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Lawsuit: Flint water crisis hit jail inmates especially hard

Jun 27, 2018 - Newsroom by

The poisoning of Flint’s drinking water supply was especially harmful for inmates housed there in the county jail, a new lawsuit alleges.

The federal suit, filed Monday on behalf of more than 90 former prisoners in the Genesee County Jail in Flint, alleges prisoners were forced to continue drinking tap water even after officials knew about the lead contamination.

The suit also alleges bottled water was withheld from inmates even when brought to the jail by concerned family members and other donors, that when bottled water was made available it was rationed in insufficient quantities, and that the jail instead charged prisoners a premium to buy bottled water from the commissary.

Because they were jailed, “plaintiffs could not travel to an area and/or municipality which had uncontaminated water,” couldn’t install filters on their jail water taps or drink bottled water, and “were completely at the mercy” of the county sheriff and jail officials, the suit alleges.

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