Darlington County seeks funding for 10 detention center deputies

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - One county could end up using tax money to cover fines, if it doesn't meet a state requirement. The detention center is supposed to add 10 new deputies, but the budget is already tight.

"We were in the process of losing all of our overtime for the sheriff's office and the detention center and the prison farm, which would have been replaced with compensated time, which would not have work," Major Mitch Stanley said.

Major Mitch Stanley is the Warden at the Darlington County Detention Center.

Up until today, Darlington County Council had planned to cut funding to the Sheriff's Office, prison farm and detention center, which would have meant cutting positions at the detention center and getting rid of overtime.

"And the prison farm was going to lose officers as well. So this is a better outcome, but it's going to be tight. We are going to have to really control our spending," Stanley said.

Darlington County Council voted to adopt last year's budget, which means everything stays the same, but there is one hang up for the detention center.

"According to the state and according to P.R.E.A., the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, we are supposed to have 10 new detention center deputies added," Stanley said.

The state assesses prisons and through a formula adding in space and inmate population, it determines how many deputies should be working to maintain a safe and controlled environment.

"Right now the county council has chosen right now under the current budget we can't afford to add those 10 deputies," Stanley said.

Darlington County's Administrator Dale Surrett says county leaders are still trying to find a revenue source so those deputies can be hired.

But until that happens, the work will get done with what the detention center has.

"We have to work with what we have and do the best that we can," Stanley said.

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