Former Marathon Co. Jail inmates weigh in on jail safety - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Former Marathon Co. Jail inmates weigh in on jail safety

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Former inmates are offering ways Marathon County Jail can become safer. Three former inmates were invited to talk about their experiences at the jail 

Robert Ujda spent almost five months in the Marathon County Jail.

"I don't want to say it was good, I'd rather not but it was a good experience for me I learned a lot," said former inmate, Robert Ujda.

But he says he noticed several problems.

 "I experienced a lot of inconsistencies, I always thought that there were never enough guards per inmate," said Ujda.

Ujda and two other former inmates were invited to speak to this jail task force.

That group is working on making the jail a safer place after an inmate attacked two corrections officers in March.

"We think that the information they provided will be used in order to help guide us for the future," said Chief Deputy Sheriff Chad Billeb.

Former inmate Ken Chaignot told the panel he's surprised a jail attack didn't happen sooner.

"What happened was bad but until things are changed I think things are going to get a lot worse," said Chaignot.

Chaignot says officers often treated inmates with a lack of respect and that's not all.

"Almost every kind of drug you can think of I've seen in the jail, I've even seen a guy shoot up heroin and they found a young guy that basically dead in the shower from shooting up heroin,"said Chaignot.

Sheriff's officials say they're aware of the drug problem.

"The risk always is present and I'm certain that it does occur here," said Billeb.

 The former inmates shared their thoughts for about two hours.

Chief Deputy Sheriff Chad Billeb says he's grateful to hear their point of view.

"As odd as it sounds any business has their customer and who better to get an idea of how we're doing from the people that we serve," said Billeb.

Both Chaignot and Ujda say they're happy to share. They hope their suggestions will be helpful in making the jail a safer place.

The task force plans to meet one more time, before making final recommendations to the county about improving safety at the jail.

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