Two lawsuits filed by a Missouri prison inmate who claimed that he was forced to swap food and sex for toothbrushes and toothpaste were settled for $4,000, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Attorney General’s office said this week.
Eugene Kenneth Jones’ suit over his stay at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre was scheduled to begin Monday. Another suit, against Southeast Correctional Center staff, was farther from trial.
In court filings, Jones, who is indigent, said that officials seized his $7.50 monthly stipend to pay for the filing fees for a series of state and federal lawsuits.
Although the prison is required to provide basic hygiene items, Jones said employees refused. He said he was forced to exchange food and sexual acts for those items at ERDCC. He suffered tooth and gum problems, his filings claim.
Prison officials countered that the poor condition of Jones’ teeth was the result of “years of poor oral hygiene” before he began serving time for a 2001 armed robbery in St. Louis. Attorney general’s spokeswoman Nancy Gonder said the suits were settled without any admission of liability by officials.