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Guilford County jail addresses mold, staffing concerns

FOX8 News
FOX8 News
 2022-08-09

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — An inmate’s perspective is shedding light on the mold and staffing problem at the Guilford County Detention Center in Greensboro.

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“They don’t know what they’re doing from one day to the next,” the inmate told FOX8’s Tyler Hardin during a 15-minute phone call. “It’s living on a day-by-day basis.”

The 42-year-old inmate said he never knows what days will be like since being locked up in February.

He told FOX8 he spent more than 72 hours without a shower or recreation time outside of his cell over the weekend.

“You don’t even know when you’ll be able to come out of your cell,” the inmate said. “You don’t know when you’ll be able to take a shower. You don’t know when you’ll be able to use a razer.”

He blames it on staffing issues and other problems at the 10-year-old facility.

Guilford County Detention Center faces staffing shortage with mandatory overtime

On July 14, Major George Moore, who oversees detention center operations, admitted to FOX8 there are times inmates are locked down for a day or two.

“State statute says we have to let inmates out three hours per week, and we do that a lot more than three hours per week,” Moore said.

Detention officers are currently working mandatory overtime two days a month due to the staffing shortage.

“There’s a lot of hostility,” the inmate said. “You can feel the anger, and you can feel the tension between the inmates and the guards.”

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A new issue was discovered last week. Mold was found on the third, fifth and seventh floors of the detention center.

Guilford County Facilities Director Eric Hilton told FOX8 a maintenance worker spotted the mold on the ceiling in the showers. It was later discovered in common areas inmates used.

Hilton said the worst of it is on the third floor where this inmate lives.

“Right now, you can see the mold and the mildew growing in the shower,” the inmate said. “I’ve actually had to put a request into maintenance because…there was water sitting inside the shower, and there was mold and mildew and bugs and everything else flying around in the showers.”

Hilton told FOX8 it could take weeks to properly remove the mold. An outside company was hired to thoroughly clean the facility, and mold samples are still being tested. Hilton said preliminary results showed the mold was allergenic and not toxigenic.

The inmate told FOX8 that daily cleanings are no longer happening and instead are once a week or less.

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In a news release on Aug. 5, Sheriff Danny Rogers said that “inmates housed in the affected areas are being relocated (on a rotating basis) to other housing units inside the Greensboro Detention Center while the testing and cleaning processes are completed.”

The inmate who spoke to FOX8 said that is not the case.

“The inmates here need help,” he said. “They need to get a grip on this place. They need to get it together.”

The inmate said it starts with getting more detention officers on staff.

“The officers here are overworked,” the inmate said. “A lot of them are getting sick and tired of it. You can tell.”

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