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Bibb County Sheriff's Office takes media on tour of jail after pictures show unsafe conditions

Earlier this week, pictures showed inmates sleeping on cots, not social distancing, and not wearing masks.

MACON, Ga. — This week, a viewer sent 13WMAZ photos that showed inmates who weren't wearing masks, crowded together, and sleeping on cots. That story caused a stir among some county commissioners Tuesday. In reaction to the pictures, Bibb County Sheriff David Davis allowed the media to tour the jail on Thursday. 13WMAZ Anchor and Reporter Wanya Reese took a tour of the jail and broke down what he saw during his visit.

Sheriff David Davis showed us inside the J block, which is where inmates are held once they are booked and arrested. Inside, I saw inmates without masks, sleeping on cots, and hanging out together, not social distancing. Throughout the tour, Davis told the media that his staff is keeping everyone inside of here safe from COVID-19.

Sheriff David Davis started off showing us J block 100 and 200, where due to COVID-19, they hold inmates for ten days after they're arrested and booked.

"There are individuals sleeping out on the floor, but they are not on the floor, they have a cot sort of situation," Davis said. 

Davis says these cots are pulled out when the J block gets full, but he says the photos that were sent to 13WMAZ was taken during the day when inmates can walk around. Inside the jail Thursday, I saw some inmates wearing masks while others did not. Some were gathering in groups, and I also saw washcloths hanging around the block that seemed to be a COVID-19 risk. 

When I asked Davis about my observation, he responded by saying, "In this area here, that's why this is an isolation area -- nobody comes in and out, the jail deputies, they have to wear a mask, but it is a chance you take. These inmates have masks, they can get through the commissary store."

Davis says inmates can get their own masks to wear, but he cannot stop them from gathering in groups in the isolation unit. When it comes to cleaning, Davis says the jail is cleaned at least 3 to 4 times a day. 

"We need to always make sure that the jail is cleaned up," Davis said. 

Right now, Davis says they have protocols in place to quarantine inmates if they do start to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.

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