Inmates sue Lake County sheriff's office over water shut-off at jail

Updated 12/7/2017 8:21 PM

A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court this week accuses the Lake County sheriff's office of violating inmates' rights when it shut off the water last month at the jail in Waukegan to do work on the water system.

When the water was shut off, the inmates were subjected to inhumane and unsanitary conditions, according to the suit.

Dave Wathen, chief of corrections for the sheriff's office, said in a statement Thursday afternoon the office had not yet been served with the lawsuit.

"Lake County Facilities upgraded a water system at the Lake County jail. During the planned water upgrade to our facilities, inmates were provided with bottled water for drinking and personal hygiene," Wathen said.

The lawsuit, filed Monday on behalf of five inmates, alleges the sheriff's office should have known shutting off the water and limiting the inmates to five water bottles per day for all purposes would result in them becoming sick or experiencing general malaise.

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