Tough cell

Gary Phillips believes his health is being impacted by the living conditions inside the Faulkner county jail. (Photo courtesy: Faulkner County S.O.)

An inmate inside the old Faulkner County jail says conditions in the lockup are negatively impacting his health -- and a recent inspection supports his claim.

KATV was contacted by a woman who says she received several desperate messages from her brother-in-law after he was transferred from the new Faulkner County jail to Unit One, the old jail.

Unit One was constructed in 1992 and still houses well over 100 male inmates. It was last remodeled 10 years ago, and based on the findings of an inspection Nov. 1, it's in need of another makeover.

"The facility struggles in terms of roof leaks," an inspection report says. "Throughout the building are a number of plumbing issues. Due to age, the site's climate control system struggles. As such, condensation occurs and moisture appears within the housing areas."

Gary Phillips has been jailed since Dec. 11 on a variety of charges. He was recently moved to Unit One and immediately complained about the conditions.

"There is black mold everywhere all in our cells,” according to Phillips. “It is coming out of the vents, growing on ceiling and walls. You can smell the moldiness of it. It definitely is an environmental problem that is affecting the air we breathe."

The inspection report says that a mold specialist visited the jail in the summer of 2017 and "found no serious mold problems within the building."

Phillips also claims that inmates have "no running water except in the shower, which can't be used because it is stopped up.” He says 18 inmates share a five-gallon jug of water that is often empty and that they have “no way to wash our hands.”

The inspection report also notes Unit One is stressed due to overcrowding and a staff shortage.

Faulkner County plans to have a proposal to address these problems by December.

KATV left messages for both the jail supervisor and the Faulkner County sheriff and is awaiting responses.

Air date: Jan. 22nd, 2019

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