Texas jail closes after recliners found in cells
By ANGELA K. BROWN Associated Press Writer
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A jail in northern Texas has been closed and its nearly 60 inmates transferred as authorities investigate what they call dangerous conditions for jailers and those behind bars - including cells that locked from the inside or contained recliners. Five inmates had already been moved from the Montague County jail to one in a nearby county this month after an FBI raid, said Jack McGaughey, district attorney for Montague, Clay and Archer counties.
McGaughey said some surveillance cameras' cords had been disconnected; recliners were in cells; some bathrooms and cells could be locked from the inside; and inmates had made partitions out of paper towels to block jailers' views inside their cells. One alarming discovery was a type of rack made of nails, he said.
No one has been arrested, but McGaughey plans to present evidence to a grand jury and said "a number of people" - inmates as well as jailers - could be indicted.
Cunningham told WFAA-TV that the conditions made him "shiver" but said he hopes the jail will reopen in two months, with repairs made and inmates back under a new set of rules.
The jail in Montague County, about 65 miles northwest of Fort Worth, has had problems in the past.
The Montague County jail had been put on warning about three months before the escape for falling short of the guard-to-inmate ratio. After the breakout officials made a surprise visit and found the jail still out of compliance.