SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Around 12 people gathered outside the Greene County Jail Monday afternoon to protest what they are calling the inhumane treatment of inmates.
According to the protesters, their loved ones in jail are not being provided PPE or urgent medical care the inmates might need, especially with a recent outbreak of COVID-19 in one of the jail’s trailers.
Greene County Deputy Jason Winston says there are currently 36 inmates with COVID-19, and only four are showing symptoms/ Winston says there are now nine cases among staff members of the jail.
Two protesters, who have family members in jail, say their relatives claim to have only received two surgical masks in two weeks, do not have access to bottled water, and are not offered urgent medical care when inmates need it.
“Where’s the justice? Justice for them in there, and justice for us out here. We’re doing what we’re supposed to do, as far as what y’all are telling us, what are y’all doing for them in there, when they walk through that door?” says Marylin Sledge.
“He’s in there on a 60-day sentence, so there’s not need to even be in there. He could have been on house arrest or another way because of how bad COVID is right now. And now he has to come home to the community, and I have to quarantine my brother away from his daughter because they are not taking proper precautions in the jail,” says Mariah Norris.
Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott was unavailable Monday to comment on this protest. Deputy Winston declined to comment on the protests. Still, he did tell Ozarks First that jail staff is taking several measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by providing masks, cleaning and sanitizing, screening the entire inmate and staff population, and providing medical care to those who may need it.