316 beds in a new jail in Pickens County will fill up again if something isn't done about the judicial system, as well as the issue of law enforcement having no option but to house mental patients at the jail.
Pickens County Solicitor, Walt Wilkins
spoke at a taxpayer meeting a couple years ago saying the biggest
problem we have is there aren't enough prosecutors to move people
through the system, and that's why the local jails stay full, but
he stopped short, not wanting to commit in any way to any positive change in throughput
or reduction in cycle time through the local legal system.
politicians campaign on fixing the mental health system for years,
but once the campaign is over they seem to forget about it. . The folks
in the Statehouse just keep passing the buck. They won't make any hard
decisions. They just pass the problems to local governments to fund
services while they fund their pet projects through proviso...... Next
thing you know they will want local options for gas taxes to fix roads- o
wait, someone down there has already proposed that.
I've written letters to the governor. I
have appeared before the County Council at least four times about the
Judges and Lawyers. There were inmates in the jail that had been there 3
years with out a trial when I went
through. I gave a copy of my letter to all members of the County
Council. They also do not have legal funding for this jail. They are
violating Article X Section V and the 8% of appraised property values
rule of the SC constitution on bonded indebtedness.