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Sheriff Liable for Unsanitary Conditions at Lake County Lockup

A federal appeals court has ruled that government officials in Lake County must face charges that they deprived detainees of their Constitutional right to due process when they cut off water for three days at a correctional facility in Waukegan. The three-member panel of judges upheld the decision by a judge in the US 7th District that Sheriff Mark Curran and his staff did not qualify for immunity from prosecution over conditions that arose when a water pump needed replacing at the Lake County Adult Correctional Facility. Despite being given bottled water, the 740 inmates housed at the facility were forced to endure unsanitary conditions during the 2017 shutdown.

 

Four inmates awaiting trial at the jail sought redress in a class action suit, saying requests for additional water were met with denial by jail staff and that they were made sick by the clogged toilets in their cells. Government officials claim the steps they took to mitigate problems caused the shutdown earned them immunity protection. Earlier this month, female legal and jail staff won the right to petition country government for damages from sexual harassment they endured while working in Cook County.