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'At least treat them like humans': Richland County responds to videos showing jail conditions

Inmates shared videos from inside the jail depicting living conditions that some may find disturbing.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Social media videos from inside the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center show living conditions that some may call disturbing. The videos show disconnected toilets and sinks, with sewage floating in cells. 

"No matter what they did wrong, yes, they did wrong, and some of them didn't do wrong, but they're still human," said spouse Marquita Townes. 

Townes says her fiance has been detained inside the Richland County jail since August. She says the conditions he and other inmates describe are inhumane. When she was sent a social media video from inside the jail depicting uncooked food and overflowing sewage, she says she was not surprised. 

"I've had to call the facility because the shower was backing up whenever they would take a shower," Townes explained. "The food, a lot of times they're only getting bagged lunches. They're getting little imitation Oreo cookies in a pack of four and maybe two sandwiches."

The videos also show toilets disconnected from the walls and a lack of running water in the sinks.

In response to the videos, the jail issued a statement saying, "We have reviewed the recent videos posted on social media from the detention center, and we recognize they show some legitimate concerns that our staff is working diligently to address. However, it is important to acknowledge several other videos were recorded in an unauthorized/unoccupied area, currently closed for renovation."

Richland County added that the videos also highlight a security issue.

"Additionally, the release of these videos also indicated that there are flaws in the security system, which is intended to prevent detainees from obtaining contraband cell phones, and we are working to correct that."

News 19 reached out to Richland County with further questions about the current living conditions but has not received a response. 

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