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flint water crisis

Flint jail reportedly lied to inmates about contaminated water for months

Inmates at Genesee County Jail in Flint, Michigan allegedly were not given the same warning as the rest of the city's residents about the dangers of drinking Flint's contaminated tap water, Democracy Now! reports. While the rest of the city began avoiding the water in October, when Flint's mayor declared a state of emergency over the water's high lead levels, inmates — including pregnant women — say that they were bathing in, drinking, and eating food made with the contaminated water until Jan. 23.

Former inmate Jody Cramer says the jail only heeded the state of emergency for five days before the sheriff said that a water quality test showed the water was safe and the jail switched back over to tap. "Many inmates made complaints due to the fact that the deputies would not drink from the faucets — they all carried bottled water," Cramer told Democracy Now!. "We were consistently told that the water in the jail was good."

When the inmates finally started receiving bottled water on Jan. 23, Democracy Now! reports that they were given just two 12-ounce bottles twice daily — less than half the recommended daily amount for adult men.

Read the full story at Democracy Now!.