NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-SC) will tour the Al Cannon Detention Center on Monday in wake of several deaths reported at the jail in the past year.
Mace, who represents South Carolina’s First Congressional District, will be joined by Charleston County Councilman Teddie Pryor and other leaders when they visit the facility, which is in response to six recent inmate deaths.
The most recent death happened earlier this month and involved 50-year-old Julian Jenkins.
On March 14, a detention deputy checked in on an inmate in the medical unit and declared an emergency. While a cause of death was not specified by the Charleston County Coroner’s Office, the sheriff’s office said that medical personnel responded and performed CPR along with other “life-saving measures,” but Jenkins did not survive.
Charleston County Councilman Teddie Pryor told News 2 last week that he asked the county’s attorneys to draft a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice calling for a federal investigation into the Al Cannon Detention Center.
That request comes after the coroner’s office revealed the manner and cause of death for 28-year-old D’Angelo Brown who died at the Medical University of South Carolina in December 2022 after they were allegedly left in squalor at the detention center.
Coroner O’Neal determined the cause of death for Brown was E. Coli EAEC sepsis with septic shock and multiple organ system failure due to gross medical neglect. She deemed the death a homicide.
Councilman Pryor said Brown was found lying in his own feces and believes the inmate’s treatment at the jail was inhumane. He wants an independent eye to give the county an assessment of what needs to be done to stop these types of deaths from happening.
“My objective is to go straight into the holding area where this young man was laying in his feces and didn’t receive the proper treatment, that’s where I want to go this morning,” Councilman Pryor told News 2 on Monday. “I’ve been to the jail several times, I’ve toured the jail several times. I want to go the facts are at and where it happened.”
State Rep. Marvin Pendarvis said he is also sending a letter to the DOJ requesting an investigation into the facility.
Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano said the sheriff’s office has “nothing to hide,” and said she respects the investigative process and the value of an independent inquiry.
“We welcome factual information rather than rumor and innuendo. We also will hear any concerns expressed to us directly and welcome anyone interested in taking a tour of the facility to do so any Friday morning,” the sheriff said in a March 22 statement.
Sheriff Graziano said her department has been raising concerns about the medical care provided at the detention center for months before Brown’s death and will continue to appropriately address those concerns.
“Our deputies are sworn to protect the rights of the people they serve. We take that oath seriously, and they will continue to ensure our residents are treated humanely,” she said.
Rep. Mace and other local elected leaders are expected to share their comments on the facility immediately following Monday’s visit.