Sheriff refutes social media report of riot and fire inside Spalding County Jail

Photo courtesy of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix is refuting a social media post reporting a fire and riot inside the Spalding County Jail.

The allegation posted on a local public Facebook forum said in part, “If anyone has family or friends inside of the Spalding County Jail, they should be aware that there has been a fire inside of the jail. This has caused the jail to fill up with smoke. The inmates have been locked down inside of their cell since 10 p.m. last night. Majority of the inmates are half naked because the uniforms burned. Now inmates are getting sick from smoke inhalation but can’t leave their cells. The jail is on lockdown because of a riot in the satellite division. Reinforcements have been called to help control the situation.”

Dix, however, said there was neither a riot nor fire at the jail.

“This is factually what happened. One of the detention officers last night, overnight, was pushing a cart in one of the housing units that had inmate uniforms in it. He noticed it smoking. He pushed it out onto the rec yard and got a fire extinguisher and put it out,” Dix said. “There was no fire. There was no blaze. There was a total of about 30 inmate jumpsuits that were damaged. Nobody is walking around half naked because of it. None of that stuff is true.”

Dix said it was considered such a minor incident, which he estimated occurred in the 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. range, that he was not even notified until later Friday morning.

“It never like blazed up; it was just smoking,” he said.

He also said jail inmates remain adequately clothed.

“We have over 600 people in that jail, and we do not have a shortage of clothes. If there was a shortage of clothes, we would go to another jail and borrow some from somebody. If they’re walking around without clothes on, that’s because they don’t want to have clothes on. That’s not on us,” he said.

Dix confirmed this was an isolated incident and that no riot took place inside the jail, saying, “There was no riot. There was no nothing. It was absolutely a non-event.”

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