BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – Protesters gathered outside the Bradley County Jail Monday Morning to help bring awareness to inmates who are not receiving proper Personal Protective Equipment.
“Basic Human rights is all we are asking for. We are not asking for people to be freed. We are just asking for basic human rights as any person deserves,” says Tiffani Dailey, Protester.
An Inmate in a video call says the conditions inside the jail are terrible.
“Everybody is out sitting next to each other. No one is six feet apart. They aint doing anything to keep people apart. They aren’t sanitizing phones. When you mop you get hot water and that’s it,” says a Bradley County Jail Inmate.
Officials say they currently have 33 inmates who have tested positive for the Coronavirus.
Protesters are claiming that their loved ones who have inmates inside the Bradley County Jail are not given the proper PPE or masks to be worn-to help protect themselves from the other positive cases.
Loved ones with inmates inside the Jail started a petition asking the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office to supply the inmates with masks. That petition now has over 30,000 signatures.
Protesters say the inmates feel like they aren’t being treated as human beings.
“They deserve access to the same things that we have access to like masks and cleaning supplies. My thing is if they are able to offer masks to the people who come in for a visitation then they should be readily available to the inmates or at least for those who want one,” says Paris Kirby, Protester.
Bradley County Officials say the Tennessee Corrections Institute did not require the jail to supply the inmates with masks, but say that they have ordered masks that will be distributed to the inmates soon.
Sheriff Steve Lawson provided News 12 with a statement saying, “We have done our very best to stay on top of the COVID situation since the beginning. We will continue working closely with TCI and the Bradley County Health Department, following every guideline that is given to us, but we will also go the extra mile by using these masks for our inmates at this time. I have said it many times and I will say it again: the health of our inmates and jail staff is my top priority. We have shown that by following every mandate given to us and then some.”
For a link to the petition click here.