Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health requests DHEC reconsider citation following death of Jamal Sutherland

Jamal Sutherland Death Investigation

Jamal Sutherland (NCPD body camera)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health on Thursday submitted a Request for Reconsideration to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), which cited the facility following the January 4 arrest and subsequent death of Jamal Sutherland, a patient at the facility.

Sutherland was taken into custody after becoming violent at Palmetto Behavioral Health. He died after deputies at the Al Cannon Detention Center attempted to extract him from his cell to attend a bond hearing.


DHEC cited Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health for violating a protocol that stipulates incidents that result in inmate injuries be reported within 10 days.

The facility was given until June 4 to submit a plan detailing changes that would be made in response to the violation.

Instead, Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health asked DHEC to reconsider the citation:

“Palmetto Lowcountry did not identify [the Sutherland event] as a reportable event under the regulations. Not every criminal event occurring on the hospital campus would require a report to the Department. Based upon the language of the regulation as a whole, Palmetto Lowcountry did not believe that this event was reportable to the Department under the circumstances. Palmetto Lowcountry takes all such events – whether or not a patient is involved – seriously. Palmetto Lowcountry strives to comply with all legal requirements and to seeks to de-escalate any such situation as quickly and safely as possible to ensure the protection of patients and staff. Based upon the foregoing, Palmetto Lowcountry respectfully requests the Department reconsider this citation.”

DHEC noted that the Request for Reconsideration “is not a formal appeal of a final Department decision.” Rather, it “provides opportunity for additional review of the cited alleged violation.”

The requirement for Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health to submit a Plan of Correction is paused until DHEC makes a decision on the Request for Reconsideration.

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