Hamblen resident expresses concerns about jail overcrowding

Hamblen resident expresses concerns about jail overcrowding

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It's common for inmates to sleep on the floor at the jail because of a lack of available beds. It's common for inmates to sleep on the floor at the jail because of a lack of available beds.
"If we can come up with the money, we're going to get him out," said Leslie Esquivel, whose brother was recently jailed. "If we can come up with the money, we're going to get him out," said Leslie Esquivel, whose brother was recently jailed.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) – A woman called 6 News worried about the awful conditions her brother is facing in jail. We've done stories in the past about Hamblen County's jail overcrowding problem.

Jail administrators have acknowledged they have an issue. In fact, the jail was decertified a few years ago because its conditions were not up to standard.

As of Wednesday, the facility had 255 beds for 314 inmates.

A frustrated Leslie Esquivel said she is worried about her brother, Jonas Bolden, who was taken to the jail Monday for a parole violation.

"They are sleeping on the floor, no cover, no mattresses. Those who have a mattress have one so thin, it's as if you're sleeping on the floor," described Esquivel.

She's worried because Bolden was in a car accident recently where he broke his ribs.

"The nurse said he could easily catch pneumonia like that if his ribs were broken," she explained.

"We have excellent nursing staff who have examined Mr. Bolden. He is being well taken care of," said Chief Deputy Wayne Mize, in response to Leslie's concerns.

Still, Esquivel says her mind is not at ease.

"If we can come up with the money, we're going to get him out," she said.

A decertified jail can open a county up to lawsuits. Jail staff said they'd love to get a new jail to avoid stories like this one, however, it comes down to lack of money.

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