Former inmate says Calcasieu jail conditions inhumane

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's hot outside and many of us love our air conditioning on the inside. If you're an inmate in the Calcasieu jail, you don't have air conditioning and some think that's wrong.

One man who knows first hand what it's like is St. Patrick Williams because he's been in jail. And the former inmate says it's hot in there-- so hot he calls it inhumane:

Williams,  who they call P-A-T admits he's been in and out of the Calcasieu jail at least four or five times most recently for the month of July. "It's horrible. Those temperatures we've been dealing with have been over 100 degrees and in the dorms as well. Some of them have fans, some don't have fans."

P-A-T says he promised himself when he was released,  he'd try to get something done about what he considers inhumane conditions. "I understand that it's not supposed to be nice, and comfortable and cushy but these are human beings. We are a loving, peaceful society in America and we should treat everyone, even those who have committed wrongs, who are willing to give back to their community by serving their time."

Yet the sheriff says it's jail. It's not supposed to be a comfortable place to stay. Said Sheriff Tony Mancuso, "If they don't like the conditions in the jail, then I suggest they be law abiding citizens like the rest of us and stay out of jail. It's simple as that. There are no plans to put air conditioning in our jail It meets all state and federal and local guidelines for jails."

Course it could always be worse. In Maricopa County,  Arizona, some inmates stay in tents, though officials say the inmates volunteer to be housed there, sort of.  Apparently the tents are better than the alternative which involves lockdown.

Williams also complains the jail has poisonous spiders. "Brown recluses. They have record numbers of people getting bit with poisonous spider bites."

Sheriff says a company sprays monthly and he disagrees. "We have no confirmed spider bites."

Williams, says he plans to stay out of trouble and out of jail--I want to better myself and give back to the community and give back to my fellow human beings and help those people that can't help themselves.

Officials in Arizona say that tent city in Maricopa County houses only those convicted of a crime-- not those awaiting trial--who are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Sheriff Mancuso says they thought about a tent city here but decided against it in part because we have such high humidity, mosquitos and course they'd need more security.

He says he's also contacting his Calcasieu Police juror and Lake Charles City Council member.

Look for more on this story on later editions of KPLC7News and on

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