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Attorney urges Richland County to release control of jail to Sheriff Leon Lott

After social media video surfaced of overflowing sewage and undercooked food at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, inmates and a local attorney are asking for change.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Videos from inside Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center have been floating around on social media showing overflowing sewage in dorms and undercooked food. An inmate shared their experience from inside the jail.

"We are citizens and we shouldn't be treated less than citizens because we have been accused of something," the man said. "The commodes are not working, we are having to literally haul water in buckets to make the commodes flush. Even if you are able to flush feces will come up, back up or it will overflow in another room."

On Friday, Richland County verified multiple claims of an officer being stabbed in the head inside the jail on Jan. 11.

A statement taken from the officer says they went into a unit to serve lunch, then were hit on the left side of the back of their head. They removed a metal object and received medical care before putting the jail on lockdown.

The inmate we spoke with says he is happy the social media videos are finally drawing attention to what inmates are experiencing and the violence within the jail.

Columbia attorney Alexandra Benevento says inmates have a constitutional right to basic necessities.

"They have a responsibility to these people and their families to keep them safe and give them the very basic needs, and they're just not doing it," Benevento stated.

She explained that under the constitution inmates have the right to food, water, shelter, and a place that will keep them alive. All citizens also have the right to a speedy trial as well.

"I think the county has proven that they are not capable of managing this facility, of operating this facility in a way that it needs to run and operate, so join the call for Sheriff Lott to take over the jail," Benevento said.

News19 reached out to Richland County for interviews or new statements from the jail director or from the county administrator. Both requests were declined. 

Although the county did not provide any new comments or information, they did say they are aware that improvements need to be made and that they are working on it, adding that staff and safety are a top priority. 

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