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.”
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