Lawsuit Claims Franklin County Jail is Inhumane

A law firm recently filed a lawsuit against the Franklin County jail.

It claimed inmates are routinely subjected to inhumane and barbaric practices.

A Seattle based legal aid organization that works on behalf of people imprisoned is in the process of reviewing jails across Washington state.

Lawyers with the company said they started looking into the Franklin county jail after receiving a lot of concerning information.

Nick Straley one of the attorney with Columbia Legal Services that filed the lawsuit, said what he found going on at the Franklin County jail is some of the most troubling things he has seen happening at any jail across the state.

The lawsuit claims inmates are strapped to restraint chairs for long periods of time

 It also states inmates are chained to a fence in the booking area for days on end.  

Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim said they are using a temporary booking area while the jail is under construction, but the new booking area is set to open tomorrow.

He said some of the facts are exaggerated and everything they do at the jail is to keep the officers and the inmates safe.

"Everything we do in the jail is within the Constitution to protect the Constitutional rights of the people who are outside of the jail and of those on the inside," Lathim said. "All the actions that we take here are to protect our staff protect the inmates themselves or protect other inmates or protect the facility from damage."

The lawsuit claims inmates are locked down in their cell for 23 hours a day.

Lathim said inmates get at least an hour out of their cell a day but they also leave for meals and phone calls so it really ends up being a longer amount of time.

The lawsuit states inmates are not allowed any visitation from friends and family.

Latium said this is true, but it is because the visitation area is under construction right now but should re-open in the next 30 days.