Muscogee Co. jail inmates report living in 'extremely cold conditions'

Muscogee Co. jail inmates report living in 'extremely cold conditions'
Updated: Jan. 4, 2018 at 4:25 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Muscogee County Jail heating system is struggling under cold temperatures, forcing some inmates to face near-freezing temperatures in their dorms.

News Leader 9 has received numerous reports of inmates living in extremely cold living conditions over the past few days.

Ashley Shaft says her boyfriend, who is currently housed in the jail, has been complaining for days about the issue.

"He is too cold to go eat, a lot of people not even getting up, just staying in their rooms, being huddled, and I just feel like it's a punishment, and it's inhumane," said Shaft.

In the messages, her boyfriend describes numbness from brutally cold temperatures and increased concerns about his and other inmates' health.

Freezing temperatures reportedly being met with blankets, hot water and makeshift sleeping bags by inmates just to stay warm.

"He's had to flip his mattress and turn it into an insulated sleeping bag with a blanket inside his bed-roll. It's really that cold to when you have to come out and see your family for 20 minutes, and be covered up," said Shaft.

Major Joe McCrae of the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office says between Monday and Tuesday, two towers used to control heating in the jail temporarily broke, but the system was reportedly replaced and restored by within a day.

"It's like anything at home, you have systems that are aged, you start to have problems with them and that's exactly what we experienced here… and fortunately we were able to get it fixed relatively quick," said McCrae.

Shaft says her boyfriends' complaints go back to December. She believes more needs to be done to ensure the jail is operating up-to-standards, at all times.

This is a developing story, be sure to check back for updates.

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