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Charleston County Jail

3841 Leeds Avenue
Charleston, SC 29405-7482
(843) 529-7300

Interview with Tyler and Brooke

JM: How long was your sentencing for?
Tyler: Ten days for the DUI and 3 days on the disorderly charge.
Brooke: 30 days

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?
Tyler: You go through the process and you get booked and your property gets booked and there was six of us standing there are two officers checking us in. I sat in the holding cell for eight to ten hours.
Brooke: I spent like 6 hrs in processing which really aint that bad. While you waiting to be book you just sit/sleep, watch tv, if you get in early enough you get 2 bologna sandwiches, 2 cookies and juice. They only put you in a cell if you really show out

Life on the Inside
The Charleston County Jail is north of Charleston but south of Charleston Air Force Base. It's just a short trek along interstate highway 526 to Leeds Avenue. The big issue facing inmates heading into this jail is the crowded conditions. The average inmate population is around 1,500 but that number always seems to be higher. There are two men cells for most inmates situated in 30 cell pods.

As reported by a former inmate, fights between prisoners are a common occurrence. To avoid these skirmishes it is recommended you just go along when possible. In general, if someone asks for something, give it to them and avoid trouble. Of course, only do this within reason. If you develop a reputation for rolling over you will be taken advantage of by other inmates. In general you should be able to fly under the radar by keeping to yourself.

Passing the Time in Charleston County Jail
Part of the problem could be with the lack of things to do. There is no television and no weights to work out with. Just cards and dominoes which can start their own trouble.  Inmates are given yard privileges at least twice a week. On Tuesdays, local church volunteers come by for bible study for those inmates who request it.

The meals have been described as "God awful." Often inmates might be served the same meal three or four times a week. There is weekly commissary available to alleviate the monotony of the meals.

Good Behavior Policy
The baseline for good time at Charleston County Jail is three days for every month served for any inmate convicted of a "no-parole offense." If the inmate enrolls in classes or vocational training they can receive even more good-time. The maximum amount award would be a reduction of 180 days for each year.

A truth-in-sentencing law was passed in the state in 1996. This law states that any inmate convicted of a Class A, B, or C felony has to serve at least 85% of their sentence without the possibility of parole or early release.

Visitor and Phone Policy
There are two phones in every pod which are available for collect calls. The rates depend on where you're making the call to and yes, all the calls are monitored.

For visitations, the inmate needs to provide a list of approved visits. They will also be responsible for scheduling the visit at least 24 hours in advance. This means you can't just show up for a visit without coordinating with the inmate. Visitors also can give or get anything from an inmate. If you need to drop off a prescription medication or eyeglasses you can do that at the cashier window.

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