No more face-to-face inmate visits after Spartanburg Co. jail re - FOX Carolina 21

No more face-to-face inmate visits after Spartanburg Co. jail renovation

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Construction has begun on new visitation area inside Spartanburg Co. Detention Center (FOX Carolina) Construction has begun on new visitation area inside Spartanburg Co. Detention Center (FOX Carolina)
The lobby of the detention center is also being remodeled to provide tighter security for officers and the public (FOX Carolina) The lobby of the detention center is also being remodeled to provide tighter security for officers and the public (FOX Carolina)
A look at the new lobby and video visitation area (FOX Carolina/ March 6, 2017) A look at the new lobby and video visitation area (FOX Carolina/ March 6, 2017)
A look at the new lobby and video visitation area (FOX Carolina/ March 6, 2017) A look at the new lobby and video visitation area (FOX Carolina/ March 6, 2017)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The $250,000 renovation at the Spartanburg County Detention Center is bringing changes regarding inmate visitation.

Inmates will now speak with visitors through a video monitor, instead of through the traditional window and telephone system the jail just tore down.

Construction is now complete in the jail's lobby.

Detention Center Director Major Allen Freeman said the lobby area was simply too small to accommodate inmates, staff and the public. Safety was also a primary reason for the renovation. 

"There were some talks about how we could make the lobby safer, how we could make it safer for our staff and the public," Freeman said. The quarter of a million dollars being used to renovate the lobby and visitation area is from county surplus funds, officials told FOX Carolina. Freeman said 20 to 24 monitors will be set up inside the newly renovated detention center for visitors to speak to inmates remotely. Inmates will have video chat capabilities in their housing unit and will still be monitored during use, Freeman said. 

"We've had active shooters in police departments before...we've had instances with people involved in domestic disputes, they came in our facility," said Freeman. "90 percent of the public when they come in are very cordial and very nice. But there are those occasions where someone may come in and emotions are high...And our staff has to deal with that."

Visitations were suspended while construction was underway.

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