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Whistleblower: LMDC officials ignored proof of drugs

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 8:58 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A former corrections officer at the Louisville Metro Detention Center said the jail’s leaders turned a “blind eye” to drugs inside the facility.

“I knew this was going to happen,” Yvette Sheets said of the 15 inmates who were treated and evaluated for possible drug overdoses on Sept. 24.

Sheets said she worked at the Louisville Department of Corrections for a few weeks between July and September of 2021 before she quit.

“I morally could not handle that,” she said.

Sheets said she intercepted three notes between inmates describing drugs like orange pills and “ice cream” for $100.

“‘This is what we have,’ ‘This is what it will cost you,’ ‘I know how much you like this drug,’” she recalled the notes saying.

Sheets said she reported the notes to her sergeant and took a bag of a white powder she found to her lieutenant.”Pretty much told me that it would take an act of God to do a shakedown in the dorms,” she said. “That the administration rarely ever approves a shakedown.”

Sheets said finding drugs inside the jail was not that surprising, but what followed was.

“The notes were tossed in the garbage and that was the end of it,” she said.

Sheets agreed to her interview hours after WAVE 3 News broke the story that 15 inmates were being treated and evaluated for drug overdoses on Sept. 24.

LMDC Assistant Director Stephen Durham was not happy about the claims. He called them ridiculous, incredible, and completely untrue. He said captains, lieutenants and sergeants can authorize searches and that LMDC does a thorough job of searching. He hung up before being asked about the 15 inmates.

“I don’t know who to talk to, where to turn, but this is not right,” Sheets said. “This is definitely not how you run a jail. ... That’s really, really, sad because their spiral keeps going, going, and going. I would apologize to their moms and dads and their family members. Like, I am so sorry that this is the situation that is there.”

Sheets’ claims come on the heels of a series of accusations by corrections officers against LMDC’s administration which include working conditions, low staffing levels and concerns for the inmates’ safety. The complaints have led to Louisville Metro Council hearings, and calls for the jail’s director, Dwayne Clark, to be fired.

The Louisville Metro Corrections FOP Lodge 77 Spokesperson Tracy Dotson provided the following statement:

“The FOP has been saying for weeks that current jail conditions are untenable and that it’s only a matter of time until a tragedy occurs. That was prevented today by exemplary Officers giving their all, even while suffering from extreme fatigue and chronic apathy. LMDC leadership bears the ultimate responsibility for running a safe and efficient jail, and LMDC is neither safe nor efficient.”

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