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Richland County looks to improve jail

The Richland County Jail has a new interim director with some new ideas.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — During a Richland County Ad Hoc Committee meeting Wednesday, the new Interim Director of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center talked about upgrades to the jail, staffing, the placement of inmates, and health care access.

Crayman Harvey, the new Interim Director, previously worked in the Department of Juvenile Justice for seven years and worked in Kershaw County law enforcement for several years as well. 

Harvey reported that the jail now has140 security personnel on staff, and is making more efforts to hire and maintain staff.

"As a detention officer, if you go out and you get an education degree in criminal justice, you can receive additional pay for that," said County Administrator Leonardo Brown.

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Out of the 187 inmates housed at the jail, Harvey says 60 have mental health issues. The inmate health care provider WELL Health left the jail on June 12, and now a company called ACH will take its place to provide more access to mental health resources. 

"Right now we have 4 RNs, 9 PRNs on staff at the detention center, and our mental health providers, we have 6 mental health providers," Harvey stated.

The presentation about plans for the jail also addressed necessary facility upgrades. The kitchen will see flooring replacements and overall renovations, porcelain toilets in dorms will be replaced with metal toilets with attached sinks, and dorm doors will all be getting slots for delivery of food and medicines, as well as shatter-resistant glass.

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The inmate classification system is also being revised to establish a separate mental health unit, instead of keeping these people in isolation. There will also be a separate unit for elderly inmates.

Also, to make life easier for those being detained in the jail, the facility has brought back half-court basketball courts and given inmates hair clippers again. The jail will be bringing back life skills classes as well beginning in January.

Harvey says all of these changes come with one goal in mind.

"I'm hoping to see that those on Assembly Street, who 90% are mentally ill, that when they come to the detention center, we have services for them. So when they go back out, they won't be a revolving door, that's my hope," Harvey said.

Some of the remodels discussed in the presentation like certain dorm upgrades will be starting Monday, November 21.

RELATED: Concerns raised about conditions at Richland County jail after recent death of inmate

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