The US Justice Department is threatening to file suit against the staff of the Orleans Parish Jail for what it calls unsanitary conditions inside the facility and inadequate mental health care that are posing potential health risks to inmates.
The report was released the same day an inmate at the jail in Lafayette attempted to take his own life by hanging himself.
Despite that officials at the parish lock up in Lafayette say inmates are being well cared for a local bail bondsman disputes that.
From the outside the Lafayette Parish Jail gives every appearance of being a well maintained and operated facility.
But, two recently released inmates tell a different story. Thirty Eight year old Brian Guilbeau was in jail for two and a half weeks for possession of Xanax. The charges were dropped when he was able to prove he had a valid prescription for the drug.
But during his time inside Guilbeau says he contracted a Staph infection.
"I made a report four times and they just pushed me off to the next shift. They never came and check on me or nothing you can see it on my neck " says Guilbeau.
Forty year old Todd Belaire admits he's been incarcerated on a number of occasions.
During one stint Belaire says a dog bite on his leg became infected and swelled up to the point he couldn't make roll call one morning and instead of getting help he got punished.
"The sergeant taking roll call said you trying to disrespect me? And I said no I just can't walk and the sergeant told me to put my hands behind my back and he placed me in lock down" says Belaire.
A spokesman for the jail said federal law prohibits him from discussing the medical history of any inmate past or present. That includes whether they requested or received medical attention or not.
As for maintaining sanitary conditions, officials say they do the best they can to keep the jail clean by having inmates wash it down twice a day. And they rightfully point out that even facilities as clean as hospitals frequently have patients who develop Staph infections.
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