ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – The Anderson County Detention Center was built in the 1950’s and hasn’t seen significant upgrades since then. Now, it’s outgrowing itself.
Cells that were built for four inmates are cramming in up to 12.
“Our jail has been overcrowded for some years,” said Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns.
The jail’s capacity is 200 people, but according to one lieutenant, as of Friday morning, they have 459 inmates inside.
Conditions have been deteriorating for awhile.
“Right now we don’t have areas to provide mental health counseling, spaces for our prisoners to meet with attorneys,” Burns said. “We really don’t have anything but jail cells.”
Nothing has been done about the current jail, until now.
Anderson County Council said the pandemic set them back, but they’ve agreed on a way to raise the $55 to $60 million its going to take to build a new jail.
The county has created a nonprofit board, with four members who will secure money and find construction firms to build it.
“County council selected some people from the community who were knowledgeable and could represent the community, plus they have two councilpeople on there,” Burns explained. “They in essence will hold the debt and the county will guarantee that debt.
The best part for Anderson County residents, is it won’t dip into your wallet.
“We will be able to do without raising taxes, because we have paid off some past debt, and we’ll just replace that debt with the money needed for a new jail,” Burns said.
Anderson County says the new jail will remain in the same location on David Lee Coffee Place.