Nash County jail was recently hit by a lawsuit alleging its staff is violating the constitutional rights of one of its inmates.
A lawsuit was recently filed against the Nash County jail over allegations that the conditions at the jail are causing an inmate’s constitutional rights to be violated. Filed August 16, the plaintiff in the case is Jamey Lamont Wilkins. In addition to filing his suit, Wilkins is seeking a jury trial and specifies in the suit that his fourth, eighth, and 14th amendment rights are being violated because the conditions at the jail are “beyond deplorable.”
“Nash County has no disciplinary process period so at the whim of any staff we can get punished without any way of refuting accusations against us.”
His suit further described the condition of the isolation cells, alleging that “bodily fluids and waste are caked up on the walls, bars, and even the ceiling.” Additionally, he said the fluid and waste buildup often “flaked off into his hair, food, and his bed.” To make matters worse, the suit alleges the “buttons which dispense water are often broken leaving the toilet as the only option for water.” Because he has to take medication daily, he often has to “resort to using toilet water.” Wilkins also said “Sheriff Keith Stone, Major Strickland, Capt. Jenkins and Lt. Parker are aware of this.”
As if the alleged conditions in the isolation cells isn’t enough, Wilkins’ suit claims two fires were set by inmates in July, and both times he was “left to die in a smoke-filled cell after the fires were extinguished.” He said, “I placed a wet towel over my mouth from the toilet to breathe through” and added that he “passed out from smoke inhalation and hit his head on the toilet.” As a result of his ordeal, he claims he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment and said the “possibility of death is very real.”
On top of all that, the suit also alleges the jail staff knowingly “pits known enemies against each other, which creates volatile situations,” and added, “Gang violence has increased in the streets because of the internal situations.” He also argues that grievances filed by inmates usually end up disappearing.
As part of the lawsuit, Wilkins is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as nominal damages and for the isolation cells at the jail to be cleaned. Stone, Strickland, Capt. Jenkins and Lt. Parker are all named as defendants.
In response to the suit, the sheriff’s office issued the following statement:
“We have received and reviewed the lawsuit and will pass it along to the county manager however many of the claims made by Wilkins are unfounded.”