Federal lawsuit filed in high-profile 2018 stabbing at Metro Jail

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A former inmate at Mobile Metro Jail has filed a federal lawsuit following a high profile stabbing attack from 2018. The complaint alleges dangerous conditions at the jail itself led to a serious stabbing. This lawsuit really gets at the heart of problems at the jail that Warden Trey Oliver and others have spoken about for years.

The complaint was filed by Joshua Dickinson. The complaint says in January 2018 he was attacked by his cellmate Joshua Brown and stabbed at least three times.

The suit says Joshua Brown showed signs of mental illness and violence. Because of overcrowding and inadequate staffing, the complaint says, violent inmates are housed with nonviolent inmates.

Another big question raised by this complaint concerns weapons. How did an inmate get a consumer-grade knife into the jail? Attorney for the plaintiff, Henry Brewster says this complaint alleges a number of systemic problems which were the cause of his treatment.

The complaint points out the Warden himself, on the day of the attack, talked about a number of shortcomings at the jail including staffing issues and overcrowding.

The case was just filed in federal court last week. I reached out to the attorney for Mobile County, Jay Ross, who said they had not even been served yet and couldn’t comment on pending litigation for the time being.

NOTE: An earlier version of this story cites a portion of the complaint that said Dickinson’s charge of domestic violence was nolle prossed or not prosecuted before he was attacked. A closer look at one of the documents indicates that motion happened days after the incident. Attorney Henry Brewster said he will likely amend the complaint.

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