11/17/2000

Recent South Carolina jail improvements were not a response to first jail officer's death in 63 years, officials say

PoliceOne Staff Report
()RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C.) -- County officials claim no connection between the September killing of the first county corrections officer in 63 years and a recently proposed additional $3 million to be spent on expansion at the jail where the officer was murdered.

Originally priced at $5 million to include 280 new beds, current plans now call for 112 additional beds to better separate violent inmates from the general population.

Officials said the decision is not related to the Sept. 17 killing of officer Alvin Green but jail director Joseph Bochenek said the additional expansion would facilitate identifying inmates who are threats to other prisoners and corrections officers.

Since Green's murder, an additional officer has been placed in the wing where inmates beat and strangled the veteran officer. In the cell block where Green was killed, tables and chairs have been bolted to the floor and a new security camera now scans the area, according to The State newspaper.

Officials claim that none of the recently made additions or improvements could have saved Green from being killed. But the facility had been cited three times for failing to have a second corrections officer present in the area where Green was guarding the inmates alone, the newspaper said.

National jail standards, county officials have said, require one officer for 64 inmates, the number that Green was supervising when he was killed. South Carolina standards require one officer every 54 inmates, the newspaper reported.

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