Custer County Moving Inmates, ACLU Threatens Suit
MILES CITY, Mont. (AP) — Commissioners in Custer County have voted to move its inmates to another county jail rather than face a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union over jail conditions.
Commissioners voted Tuesday to move the long-term inmates while keeping a part of the jail open as a temporary holding facility.
The ACLU sent warning letters to the county last month alleging conditions at the jail constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The ACLU argued the jail lacks ventilation, inmates don't have access to fresh air, outside exercise or natural light and that the jail has extensive mold, unclean living areas and dirty clothing and bedding.
Sheriff Tony Harbaugh said the county disagreed with some of the findings, but said arguments over lack of outdoor recreation and fire safety would not be easy to defend.