Cobb Sheriff pens response to jail water quality concerns after ACLU issues statement

Cobb Sheriff's Office vehicle at Cobb government office in article about evictions

After the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia alleged in a scathing news release that prisoners at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center were left without clean water for drinking or showers for days, the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office issued a response.

In the ACLU press release, the organization wrote that “Allegedly, only after family members repeatedly called the detention center and 9-1-1, did the Sheriff Department move the impacted individuals to a different part of the jail.”

“In addition to a full investigation into the water contamination at the Cobb County Detention Center, we demand the Sheriff’s Office conduct appropriate comprehensive medical exams of each person who may have been affected to determine what health impact may have occurred from consuming the toxins in the water,” said Christopher Bruce, political director of the ACLU of Georgia. “Everyone in this community should be alarmed over the inhumane and unacceptable conditions at the jail.”

In response, Deputy Glenn Daniel, of the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, issued a public information release that stated the following:

On Friday January 17, 2020 the maintenance staff at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center replaced a valve within the building’s water system. On Saturday an inmate reported to deputies that the water in a single housing area had a slight odor.

Maintenance staff returned to the area and determined that some lubrication fluid used to replace the valve had not been completely wiped down. Immediate action was taken to remove the residual and approximately 25 inmates were moved to another housing area.

As a precaution, the Cobb County Water System has been asked to conduct analysis of water in the now vacant housing area. The test is expected to be conducted on Tuesday, January 21st. Sheriff Warren has instructed that inmates will not be returned to the housing area pending water quality test results.

“Once again the ACLU is spinning a narrative of crisis and conflict when in fact a minor plumbing issue was repaired, inmates were moved as a precaution and additional validation of water quality is being sought,” said Sheriff Neil Warren in the public information release. “Our staff does a tremendous job everyday and having the ACLU trying to cause unwarranted alarm within our community and inmates does more harm than good.”

According to the statement, “The County Manager and Commissioners were all notified and aware of actions taken by the Sheriff’s Office.There have been no other issues resulting from this report.”