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March 16, 2009

"Texas jail was an Animal House, authorities say"

The title of this post is the headline of this AP story, which I just could not resist blogging.  Here is how the piece starts:

For months, perhaps longer, the Montague County Jail was "Animal House" meets Mayberry. Inside the small brick building across from the courthouse, inmates had the run of the place, having sex with their jailer girlfriends, bringing in recliners, taking drugs and chatting on cell phones supplied by friends or guards, according to authorities. They also disabled some of the surveillance cameras and made weapons out of nails.

The doors to two groups of cells didn't lock, but apparently no one tried to escape — perhaps because they had everything they needed inside....

There were whispers in the past year about an affair between a female jailer and male inmate, but folks dismissed the rumors as small-town gossip.  It was not until late last month, when a Texas grand jury returned a 106-count indictment against the former sheriff and 16 others, that the inmates-gone-wild scandal broke wide open.

The indictment charged Bill Keating, sheriff from 2004 until December, with official oppression and having sex with female inmates.  The others indicted include nine guards — seven women and two men — who were charged with various offenses involving sex or drugs and other contraband.  Four inmates also were charged.  Local, state and federal authorities are still trying to figure out how this small-town Texas jail was turned into something resembling a frat house.

March 16, 2009 at 06:30 PM | Permalink

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