DOJ to Investigate Whether S.C. Inmates Face ‘Substantial Risk’

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that it is launching an investigation into two South Carolina detention centers. Civil Rights Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center in Charleston will be investigated for residents’ “access to medical and mental health care.” She cited an incident where center employees repeatedly tased and pepper-sprayed an incarcerated person, who ultimately died after being restrained in a chair and spit hood. The DOJ will also determine if the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia protects inmates from violence and whether they are placed in dangerous living conditions. Clarke said an inmate died from homicide-induced dehydration, and there had been escapes, riots, and violent outbreaks. “Regardless of someone’s alleged crimes, they deserve to be treated fairly and they should not face substantial risk of serious harm while incarcerated,” Clarke said.

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