County jail needs upgrade

The Barnwell County Detention Center held its annual tour for local officials and administrators June 5.
The jail, which has an official capacity of just under 100 inmates but has held more than 120 at times, is really two jails. There is the old section, opened in 1950 and referred to as building #1, and the newer section that opened in 2004.
Administrators said building #1 has long outlived its usefulness and needs to be replaced. There has been an ongoing effort to get county council to allocate funding for a new facility, Deloris B. Charlton, the jail's administrator, said. Inmates living out their sentence are housed in building #1.
The newer section, named after County Administrator Pickens Williams Jr., was built using a $700,000 grant and county funds. It holds inmates awaiting trial, which tends to be the jail's largest population segment.
Inmates from other counties, such as females from Allendale, sometimes stay in the BCDC. Allendale's jail is not designed to house females.
The BCDC has 29 full-time and three part-time employees.
Inmates cook their own food and wash their own clothes. The jail is currently lacking a trained chef, which Charlton said is the biggest complaint from inmates.