CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano on Thursday released several documents detailing the detention center staff’s concern with the contracted medical provider, Wellpath, amid a string of inmate deaths.

The nearly 200 pages include emails from detention center personnel expressing “grave concern” over Wellpath’s treatment of inmates as well as the company’s performance.

Abigail Duffy, who was the Chief/Director of the jail at the time, emailed Charleston County on May 2, 2022 raising concern. Over the next weeks and months, the staff went back and forth with the county discussing how to move forward.

CCSO eventually got legal counsel involved to “try and force Wellpath’s compliance or to move in a different direction.”

The detention center also explored the possibility of bringing in a different vendor to “provide competent care on an emergency basis.”

By January 6, 2023, Ninth Circuit Public Defender Cameron Blazer sent an email to judges and solicitors in the area warning of the deteriorating conditions at the jail.

A portion of the letter read “the jail has contracted with a medical provider whose provision of services is the worst I have seen since starting my criminal defense career in this office nearly 15 years ago.” Blazer said “the situation is ripe for disaster.”

On March 21, 2023, Charleston County Councilman Teddie Pryor was among many lawmakers who called on the Department of Justice to investigate the conditions at the detention center. In response, CCSO sent a letter stating “we are confident in the actions of our employees in seeking professional care for our residents. We are not confident in the services contracted by the County in our Detention Center and these concerns are documented in numerous communications to Charleston County Government.”

CCSO said it hopes releasing the correspondence would correct what she described as mischaracterizations of CCSO in the media.

“Releasing these documents to the public gives the Sheriff’s Office an opportunity to present an unfiltered picture of what has been happening behind the scenes as we deal with poor medical services from the county-contracted provider, Wellpath, and our own staff-shortage crisis that has been ongoing since 2014,” Amber Allen, CCSO’s communications director said.

Read the full document below: