taxpayers dearly, advocates for inmates say these cases suggest a failure of the system to protect vulnerable people in public custody. Read our full investigation here.

***

As allegations against the Montgomery County Jail mount, including a request by the Montgomery County Commission to expand a federal investigation into possible civil rights abuses, the I-Team analyzed 15 lawsuits against five jails in the region to see how they compare.

Eight of the lawsuits were against Montgomery County, three against Warren County, two against Butler County, and one each against Clark and Greene counties.

RELATED: 5 lawsuits allege prisoner neglect at Butler, Warren jails

The oldest is from 2012 and the most recent was filed just last week.

Two were recently settled, including one in Butler County that resulted in a $285,000 settlement.

The inmates who filed the lawsuits were mostly in for non-violent crimes. At least one ultimately faced no charges.

RELATED: Jail cameras capture some drama, little detail

Law enforcement officials say jails are dangerous places where under-equipped officers are under constant threat and forced to deal with drug addicts and the mentally ill. Records analyzed by this newspaper show officers are bitten, spat on and attacked.

RELATED: Officers spit on, attacked in jails bursting with mentally ill

“If you get sued a couple times a year, that is relatively a clean slate because you deal with people that are incarcerated against their will and want to sometimes just get some money for being in jail,” said Robert Cornwell, executive director of the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association.

But inmate advocates say these cases illustrate a failure of the system to protect vulnerable people in public custody. They say oversight of county jails is lacking.

RELATED: More oversight sought for area jails

Mike Brickner, policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, said while lawsuits against jailsultiple lawsuits that are all alleging excessive use of force, or racial profiling or denial of medical treatment, all of those can indicate there are deeper problems at that facility that need to be addressed.”

The lawsuits have the potential to cost taxpayers dearly. A lawsuit against Cuyahoga County was settled in 2010 for $4 million.

RELATED: Officer who sheriff tried to charge for jail assault claims unfairness

READ THE I-TEAM SPECIAL REPORT: JUSTICE IN THE JAILHOUSE



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Britney Spear’s ex K-Fed wants child support increase amid star’s Vegas success
Britney Spear’s ex K-Fed wants child support increase amid star’s Vegas success

After seeing how successful her four-year Las Vegas residency has been, Britney Spears’ ex-husband Kevin Federline is asking for an increase in child support. >> Read more trending news  Federline’s attorney reportedly sent the pop singer a letter recently indicating that he would like to renegotiate the $20,000...
Check for recall announcements for golf carts, pots, candles & more
Check for recall announcements for golf carts, pots, candles & more

A kettle, fire pit, bleeding candles and golf carts are among the new recalls announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission: The handles on some Whirlpool KitchenAid electric kettles could come loose and cause the liquid inside to burn you.  There are three reports of minor burns and a total of 79 reports of the handles separating. ...
After school threats, Dayton-area children face next step: Court
After school threats, Dayton-area children face next step: Court

New details are emerging in the spat of local threats that threw schools in southwest Ohio and beyond into chaos this week. The series of local threats follow one of the nation’s worst school shootings in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were killed at a high school last week. At least five students — one from Springfield, one from Piqua...
Weekend to bring more rain, threat for strong storms
Weekend to bring more rain, threat for strong storms

While much of the area is getting a break from steady rain Friday night, another wave will arrive toward daybreak. Storm Center 7 meteorologists have been tracking multiple rounds of rain since Wednesday with several more to go. Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said the heaviest rain will arrive late Saturday. “We’ll likely see steady...
Actress Nanette Fabray, Tony, Emmy-winning star of stage and screen, dead at 97
Actress Nanette Fabray, Tony, Emmy-winning star of stage and screen, dead at 97

Award-winning actress and comedian Nanette Fabray has died at the age of 97, Variety reported Friday. Fabray was known for her charm, energetic exuberance and multi-talented performances in musical theatre in the 1940’s, as well as movies and TV in the 1950’s. >> Read more trending news  She won a Tony Award for her performance...
More Stories