Inmates punished for flood

Published 11:13 pm Friday, October 19, 2007

NATCHEZ — Inmates in the Adams County jail have no phone and commissary privileges since a recent rumpus erupted.

In response to punitive actions taken by the sheriff’s office inmates flooded their cells on Oct. 7.

The flooding, originating on the third floor, ruined offices and equipment on the first floor.

Email newsletter signup

The sheriff’s office lost three new computers and other office equipment valued at $5,000.

Inmates flooded their cells because their visitation, phone and commissary privileges had been revoked due to contraband found in a common area of block 3-A, Sheriff Ronny Brown said.

In a routine sweep deputies found contraband in the form of a lighter, magazines and papers.

While inmates are allowed to have paper for letter writing, Brown said the quantity of paper combined with the lighter posed too much of a safety risk.

And since no one would take responsibility for the items, all inmates were confined to their cells and the flooding began.

Brown said prisoners stuffed their toilets with towels and repeatedly flushed them.

Water had to be shut off to prevent further flooding, Brown said.

On Oct. 9, a plumber was called to the jail to turn the water back on.

As the plumber was working on one inmate’s toilet he accidentally broke a valve causing additional flooding.

The flooding in that incident was confined to only one office in the building. Everything inside, including a computer and pamphlet materials were destroyed. Brown could not estimate the damage from the second incident.

Since the flooding inmates have had several privileges temporarily revoked.

As of now inmates do not have phone or commissary access. In addition, Sunday visitation has been suspended.