Bladen County leaders won’t talk about issues inside jail


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.”

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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.