Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center in North Charleston | File photo | Credit: Ruta Smith file photo

U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, R-Charleston, and two Charleston County Council members on Monday toured the Al Cannon Detention Center on Leeds Avenue with questions about why seven prisoners died in the last 18 months.

Families of victims and some elected officials have called for a federal investigation into deaths at the jail. In December, a 28-year-old man died of what recently was deemed “gross medical neglect.” 

Mace told WCSC that 40% to 50% of people in the facility face mental health issues and stressed that the detention center was not a mental health hospital. 

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions,” Mace added. “I also think it will be healthy and important to have a third-party take a look at what’s going on so we can make sure that they have the resources that they need.”

Charleston County Council members Teddie Pryor and Herbert Sass, who have spearheaded an effort in the council to bring federal attention to conditions at the jail, joined Mace in the tour. 

When asked about the jail’s health care provider, Pryor said, “What we want to do right now is get to the bottom of how they’re doing, what they’re getting paid for, and are the inmates suffering because of neglect, because they’re not doing the job? And so I think to point the fingers, ‘Who signed up? Who didn’t?’ We’re not here for that right now. We’re just here to find out what went wrong, and how to fix what went wrong.”

In other headlines:

USC Lady Gamecocks head to third Final Four. The Lady Gamecocks wore down Maryland with their defense and propelling the team into its third Final Four in a Monday night thriller. The No. 1 team next faces gritty Iowa 9 p.m. Friday in a Final Four matchup that’s certain to be a good game.

Blackbaud rejects $3.78B buyout offer. Daniel Island-based Blackbaud Inc. has rejected a $3.78 billion buyout offer from Clearlake Capital Group to buy the shares it doesn’t already own for $71 each.

2 candidates eyed for state comptroller. Legislators could choose between former GOP House lawmaker Kirkman Finlay and Mike Shealy, the Senate’s longtime chief budget adviser, as the next — and potentially last — elected comptroller.

Charleston NAACP elects new officers. Retired Charleston County special education teacher Dorothy Jenkins was elected the new president of the Charleston branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In her new role, Jenkins is charged with rebuilding the civil rights organization thrown off track during the pandemic.

Prosecutors, sheriffs in S.C. ask legislators to change how judges are elected. Prosecutors and sheriffs from across South Carolina are calling on legislators to relinquish some of their power over the judicial branch to help restore public faith in the process.

Charleston Co. affordable housing plan favored, but needs money. The “Housing Our Future” plan, created by an outside consulting group, seems to have drummed up enthusiastic community support with residents urging Charleston’s nine County Council members to adopt it in full.

West Ashley man mistakenly declared dead. A West Ashley man received a big surprise during a routine visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Social Security Administration incorrectly declared him dead, he said, and was accused of impersonating a dead man.

Phase 1 of Glenn McConnell Pkwy widening to be completed soon. Phase one of three for the widening project of Glenn McConnell Parkway in West Ashley is on track to be completed in three to four weeks.

Charleston city councilman looking to change preservation policies on the peninsula. Councilman Jason Sakran is hoping to create clearer guidelines when it comes to the preservation of homes north of Line Street and more flexibility for homeowners seeking approval for alterations or demolition.

To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

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