Construction crews clear land for new Pickens Co. jail - FOX Carolina 21

Construction crews clear land for new Pickens Co. jail

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PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Maya Earle is on her way to culinary school. 

"I feel like schools are more important because education is a primary thing to think about," Earle said.

She grew up in Pickens County, so we cooked up a conversation about plans for a new detention center.

"I feel like it could be a good thing and then not," Earle said.

The detention center will be built off South Catherine Street in a wooded area. There are some nearby homes and the new facility will look much different than what the jail looks like now.

"I feel like sense it was so like small and contained, we really didn't have to worry about it," Earle said.

However, Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark, who will run the jail, expects the new jail to be safer than the current one.

"We're rated for 91 by the Department of Corrections and today we hold about 202 in our jail," Clark said.

He says the jail is old, overcrowded, and outdated. The jail also has six cells in one pod and Clark laid out the new plan for the new facility.

"An open area and it's designed for about 35 or 40 people," he said."It has it's own exercise yard, so they can go out. It's being and its open and it's airy. It's not crammed in like it is now."

The jail will also be built with meeting rooms. 

"We needed places for counseling, for mental health, for behavioral health, for addiction, for our local religious community to come in," Clark said.

He hopes the new design will hopefully ease tensions.

"What this jail is going to do is make it safe for our officers and the inmates themselves, but it's going to give us a chance to hopefully change lives," Clark said.

Earle, the future chef, understands what the county is dishing out as they try and serve the community.

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