Indiana county pays ex-inmates $1.23M in mistreatment case

July 26, 2017

A southern Indiana county has paid a $1.23 million settlement to former inmates who say they were mistreated at a county jail in Indiana.

More than 30 of the 220 former Floyd County Jail inmates who were allegedly mistreated have come forward to receive part of the settlement money, the News and Tribune reported.

The 2014 lawsuit against former sheriff Darrell Mills, jail staff and the Floyd County Commissioners alleges inmates who weren't security threats or on suicide watch were deprived of clothing, bedding and hygiene products. The suit also says they were kept in padded cells and that some were Tased and pepper-sprayed.

Mills said they were doing the same thing all facilities were doing and did nothing wrong.

The settlement avoids litigation of the case, which has been hotly contested and extremely complex, said Magistrate Judge Tim Baker at U.S. District Court for The Southern District of Indiana in a hearing Monday.

Both parties agreed to the settlement, which also requires corrections officers to receive additional training.

The jail has since stopped operating under the previous policy that had staff remove a "combative or potentially suicidal" inmate's clothes and provide them with a smock, said Floyd County Sheriff Frank Loop, who wasn't named in the lawsuit.

The inmates' attorneys will receive nearly 40 percent of the settlement, which comes out to about $450,000 for spending about 800 hours working on the case.

The rest of the money will be divided among the inmates who file a claim, up to $25,000 a person. Inmates who were Tased or pepper-sprayed will receive an additional $3,000. The six plaintiffs named in the lawsuit will receive an additional $15,000 each.

The settlement agreement applies to inmates who were mistreated between mid-2012 and the present. People in custody before that time will have until Aug. 21 to file a claim for compensation.


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