Inmates intentionally cause sewage overflow this week in Walker County Jail

Inmates intentionally cause sewage overflow this week in Walker County Jail

March 14th, 2019 by Tyler Jett in Breaking News

Razor wire tops the fences surrounding the Walker County Jail in this 2012 staff file photo.

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

This story was updated Thursday, March 14, 2019, at 6:16 p.m. with more information.

Someone at the Walker County Jail shoved a shampoo bottle down a toilet this week, causing sewage to seep onto floors and run into cells and leading to a brief lockdown.

Sheriff Steve Wilson said Friday that inmates continually flushed the toilets in Cell Block 4 on Monday afternoon, intentionally causing the mess. That area of the jail normally holds 20-30 inmates.

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson

Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.

When county and LaFayette city maintenance workers couldn't fix the problem, the sheriff's office hired an outside company to unclog the toilet.

Meanwhile, inmates were stuck in their cells, standing in puddles of sewage and holding trays as they ate dinner. The sheriff's office also cut off the water for a period to stop the flooding.

It's a common problem at the jail, often a form of protest, Wilson said.

"A jail is kind of like kindergarten," he said. "We have to run it sometimes like an elementary school. If they don't get their ways, they'll act out, cause problems."

Wilson said he wasn't sure why inmates would be upset enough Monday to flood their own cells with sewage. He also doesn't know who was involved. Sometimes when this happens, he said, other inmates will tell officers who was the guilty party was, angry after having to sit with the smell for hours.

The overflow started around 3:30 p.m. Monday. Wilson estimated that the problem was solved by 11:30 that night.