Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 8:40 a.m.
A group of inmates facing tough charges at the Broward County Main Jail is suing representatives of the Broward Sheriff's Office and the jail's health-services contractor, Armor Correctional Services, for inadequate dental care.
Specifically, the inmates say that the toothbrushes provided by the jail -- "the finger brush for animals that does not work," as the suit says, pictured at right -- is leaving them with gingivitis and bleeding gums. They say that the one-year waiting period for inmates to get their teeth cleaned is leaving them in discomfort for months.
"Day and night I'm spitting up blood," writes Tommy Yesbick, one of three inmates representing themselves in a federal lawsuit against Sheriff Al Lamberti and Armor Vice President Karen Davies.
"Many other men here have gingivitis due to these worthless toothbrushes that we are issued," he continues. "They are not even approved by the American Dental Association and they are only sold in pet stores for pets."
In fact, the clear, finger-sized "brushes" with rubber bristles are also sold expressly to correctional institutions, where they supposedly can't be used to hide weapons or stab people in the eye.
Each LSR-1 Finger Toothbrush is individually wrapped and packed 500 per bag, 2000 per case.
LSR-1 SILICONE FINGER TOOTHBRUSH
Eliminates Weapons Made From Standard, SEG and Security Toothbrushes.
Measuring 2.25 long, the LSR-1 is completely clear. It cannot be sealed together, melted, burned or altered to fashion prison weapons or to hide contraband. Cleans Teeth, Stimulates Healthy Gums. Excellent for Segregation, Intake, Maximum, Suicide and Close Environments.
Replace every 3 months or as needed.
The other co-plaintiffs, Brent Provost and Jimmy Taylor, have similar complaints.
In the suit, they're asking for the jail to switch to more effective toothbrushes and to be allowed dental care prior to one year in the jail. Yesbick is asking for $10,000 in monetary damages as well, but the other two are simply asking to get their teeth cleaned.
Yesbick is in jail awaiting trial for murder, and it looks like he's also charged with "battery by a person detained in a jail facility" ... not exactly giving the impression of the model inmate. Provost is in for a mess of domestic-violence charges, and Taylor awaits drug-trafficking charges.
Jail Toothbrush Lawsuit
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