(WWJ) Jelani Page is paralyzed from the waist down, and says he’s subjected to used catheters, a rusty-three wheeled wheelchair and a bathroom filled with mold — because he’s an inmate at Wayne County Jail.
He says the conditions are deplorable at what he calls “America’s dirtiest jail.”
“There’s black stuff and mold, a lot of bugs lying around in there, gotta use a wheelchair, it got mold on it, it’s all rusted out, it’s got three wheels on it,” Page says.
Page is a guest of the county because of a drug conviction in 2015. He was paralyzed when he was shot and robbed at a Detroit gas station in 2013.
“I’m bleeding on my insides,” he said, adding that Detroit Receiving Hospital told him he needs surgery to determine the cause of the bleeding. He told WWJ’s Tom Jordan prison staff won’t take him there for the care he needs.
He’s in the medical wing of downtown Detroit’s old Wayne County Jail, where he claims the staff refuses medical treatment for internal bleeding, years-old bedsores and infections, and makes him re-use disposable catheters.
Going further, he claims an inmate had brain surgery — and was given only one Tylenol to staunch the pain. “There was got who had got shot in the head and they had to remove the bullet so they cut his head open — They gave him one Tylenol,” he said.
Sheriff Benny Napoleon isn’t buying it.
“I can’t imagine that they’re re-using a catheter,” Napoleon said, refuting that and Page’s claims. He told WWJ’s Tom Jordan he’ll investigate the allegation.
Warren County Executive Warren Evans oversees the jail’s infirmary — and he’s not denying there are issues for those with medical issues.
The Wayne County jail situation has been a point of controversy for years. There’s an unfinished 2,000-bed jail, which most consider an eyesore, across from the county courthouse in Detroit. Construction stopped in 2013 because the project was wildly over budget, with cost overruns totaling more than $90 million.
The county is pursuing a Dan Gilbert plan that would allow the billionaire to take over and redevelop the property where the empty, partially-constructed new jails sits. In exchange, Gilbert would build a new criminal justice center on E. Forest Ave. near I-75.