New Dorchester Co. jail has modern technology to keep officers, inmates, public safe

VIDEO: New Dorchester Co. jail has modern technology to keep officers, inmates, public safe

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Dorchester County is getting ready to open a new jail that will have modern technology to keep officers, inmates and the public safe.

Officials say inmates are expected to move into the detention center in Jedburg by May or June. The facility cost more than $19 million to build.

"No one wants to pay for a new jail. I don't think that is something that people like to think about having to pay for," jail administrator Major Terry Van Doran said.

Van Doran says the new jail was built out of necessity to replace the one in St. George that has been in use since 1959.

"Mainly because of the jail and the capacity," Van Doran explained.

The new jail has enough beds to hold 362 inmates compared to the old one that was designed to hold only 156 inmates.

There are open bay dorms for low-risk inmates who do not have to be in a cell.

"And if they behave, they don't have to be in a cell," Van Doran said.

The dorms that have cells are reserved for high risk inmates. Those cells are designed to keep the inmates from hurting themselves.

"There's nothing in here that they can tie something onto to hang themselves with," Van Doran said.

The jail administrator says the new jail was designed to keep officers and the public safe. If an inmate has to be taken somewhere inside the building it will be close to his or her cell.

"Which cuts down moving inmates from point A to point B," Van Doran said.

He says security cameras will be everywhere.

"Somebody may say you did an overkill with cameras," he says. "I don't believe you can have too many cameras."

The jail also will have a larger kitchen and laundry room and a medical unit for inmates who have to see a doctor or nurse.

Van Doran says 25 additional officers have been hired to work at the new jail.

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