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Group protests at Jasper County Jail - KOAM TV 7

Group protests at Jasper County Jail

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Many current and former inmates have spoken out about prison living conditions in the past, but today was a first for the jasper county jail as a peaceful protest lead to an investigation into jail cell safety and living conditions.

"they're human too. Just because they've done a crime." says Angela stark, one of the protesters outside the jail.

Family members and former inmates of the jasper county jail stage a protest about health conditions  at the jail.

Protestor Leroy stark says "we're some criminals. Some not. But we still got rights. Innocent until proven guilty."

Angela stark adds in "some people in there are just for fines that weren't paid, and there's some people that are in there for bad crimes. We're standing up for all of them."

the peaceful protest was the first for the county jail, and hit on 3 issues:
1. Protestors contend there's black mold growing in the vents, and on the bed mats
2. They say the jails not serving hot meals daily
3. Inmates are not getting enough time in the gym for physical activity.

No jasper county jail officials were able to speak on camera with us today, but they did speak by phone and inside the jail that they have investigated this black mold claims but haven't found anything relating to them being true."

 

jail supervisor Becky Stephens spoke with us on the phone and said, "jail staff investigated the claims and they were found not to be true." 

according to Missouri law, prisoners are entitled to the right to nourishing and nutritious food on a daily basis. The law does not specify if the meal must be hot or cold. Prisoners also have the right to exercise. In jasper county, exercise time is granted as a privilege.

The jail has a renovated gym section and stark believes the prisoners deserve more time there. And is making the case for them.

"they may not have rights in there, but we have rights out here and we're standing out for the people that's in there." Angela stark says.

The protest group is requesting help from the American civil liberties union, and the  Missouri attorney general to continue the investigation into the prison.

When it comes to keeping prisoners safe - mentally and physically - the jasper county sheriff's office says jailers have both random and set walk-in checks with prisoners. Prisoners are asked a series a questions about their mental state when they're booked, and have access to counselors during their stay.

 

 

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