CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Vaccines are being offered to the inmates at the Al Cannon Detention Center to protect them from getting COVID-19 while in close quarters with one another

They are offering the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines to the jail’s 800 inmates.

“A lot of guys do want to get their shots for their health reasons,” said Maurice Prioleau, inmate.

A senior pastor of a local church spoke with inmates today about his family’s personal experience with COVID-19 to motivate inmates to roll up their sleeves.

“These guys behind these walls are still human beings and these guys behind these walls are still dealing with the virus. Them being vaccinated [is] a good thing because they can return to their families vaccinated and a lot of them do have children and wives,” said Aaron Hicks, senior pastor.

The jail, which currently has 103 residents in quarantine and 42 positive cases, is offering monetary incentives to get vaccinated. Inmates we spoke with said that incentive goes a long way.

“Have nothing, nobody, no support system, nobody to draw info from to call or ask questions, so when $50 gets mentioned, that is the only thing that lingers in their mind,” said Randall Lewis, inmate.

“I will say I do think the incentive does have a lot to do with it and with them being able to receive $50,” said Hicks.

According to detention center officials, they received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine shipment last Friday and have already used 280 doses of the vaccine.

45 inmates were vaccinated Wednesday, and another 100 inmates were expected to be vaccinated Thursday. Giving some inmates greater peace of mind.

Vaccines are being offered at all South Carolina prisons. The Department of Corrections says so far, 58% of the incarcerated population is opting to get vaccinated.