Posted by: amyc on Sep 06, 2012
Custer County Commissioners voted last week to move prisoners from the county's unsanitary, unsafe and unconstitutional jail, in response to demand letters sent from the ACLU of Montana.
Beginning Oct. 1, prisoners will be held in another county's jail. The Custer County Jail will only be used for short-term holding of prisoners overnight to give them the opportunity to post bond before being transported.
This is a good thing. The conditions in the jail, particularly the basement cells, are unfit for habitation. Three colors of mold are present in the unsanitary jail, which also has fire safety issues and a falling ceiling in at least one place. When prisoners are let out of their cells, the only place they have to go is a narrow hallway. They have no access to fresh air or sunlight -- a constitutional violation.
Custer County officials acknowledge that the jail has serious issues -- issues they could not defend in court. We're glad that they are moving prisoners to a better location.