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Monday, January 24, 2022

Ocala and Reddick residents share additional thoughts on county jail’s treatment of inmates

In response to a recent Letter to the Editor that discussed the treatment of inmates at Marion County Jail, Ocala and Reddick residents wrote in and shared their thoughts and concerns on the topic.

“My son-in-law has been locked up for a year now and it’s been horrible the whole time. He would get jumped by inmates with no help from the police. An inmate just came in his room and stabbed my son-in-law and his roommate for no reason. And they lock him down for what? That whole jail needs to be fixed. It is just sad and horrible. My son-in-law has to get out of there or he will be dead,” says Ocala resident Thurmisha Price.

“I was a booking sergeant for many years in Citrus County. Unfortunately, my son was sentenced to 30 days in Marion County Jail. I totally understand the workload the Corrections Officers face daily. But on intake booking, they took half of allowable white clothing. He did not get toilet paper, soap, or a toothbrush. These items are required on intake. We contacted the jail prior to incarceration and specifically inquired on what can be accepted upon intake. He brought his medication as instructed by the booking officer. Intake took his medication and he was without it for 11 days. The only reason he started receiving medication was because of my persistent calls to medical. He had no footwear for six days. My son is not a picky eater. He went in at 154 pounds and came out at 128 pounds in 30 days. The Correction Officers were even participating in the rouge fighting and playing cards (spades) with the inmates after lights out. Totally understand it’s jail but not a prison camp,” says Steve Downey, Reddick resident.

“I spent a whole night in Marion County Jail, and in the best words I can describe it: that was the worst experience of my life. I was booked in and the front staff was pretty nice, but unfortunately the guards there were very unprofessional and controlling. The food was sickening and the most smelly, disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in my life. The guards were so rude and mean. I waited until almost 1 a.m. to receive a cot that was dirty and disgusting. The bunks are literally rusted so bad that it’s uncomfortable and very inhumane inside of that place. I am also speaking on behalf of the others in jail that can’t speak out. Marion County has the worst jail and the rudest guards I’ve ever met in my life. That jail and the food are terrible and something needs to be done. I understand they have committed crimes but they are still human and deserve to be treated as such,” says Ocala resident Sequoia Robinson.

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