Gray questions safety of Adams County inmates in Concordia Parish facility

Published 9:40 pm Monday, June 17, 2024

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NATCHEZ — District 4 Supervisor Ricky Gray said he is concerned about the safety of inmates sent from Adams County to Concordia Parish to be housed in its correctional facility.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors met Monday morning for its second June meeting.

Gray said a toxicology report on Natchez resident Blarrington Ashley, who died in late April while being held in the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility for the Natchez Police Department after his arrest on a shoplifting of more than $1,000 charge, showed that Ashley had meth in his system at the time of his death.

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“I got the toxicology report, and I read it. It’s confusing to me. I’m not a medical doctor, but from what I hear, the inmate had meth in his system. That’s what the toxicology report said,” Gray said. “How long does the effects of meth last? I looked it up, and it says the effects can last anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. So, if the person is in jail and has been in there for a while, how is he getting meth in his system.”

County Attorney Scott Slover said Ashley must have gotten the drug while he was incarcerated in the jail.

“I’m just going to say this. It’s a problem keeping people safe when they are over there. I have some family who has been in jail and gotten out and told me it’s terrible over there. When the lights go out, they have a gang over here and a gang over there, and they meet up and beat each other down,” Gray said. “There is no protection; who is liable for that?”

“Ultimately, we can all get sued for it,” Slover said.

Gray warned that the county needs to find a way to protect the safety of the inmates it is responsible for.

“We are going to have to do something and something quick. It’s not safe. I know a lot of people who say it’s jail; you’re not supposed to be safe. But you are supposed to be safe in jail. You aren’t supposed to go to jail and lose your life in jail. They are supposed to protect you in jail,” Gray said.

No other supervisor commented on the issue.

On June 4, Brandy Spears, a spokeswoman for the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, said an autopsy showed Ashley’s death was caused by hypertensive and atherosclerotic heart disease. Spears did not provide a copy of Ashley’s toxicology results.