After the woman’s attorney told District Court Judge Amber Wolf her client – who appeared not to be wearing pants – had not been given anything to cover up her lower half, Wolf called Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton on her cell phone, as seen in a video from the hearing.
“What the hell is going on?” Wolf asked Bolton. “I’m holding her here until she is dressed appropriately to go back to jail. This is outrageous.”
The inmate’s attorney told Wolf the jail had “refused to give her pants and any kind of hygiene products that she needed” and also claimed inmates at the jail were being denied showers. The woman estimated she had been in jail for “two or three days,” noting she was arrested in the clothes she was wearing, according to the video.
“Excuse me? This is outrageous. Is this for real?” Wolf asked in the video, adding, “Am I in the Twilight Zone? What is happening?”
The video also shows that at the end of the hearing, after Metro Corrections Deputy Director Dwayne Clark brought the woman clothing and Wolf released her from jail with a $100 fine, Wolf apologized to the woman.
“This is not normal,” Wolf said, noting that the jail has enough clothing for all inmates, despite overcrowding. “I’ve never seen it happen … This is completely inhumane and unacceptable. I’m sorry you had to go through this.”
According to local news station KDRB, the woman was arrested for not completing a diversion program following a 2014 shoplifting charge – a charge Wolf appeared visibly frustrated over when the woman was first presented in her courtroom.
Jail officials told KDRB the woman was in fact wearing athletic shorts but they were covered by her long shirt. And although jail spokesman Steve Durham told KDRB many inmates do not receive jail jumpsuits for their first 72 hours in custody, Clark told Wolf in the video that the woman should have received alternate clothing.
“Dressed like she was, she should have been changed into a jumpsuit,” Clark said. “I gotta look into why she wasn’t.”
Durham also told KDRB the jail is investigating recent accusations that inmates are not being given necessary hygiene products.