The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a “gross” letter from an offender at the Chillicothe Correctional Center was delivered to the county jail on Thursday.  Click to hear KMZU’s Mike Stone talk with Sheriff Steve Cox:

Steve Cox

The note, which was addressed to a detainee at the jail, said the inmate had a “contagious and infectious personal hygiene problem.”  The sheriff’s office said the letter’s author gave the detainee specific instructions on how to spread the alleged disease.  A criminal investigation is underway and information has been shared with the U.S. Postal Service.

Press Release from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office

On October 18, we received a letter addressed to a detainee in the Livingston County Jail from an offender in the Chillicothe Correctional Center.  The author of the letter believed the detainee here had a grossly contagious and infectious personal hygiene problem and gave the detainee specific instructions and directions to do the following (the language has been cleaned up for media purposes)

a.       To wipe their hands on their genitals and then shake the hands of the jail employees.

b.      To wipe paper work on their body in the same manner and turn in the same paper work which is required from the detainees.

c.       The author directed our detainee to do this as it would certainly spread the disease to employees of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office.  The author believed the detainee had a serious and contagious problem.  (In all fairness to the detainee(s) we cannot confirm nor deny if anyone has/had a medical issue or is/has received medical treatment; however all that matters is the author of the letter believed our detainee was contagious with a serious health problem.)

Sheriff Cox has caused this information to be shared with the administration of the Chillicothe Correctional Center and the Missouri Board of Parole.  We viewed this as an attempted assault upon our employees and a potentially serious health and safety issue not only for the staff at our office but also the staff at the Chillicothe Correctional Center and possibly even the U.S. Postal Service.  The sheriff caused a criminal investigation to take place and that information will be shared with the U.S. Postal Inspector and the Livingston County Prosecuting Attorney for consideration of charges.  The sheriff also sent a letter to the offender at the Chillicothe Correctional Center sharing his thoughts on the alleged criminal plot and outlining the actions which were now taking place.  We believe in safety and security for all our citizens, employees, and detainees.

This is one of the most grotesque and disgusting things I have personally viewed in over 26 years of law enforcement service.

Steve Cox