Detainees at the Livingston County Jail will now have to pass the time without the luxury of television.  After repeated warnings, inmates continued to damage the jail’s electrical outlets and Sheriff Steve Cox said disciplinary action had to be taken.  Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross talk to Sheriff Steve Cox:

Sheriff Steve Cox
“Historically, we’ve had problems with inmates trying to gain access to the electrical outlets to try and stick staples or anything they can find into the outlet to charge it up so they can try and light maybe dried spinach, beans, or if they’ve got tobacco or something smuggles in here so they can smoke it,”said Cox,” There are locked covers on those and inmates have been damaging those to try to gain access to get a smoke.”

Cox says the detainees were warned last week that further damage to the facility would lead to the loss of the TV’s.  On Tuesday,  a female in custody broke an electrical cover, damaged and left burn markings on the outlet. Cox reports that the current jail-repairs- budget is exhausted and any funds to repair further damages will need to come from the food budget.

Press Release:

We have experienced additional damage to the Livingston County Jail and this most recent crime has led to significant response for the entire jail. In Missouri it is a felony to damage jail property, regardless of value.

Historically we spent tax money on repairing damage to electrical outlets and the locked protective covers when detainee(s) would break these to enable access to the electrical current. The detainees would force items into the electrical outlet to permit one or more detainees to typically light contraband or dried spinach, beans, or peas to smoke.

Our current jail repairs budget is exhausted. Last month we explained to the detainees the next damage to the electrical system would result in the loss of their televisions. Yesterday detainee(s) in cell area 6 broke the locked electrical cover and damaged the electrical outlet and left obvious burn markings on the outlet.

As of noon today we have removed all televisions from the jail areas as we are mandated to treat all detainees equally. The detainees were advised of the problem and if we see additional damage to the jail the only area we have to spend money for needed repairs is from the jail food budget.

An investigation into the identity of the suspect(s) who damaged the jail property is currently underway. We also have an electrician coming to the facility to render the electrical outlet(s) completely safe.