COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Corrections has responded to Richland County's plan to improve the local jail. And while the corrections department overall approves of the plan, they did have additional questions for the county.
In April, Richland County officials sent the South Carolina Department of Corrections a detailed strategic plan to address safety and sanitation issues at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. The report had been requested after three inmates deaths and issues with toilets, door locks, and officers being arrested.
The 180 page document detailed the county's main goals, including improving to improve the culture at the jail so employees want to work there, inmates are treated well while they're detained, and Richland County residents can feel safe.
In their response, Blake Taylor Jr, the Correction Department's Director of Compliance, Standards, and Inspections, said the responses were adequate on one of the jail's key plans, which is to install new locks on all cells. But the department said was concerned about length of time--about one year--it was going to take to get all the locks ordered and installed. Taylor wanted to know how the jail will prioritize which cells get locks first and how the jail will provide security until all the devices are in place.
The corrections department also wanted to see an action plan on how the county will build an addition for treatment of medically and mentally ill detainees as well as whether a contractor or the county will be in charge of managing the food service operation at the jail.
Finally, the corrections department said the jail must find a permanent jail director, which they haven't had since the former director was fired in September of 2022. Taylor said this must be accomplished "without further delay" and the process will be monitored closely over the next few weeks.