NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on May 20 conducted an audit of Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health in the wake of the Jamal Sutherland death investigation.

The investigation was launched after “a complaint was received by the Department’s Division of Health Licensing on 05/18/2021. The complaint alleges [that an] incident occurred…that resulted in transport of patient to jail due to assaulting others while admitted to the Facility.”


Sutherland was a patient at the facility prior to his January 5 death. The North Charleston Police Department was called to the facility during an episode during which Sutherland became violent, according to the audit. Sutherland was taken to the Al Cannon Detention Center, where he died while being extracted from his cell to attend a bond hearing.

As part of the investigation, three representatives made “an unannounced visit” to the facility and conducted interviews with staff.

While at the facility, the representatives also conducted the following:

  • Review of Facility’s Policy and Procedures to include, Incident/Serious Occurrence Reporting Risk Management.
  • Review of the Facility’s Risk/Clinical Summary to include, Brief Description of Incident, Investigation Findings/Risk Issues/Process Failures and Facility Immediate Actions.
  • Walk through of Housing units.
  • Review of Patient record to include Diagnosis, Physician orders, Treatment Plan, Medications, Labs, Physician progress notes, Consents, Pre-Discharge Evaluation and Discharge summary.

The investigation found that the facility failed to report Sutherland’s incident, arrest, and death, which is required to be submitted to DHEC in writing within 10 days of the incident.