Former employee talks about New Madrid Co. jail shutting down

Former employee talks about New Madrid Co. jail shutting down
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)

NEW MADRID, MO (KFVS) - The New Madrid County Commission recently voted to shut down the New Madrid County Jail.

Clyde Hawes, presiding New Madrid County commissioner, said the county commission met and decided to shut down the jail. He said all jailers must be out of the jail in two weeks.

All county inmates were previously moved to the Scott County Jail for planned renovations.

Hawes said five jailers and one cook will lose their jobs. The sheriff's office will remain in the jail. They are not planning to demolish the building, but will do repairs and renovations. He said there is no timetable on when it will be finished.

Justine Sullivan said she was the cook at the New Madrid County Jail. She said she's at a loss because she found out she lost her job, she's battling health issues and she has two kids to support.

Sullivan said she got a phone call informing her she was losing her job. At that time, she was on medical leave.

"There's something because too many were getting sick," Sullivan said. "Too many employees that are sick and they just keep denying it. It's like they are hiding it."

The New Madrid County Sheriff's Office recently addressed several questions concerning black mold in the New Madrid County Jail and rumors of it being shut down.

Hawes said they do not have a mold problem. He said they found green mold and it is being removed, but no black mold was found.

"We were so convinced with this many people saying things that we looked into another place to move them into," Mark Baker, a fellow commissioner said. "In fact, we agreed to buy the thing until this environmental assessment was done. It had the bigger problem. Where we were going to move them had the mold problem."

On June 26, the sheriff's office reported the jail was not closing down.

According to a post on

on June 26, Sheriff Terry Stevens and the New Madrid County Commissioners had an environmental survey company test for black mold, and air quality issues in the jail.

The results of these tests indicated the New Madrid County Jail did not have a black mold problem, according to the sheriff's department.

Both the tape lifts and air samples came back with insignificant levels of mold, according to the sheriff's office on June 26. The tests did indicate the presence of common green mold in the shower areas of the jail.

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