Inmates get rooftop access, put neighbors on edge

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Inmates at the Douglas County Jailare locked up but still scaring those on the other side of the bars.

Inmates play basketball and peer at people passing by from the rooftop of the Douglas County Jail on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, in Omaha, Nebraska. Neighbors said the inmates will yell down at them and keep too close of an eye on what they're doing.

Starting Sunday, inmates were allowed out in the caged basketball court on top of the jail.

One woman said they're starting to frighten her family and the college-aged women next door. She wished to remain anonymous for her safety.

"Move it out the door baby," one inmate can be heard shouting in a cell phone video taken by neighbors.

"We were told they don't allow the inmates to use that property up there," the neighbor woman said.

She claims that's what County Corrections told her a year-and-a-half ago when she and her family moved into the neighborhood.

"They're very loud. It's noisy," she said.

Neighbors told 6 News that over the past couple of days inmates at the county jail have been let out on the fenced-in court to play basketball, or that's what they're supposed to be doing.

"They're clearly watching. They're not doing anything else but watching," the neighbor said.

Video shows the inmates yelling back-and-forth with drivers, lining the fence to peer through holes in the cage.

"I don't feel comfortable knowing that they can just look at me and know what I'm doing all the time," the woman said.

She said she returned home from a job to hear the inmates hollering and felt their gaze even after she walked inside her back door.

"I can't build a fence big enough to keep somebody from looking into our property that's above us," the woman said. "All day, every day, if the weather is nice, I'm going to have people looking into my windows."

The woman said she stays shut up in her home, trapped inside by the men who are locked up.

"I feel a little bit like a prisoner," she said.

Another area property owner said he hasn't seen the fenced-in court used in about 10 years.

A new corrections director was promoted last fall.