Class motion lawsuit condemns “appalling and inhumane” situations in St. Francois County Jail in Missouri

One inmate told his attorneys that he had become so hungry in St. Francois County Jail that he only had to eat toothpaste wrapped in toilet paper.

A recent class action lawsuit condemned the alleged “appalling and inhumane situation” in St. Francois County Jail, Missouri.

According to KSDK.com, the lawsuit was filed earlier this month by ArchCity Defenders, Simon law firm, and attorneys Vonne Karraker and Vincent Coliani. Together they represent a selection of current and former inmates.

The lawsuit lists as Defendants St. Francois County, Sheriff Dan Bullock, and Correctional Healthcare, Inc., along with several current and former detention center officials.

In the complaint, attorneys allege that their three clients – along with several other unnamed individuals – endured conditions so grossly unregulated that they were illegal. Complaints have reportedly been answered with inaction at best and gross retaliation at worst.

By and large, the lawsuit alleges that the staff of the St. Francois County Jail were “deliberately indifferent” to the negligence surrounding them. Some staff members made deliberate decisions to ignore the detainees’ medical needs and safety concerns.

Photo by Hédi Benyounes on Unsplash

Robert Hopple, one of the plaintiffs, told ArchCity Defenders that he and his cellmate once had to eat toothpaste and toilet paper.

“The guards’ treatment of each inmate has been very poor,” Hopple said in an audio recording ArchCity Defenders has since distributed to various new networks. “Inhuman how they treat you, like a dog […] I’ve heard it say “Hell” a couple of times. “

“The only thing I can think of calling it,” he added, “is the worst place on earth.”

Hopple was waiting for trial like the other plaintiffs – in other words, he had not yet been convicted of a crime.

Other inmates report significant weight loss, insomnia and assault while incarcerated in the St. Francois County Jail.

In addition to the guards’ indifference, the detainees allegedly lived in poor conditions: The lawsuit allegedly took note of black mold, basic medical equipment and unregulated shower water so that hot female prisoners could use it to make instant coffee.

“These conditions, repeatedly exposed and brought before St. Francois County officials over the years by inmates, media reports, and litigation, violate basic standards of human decency and the Constitution of the United States,” the newspaper said Legal action.

“It is utterly inconceivable,” said ArchCity Defenders attorney Corrigan Lewis, “that the actions of St. Francois County’s officials have gone unchecked in such a ubiquitous and systematic way for so long.” It is time to hold them accountable and we hope that this lawsuit will start the process of justice and healing in this church. “

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