New leader takes the helm at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 7:54 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Friday marked a new chapter at Richland County’s jail.

County Administrator Leonardo Brown confirmed Assistant Director Shane Kitchen is now overseeing the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center after long-time director Ronaldo Myers retired.

Kitchen takes over one month after two corrections officers were hospitalized after an attack by inmates.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott reported in mid-September 12 inmates are now facing charges for the incident.

WIS spoke to one Alvin S. Glenn employee who said staffing and safety are pressing needs at the jail.

“There is no staff and what staff they have, are not properly equipped. All the good, all the equipment that is necessary is kept locked away somewhere,” they said.

The county council has acted on the issues of pay and staffing. It passed pay raise for detention workers and stipends for county employees in July.

Additionally, it’s scheduled to vote on a $3.3 million investment in safety infrastructure at its next meeting on Tuesday, which will include body scanners, tasers, cameras and secured employee parking.

“Take that as a sign of steps that we are making to increase not only their value and the way they’re treated in terms of salary but also the way we look at providing safety and security for them as individuals,” Brown said.

The county is also undergoing a search for its next permanent director. The employee said staffing and safety are musts.

“Somebody that’s going to hire enough staff, take care of the people, and not let the inmates run the jail. I mean I don’t like to see technical equipment pulled out and used, however, it is necessary sometimes. Just stop worrying about what somebody is going to think,” the detention center employee said.

Brown said he’s looking for someone who can build off improvements at the facility.

“The council has supported the things that we’ve put forth so far. We anticipate that anyone that comes in and provides us with guidance for Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center they’ll have a similar focus. What ways can we continue to improve in an environment that we already know is a tough environment,” he said.

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