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Inmate death at Richland County jail confirmed; Officials address concerns

Few details about the death have been made available at this time and the deceased has not been identified.

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — The Richland County Coroner's Office said an inmate has died at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

The death was confirmed to News19 on Thursday afternoon and, according to a county spokesperson, is under investigation.

No details regarding the cause or manner of death have been released and the coroner's office said the inmate's name hasn't been released as authorities continue working to find family members.

News19 has requested additional information from the Richland County Sheriff's Department which the coroner's office said is also involved in the investigation.

This is the second reported death at the detention center in 2022 with the first being 27-year-old Lason Butler. His death spurred a federal lawsuit claiming unsanitary conditions and negligence contributed to his death.

The coroner's office said that Butler died of dehydration. How the latest inmate death occurred has not been made public.

The facility has also been grappling with changing leadership, after firing the jail director, two months into the job, in September following an internal review.

But, county administration says it has been taking steps to improve the facility.

Administrators say they've hired over 50 new detention officers, increased pay, created a medical and mental health unit, and moved away from isolation tactics.

While the county has direct oversight of the jail, at the state level, Rep. Leon Howard said the body of legislators representing Richland County is ready to assist where needed.

"I think we have a responsibility now as a delegation to have a joint meeting and talk to our fellow council members to find out what they need, if we can help them with anything," Rep. Howard said. "If they need money in the budget.... if they need resources. Inmates should be safe."

He added that the delegation could take more aggressive action like requesting an audit to analyze the jail's operations.

For now, they're waiting to learn more details on how the inmate passed away.

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