By Steve Neavling
The Justice Department announced Thursday that it has launched an investigation into conditions at two jails in South Carolina.
The DOJ said it has received “credible allegations” that inmates have died from use of force, gross medical neglect and suicide in the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center.
The department also received “credible allegations” that the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center is structurally unsafe and that there have been sexual assaults, homicides and “prevalent violence resulting in serious injuries.”
“People confined in local jails across our country do not abandon their civil and constitutional rights at the jailhouse door,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “We are launching these investigations to determine whether the jail conditions in two of South Carolina’s largest counties comply with basic constitutional standards. We are committed to ensuring that people held inside jails and prisons are not subjected to excessive force, violent conditions, inadequate medical and mental health care, and other dangerous physical conditions while in the custody of their local government.”
U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs for the District of South Carolina said it’s important to “ensure the safet of those housed in these facilities.”
“Our office is committed to protecting the constitutional rights and ensuring the safety of all people in South Carolina, including those being detained or incarcerated in county detention centers,” Boroughs said. “We look forward to working with the Civil Rights Division to ensure the safety of those housed in these facilities.”
The jails are operated and funded by Charleston and Richland counties.