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Detainees call Buffalo jail 'inhuman'

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BUFFALO, N.Y., Sep 18, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Women held at the Erie County Holding Center in Buffalo, N.Y., say the jail is filthy with a putrid smell and they were denied medication and toilet paper.

"They treated us like animals in that holding pen," detainee Madelyn V. Cheatham told the Buffalo News. "There were about 16 of us in this tiny room, and I had to sleep on the floor, and it stunk of urine. It was hell."

County law enforcement officials deny inhumane conditions. They say the facility has adequate supplies of toilet paper and related items, and medical concerns are addressed, the News said.

However, officials also said the county budget crisis has taken a toll on jail staff, and guards and maintenance crews have been cut.

Sheriff Timothy B. Howard, suggests no one need experience the jail's conditions.

"If you don't like the conditions here, live your life in such a way so you don't have to come here," he said. "The bottom line is jail is not a nice place."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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