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Sumter County Jail

1250 Winkles Road
Sumter, SC 29153-7466
(803) 436-2340

Interview with Chandra

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Chandra: Oct 14 was my court date. I was thinking I was in felony court because I was charged as a felon. I walked up to the pd's desk to talk to them about my charges and I wasn't on the docket. Then I found out I was in misdemeanor court. The court doors were locked because at that point I was late. A public defender told me they were offering me 59 days served. I was released from Sumpter at that court hearing after 45 days served.

JM: Did you spend time in a holding cell after your sentencing? If so, what was that like? If you didn't where did they they take you instead?
Chandra: Yes I spent time in a holding cell. Sumpter County jail is fairly new so its not too bad as far as the facilities go. There weren't a lot of other people there. It was early in the morning and I was tired. They were rude. I asked them to get me a piece of paper and pencil so I could write a list of things to get taken care of. They wouldn't do that. I was in the holding cell from 3 am and 1 or 2 in the afternoon. This jail had a new girl coming every other day or so.

If you are in legal trouble in Sumter County, you might be anticipating serving some jail time and wondering what it will be like. The following information is written based on interviews of people who have served time in Sumter County. The links to the left lead to interviews from ex-inmates of this jail who share information about what life inside is really like for the inmates.

General Information
Sumter County Jail is small and was built a little over ten years ago, so the facilities themselves are newer. Inmates who are pretrial (have not yet been convicted or sentenced), and those who have received a sentence of less than a year are housed in this jail.

Phone Calls
Inmates have liberal access to payphones while they serve their time. You can either call collect, or you can put money on a phone account with the jail. If you use your phone account, one "phone card" costs $10 and can be used for about an hour of phone calls (four 15 minute calls).

When you use your phone account you have to speak your name into the phone exactly the same way that you did in booking for identification, so you might want to keep that in mind as you go through booking.

Inmates of Sumter County have access to several activities to help them pass their time. Each pod has a plasma TV mounted on the wall. The channel is chosen by the inmates who cleaned the pod for the day, and the inmates are only allowed to change the channel twice per shift. A book cart comes around periodically and inmates are able to select their choice of books from the cart.

Inmates can buy colored pencils and paper from commissary, and those who don't have any money on their books can get 10 sheets of paper, a pencil and two envelopes issued for free. The inmates in this jail usually go outside every day into a small court area that is enclosed with concrete walls.

Medical and Mental Health Services
This jail does not have an in-house medical or psychiatric unit. If an inmate is showing signs of being at risk for self harm, the jail is required to transport the inmate to a psychiatric facility to be evaluated by a psychiatrist and treated appropriately. The name of the law that requires this is called the "Baker Act," and inmates refer to this procedure as being "Baker Acted."

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