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“Honorable Sir: We, the undersigned beg to submit for your consideration, the following grievances of mistreatment as prisoners confined in the United States war of the Marion county jail, to-wit: First, we wish to call your attention to the fact that the prisoners are refused the proper means of maintaining personal bodily cleanliness, owing to the nonprovision of soap, towels and hot water.
Complained of Vermin.
“Many are compelled to sleep on the bare, damp concrete floor without bedding of any description. Those of the prisoners who are provided with bedding are without one exception reeking with vermin. The blankets furnished are not only filled with vermin, but are positively filthy. The men must use these to protect themselves from the cold, from which they suffer not a little because of lack of sufficient covering. The officials as a whole are indifferent to the requests of the prisoners for the chemicals furnished with which to spray their bedding themselves. The bedbugs, together with the vermin make sleep next to impossible.
Demanded Medical Aid.
“One of the most inhuman acts of injustice which the prisoners are forced to bear and suffer is being compelled to use the bedding of men afflicted with unmentionable diseases, which one is liable to contract at any time. These same men and others suffering from various complaints brought on by lack of food and long confinement have had to wait for days before medical aid could be obtained. This applies not only to the county prisoners, but to the United States prisoners as well. Men who have money to purchase articles of food necessary to regain and maintain their health are refused the same when there is a man who is kept purposely to purchase such articles as the prisoners may be able to pay for, and as the statues provide for under section 6, 118 R. S. of 1881, which is still in force. Even food brought here by wives, mothers and friends has been refused the prisoners for which it was intended.
“Jail Plot Exposed,” Indianapolis Sun (Indianapolis, Indiana), 20 September 1906, p. 8, col. 3; digital image, Newspaper Archive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 7 April 2014).