Dorchester County Sheriff says new jail needed - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Dorchester County Sheriff says new jail needed

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Dorchester County will be getting a new jail located in Summerville near the Sheriff’s office.

The existing facility is in St. George.

The sheriff’s office says the facility is too small and overcrowded. 

The Dorchester County Sheriff’s office says there are a number of security issues due to the facility being out here in St. George vs. Summerville.. Inmate transportation back and forth, the age of the facility, overcrowding of the facility present security problems.

“We’re rated at over 156.. when I first took over as the jail director in 2008, we were over 300 people because of a lot of changes in laws and family court sentencing sort of thing, currently we’re just a little over 200, which is still 50 more than we are supposed to have.” Says Mjr. Terrance A. VanDoran with the Dorchester County Jail.

Officials say that’s not the only problem. Dorchester County Sheriff LC Knight says,  “We also have a classification problem, we have run out of room to house some of these inmates, we have to do a classification on them it’s kind of hard to put one in with a bad crime in with one’s that committed a much lesser crime, if something happens and one of them gets hurt, the lawsuits roll.”

The correctional officers have to do physically checks in the dorms… and the jail director says because of the way the facility is built,  there are blind spots..

“When you have a dorm where you have multiple dorm as we do in 1 location , we have 4 dorms that are supposed to be 10 men dorms each, but you can’t see into them without physically walking into them so that becomes a little bit of a security issue.”

Sheriff LC Knight told News 2 this morning that he is waiting on a cost estimate for the new jail, he hopes to break ground in the next 3-4 months.

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