Berkeley jail inmates creating shanks out of fencing, causing a $60,000 bill for taxpayers


A viewer contacted News 2 to say there are several problems at the Berkeley County jail. She said her boyfriend is in jail now, and inmates have been without hot water for a week, they are not getting regular rec time outside and some inmates have red bumps, and they are not being treated.
We took those concerns to the jail’s director, Randy Demory. He said one of 4 hot water tanks did quit working Monday, impacting 2 housing units. “We weren’t able to get a replacement tank out on Wednesday, and we weren’t able to get a lift to lift it onto the top of the building until today.”
The replacement tank costs $8,000.
They have not been allowing some inmates to go out in their outdoor recreation balconies for at least 2 months because inmates at another jail with the same fencing were able to escape. “We also have a problem with inmates straightening out and breaking the chain link fencing and making shanks and materials like that.”
As far as the red bumps on inmates, after we told them about the issue Thursday, they investigated. “We went up to these housing units that were affected by the hot water outage and surveyed the inmate population, and were able to find one inmate who owned up to having a red bump problem. We put him in touch with medical and medical is going to put him on the medical list today.”
Demory said that also today, Sheriff Lewis approved $60,000 for the purchase of a new type of fencing that inmates should not be able to remove or turn into shanks.

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