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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Ever since Linda Edwards, 44, hanged herself in the Bladen County Jail last week, we’ve heard several reports of poor conditions inside the jail. So today WWAY went back to Bladen County looking for answers.

“You have no moving space, no nothing like that,” former jail inmate Robert Dicicco said. “I mean it’s just, like I said, it’s just cramped up.”

Dicicco says he has been held in the Bladen County Jail a few times. He says the old jail needs an upgrade.

Michael Monroe agrees. He says his friend was just in the jail and told him about the conditions inside.

“They told me about the shower being broken for over two weeks,” Monroe said. “The shower has not been fixed yet, as we have heard. And, you know, the conditions are terrible in there.”

We tried to talk with the County Manager Greg Martin, who referred us to Sheriff Prentis Benston. We also tried speaking with the sheriff a number of times, but he told us the county attorney advised him not to talk with us, so we decided to talk with County Attorney Leslie Johnson, but said he did not have time for an interview today.

However while we were outside the jail, inmates once again had plenty to say about the conditions inside.

“You got inmates in here sick,” one inmate said through a window. “You can’t get no attention with the doctor or nothing. The shower has been broken for 2 weeks.”

He says there is mold and asbestos in the jail. But he says when they express their concerns, their complaints fall on deaf ears.

“Every time we write y’all, they throw our mail away,” the man said. “Whenever we write grievances, they throw our mail away. They don’t care.”

The county attorney asked us to e-mail our questions about the jail, which we already did Thursday and never heard back. We have sent another e-mail to the county attorney to discuss conditions in the jail. We are still waiting to hear back.

Comment on this Story

  • zenobia

    If sanitation and fecal contamination are a problem staying out of jail may not help any of us.
    This inmates will some day be released, assuming they do not all hang themselves in the meantime, they will return to the open community with new and interesting diseases to share freely with everyone. Russia got a plague of drug resistant TB that way. With heroin coming into the community all sorts of diseases may be available at your local McDonalds, as soon as the infected criminals are released from their “incubator”.

  • guest 13131

    The way to avoid those conditions…stay out of jail ! ! !

  • Bladen County Native

    This is ridiculous! If the inmates weren’t criminals they wouldn’t have to worry about these conditions! This makes me mad. They are in jail for civil punishment. It’s not suppose to be a free hotel stay. Do the crime, pull the time. I have no pity for these dirty inmates. My tax dollars are paying for these no good criminals to sit in jail gettin 3 meals a day, which are probably better than the schools in the county. Get your life together then complain about the real struggles in life.

  • Taylor’s best

    Right on, I didn’t like my stay in the summers at Grandpaw’s farm,,, it was no vacation,,,, early up and lots of hard work. But,, the more I complained, the harder it got, then I started getting summer jobs to stay away from that place. I have heard some say they wanted to go back in jail, to rest, eat, watch TV and stay warm,,,,,

  • Jailtime@yahoo.com

    I hear you about the convicted inmates, but you have a handful of people who are just poor and stuck in the system waiting for a court date to determine if they are even guilty. And as we have read recently, some of them are not.

    One of the reasons criminals kill cops is because this type of environment breads hate towards them. Then some guy gets out and takes it out on any cop, usually a good cop that that doesn’t treat them poorly.

    So, sure you can treat them anyway you want, but then don’t cry then they kill a good cop. Wouldn’t that make you truly mad?

  • wolfhunter

    Really? Who gives a flying @#$^. Jail is not supposed to be a vacation. Before the citizens start complaining how about you spend some time in there working. Guards get treated a hell of a lot worse then inmates. Jail should be a harsh enviornment that way people would want to stay away from them and not commit crimes.

    Would you rather have a jail system like Russian? Or China? Sittimng in a cell all day and doing nothing else is a pleasure cruise compared to hard labor. Don’t like it? STAY OUT OF JAIL AND STOP BREAKING THE LAW.

  • tinman

    Now I know some of what I am about to say is hearsay, but the issues with the jail is just one of several issues concerning the people in Bladen county. There have been issues with the sheriffs department. Accusations of deputies actually helping criminals get by without getting caught selling drugs, stolen goods, or breaking and entering. I myself witnessed a deputy visit a home that was to be searched the day after to warn them of the warrant. The next day the deputies found nothing. I have heard the D.A. has tried to try people that haven’t had their lawyer present, or trying people that has potential evidence that will clear them of charges in a lab and the results haven’t been returned yet. One of these cases was of a D.W.I. and the suspect gave a blood test in which the results have not been issued yet. There are several computers at the sheriffs department that are locked with potential evidence in them that the former sheriff Steve Bunn is the only one that has the passwords to. Even this is just a small amount of wrong doing by the local government. The list goes on and on. There needs to be an official investigation done in order for all these things to come out and the ones doing wrong brought to justice.

  • yard cat

    sometimes people end up inside a jail cell because of the crookedness of law enforcement. some are criminals, some are not. some are poor and cannot afford the crazy prices some of the lawyers in bladen county charge. it’s a racket… unless you’ve been there, you don’t know!

  • Robinson

    If you people posting these “they are in jail” comments, knew your rights, you would know how ignorant you sound making those uneducated comments. In jail, or out of jail, we all have rights. As stated in the 8th amendment, cruel and unusual punishment is a violation of rights in America. But for those prominent cases of cruel and unusual punishment back in the centuries before, these types of amendments would not have been put in place. Also, for the uneducated people of the comments above, jail serves as a holding facility for those who fall in a number of categories but the most common of all being a pre-trial detaining facility. With that being said, there is no doubt that a percentage of those sitting in those cruel and unusual circumstances are in fact later found to not be guilty or their case is dropped. By some chance of misfortune some cannot afford to make bail, do not have that town connection capable of pulling some strings, or just fall in a separate category becoming just a number without a voice. Unfortunately, places like Elizabethtown can and will be overlooked when it comes to issues concerning socioeconomic inequality and local government corruption which explains the lack of communication by and from Bladen county in relation to the conditions of the jail. The system is set up to work a certain way; however, historically that way has been proven to fail in certain areas depending on the amount of resources available and the level of professional misconduct on however broad of a scale. Please see the bigger picture at hand before making your blind assertions. Bladen County has been flying below the radar far too long and should be corrected.


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