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g-vegasman

Greenville County Law Enforcment Campus

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As most of us know the Law Enforcement Center is located downtown and with it comes the Greenville County Detention Center (County Jail). Although the out of towner drving by may not realize it is a jail as the design of the Detention Center does not give you that impression, how do you all feel about the County Jail being downtown?

The County is getting ready to construct two more buildings in addition to the three they currently have on the Law Enforcement Center campus. This will give the County 5 totoal jails downtown. Not many people realize that there is currently 3 separate jails downtown and 2 more on the way with construction set to begin in September of 2005. Greenville County will be considered the first "Super Jail" in the State. They currently have 1400 inmates and witht he additions of the two new buildings they will be around 2000 inmates.

Do you all think the buildings are okay downtown?

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Welcome to the forum g-vegasman!

I didn't know that there was a true jail in downtown Greenville. Most cities have a detention center downtown somewhere, but a jail? Where is it located?

I do agree that having a jail down may not be the best idea, but if the design does not give the impression of its purpose, then perhaps it is ok.

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A Detention Center is just a fancy name for County Jail. We currently have three County Jails downtown with two more on the way at the same site. The Detention Center has nearly 250 offricers each of whom have graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy (Police Academy). AN over 300 employees when you count admin staff.

The old jail which was built in 1976 is at the back of the current Law Enforcement Center. The main building was constructed in 1994 and the Work Release Facility was contructed in 1999. The jails hold sentenced inmates, inmates awaiting trial, and even federal prisoners and some SCDC inmates. They have all types of inmates from murderers, to bank robbers, to inmates in the Center for child support.

Originally the County wanted to construct a jail back in 1995 with 6-7 stories and the capabilites of adding another 6-7 stories at a later date. However, the City said they would not allow the Detention Center to be talller than 5 stories. Thus, that is the reason for multiple builings. I am not sure why they would not allow them to construct a tower as most of the bigger City Detention Centers are towers in larger cities.

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A Detention Center is just a fancy name for County Jail. We currently have three County Jails downtown with two more on the way at the same site. The Detention Center has nearly 250 offricers each of whom have graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy (Police Academy).  AN over 300 employees when you count admin staff.

The old jail which was built in 1976 is at the back of the current Law Enforcement Center. The main building was constructed in 1994 and the Work Release Facility was contructed in 1999. The jails hold sentenced inmates, inmates awaiting trial, and even federal prisoners and some SCDC inmates. They have all types of inmates from murderers, to bank robbers, to inmates in the Center for child support.

Originally the County wanted to construct a jail back in 1995 with 6-7 stories and the capabilites of adding another 6-7 stories at a later date. However, the City said they would not allow the Detention Center to be talller than 5 stories. Thus, that is the reason for multiple builings. I am not sure why they would not allow them to construct a tower as most of the bigger City Detention Centers are towers in larger cities.

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When I say detention center, I mean a temporary location before being sent to a regular prison. Usually this is where criminals are sent right after thay are arrested, and before the trial. You seem to be fairly knowledgeable about this, so will accept your definition of things

But based on what my percieved definition is, I don't have any issue with having a 'detention center' downtown. I don't like the idea of having a full-out jail/prison downtown though. I don't see why that would be necessary.

I know in Spartanburg, we have a 'detention center' downtown behind the County Court House where law breakers can go after they have been arrested. It used to be a jail though... you used to be able to see the inmates playing basketball all the time. The actual 'county jail' is out on California Ave.

I am not from Greenville, so can you be more specific about its locaiton (like what street or interesection)?

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When I say detention center, I mean a temporary location before being sent to a regular prison. Usually this is where criminals are sent right after thay are arrested, and before the trial. You seem to be fairly knowledgeable about this, so will accept your definition of things

But based on what my percieved definition is, I don't have any issue with having a 'detention center' downtown. I don't like the idea of having a full-out jail/prison downtown though. I don't see why that would be necessary.

I know in Spartanburg, we have a 'detention center' downtown behind the County Court House where law breakers can go after they have been arrested. It used to be a jail though... you used to be able to see the inmates playing basketball all the time.  The actual 'county jail' is out on California Ave.

I am not from Greenville, so can you be more specific about its locaiton (like what street or interesection)?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It is at the end of I-385 right downtown on the right. You cannot miss it. We have an SCDC prison in Greenville County (Perry) but it is not a County owned facility. The Greenville COunty Detention Center is the county jail. It is not just a holding facility for inmates awaiting sentencing, it also housed inmates who have been sentenced and federal inmates who are sentenced.

I think the two new buildings that are set for construction in September of this year will really make the Law Enforcement Center campus stand in the downtown area.

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Since it is not in the center of downtown, I don't see the problem. I have driven by this place many times apparantly, and I never knew it was a prison.

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Since it is not in the center of downtown, I don't see the problem. I have driven by this place many times apparantly, and I never knew it was a prison.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Same here. I've always seen the police cars, but didn't know it was a prison. Just thought it was the police station. :blink:

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Same here.  I've always seen the police cars, but didn't know it was a prison.  Just thought it was the police station. :blink:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not only is it a Detention Center/County Jail, it is also the biggest Detention facility in the State. Charleston is a close second while Richland is the third largest. However, with the addition of two more large facilites being added we will be South Carolin'a first and only "Super Jail."

I just don't know if a different location would have benn more suitable. That is prime land right there at the end of I-385 and a jail may not be the best use. Or, maybe it is....

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The one in Columbia off of Broad River Rd is pretty huge.

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Construction is expected to begin at any time. The current facility is extremely overcrowded, but the addition will not be large enough to satisfy the need to house everyone arrested and detained. Someone told me that it isn't uncommon to send some prisoners to Spartanburg because Greenville can't hold them all. In the Work Camp (also located at the LEC) you have, "50 inmates crowded into a cell which is supposed to hold only 15," according to someone who has been there.

I have mixed feelings regarding the location of the Detention Center. It definitely looks like a jail and therefore might be repulsive to some who pass by it on their way into the city. On the other hand, to some it may present a feeling of security, seeing it is obviously well guarded and readily accessible to local law enforcement officials and the Court. Either way, it is where it is and no matter what the feeling, I don't see it changing in our lifetimes. :unsure:

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Construction is expected to begin at any time.  The current facility is extremely overcrowded, but the addition will not be large enough to satisfy the need to house everyone arrested and detained.  Someone told me that it isn't uncommon to send some prisoners to Spartanburg because Greenville can't hold them all.  In the Work Camp (also located at the LEC) you have, "50 inmates crowded into a cell which is supposed to hold only 15," according to someone who has been there.

I have mixed feelings regarding the location of the Detention Center.  It definitely looks like a jail and therefore might be repulsive to some who pass by it on their way into the city.  On the other hand, to some it may present a feeling of security, seeing it is obviously well guarded and readily accessible to local law enforcement officials and the Court.  Either way, it is where it is and no matter what the feeling, I don't see it changing in our lifetimes. :unsure:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Construction begins in September. Although the current facility is over crowded, it is not nearly as bad as it has been portrayed in a portion of the above statement. At the Work Release Facility there are no Dorms that are made for 15 inmates that hold 50 inmates. Most of the dorms hold a minimal of 75-100 inmates. However, the facility as a whole (all three buildings) is now overcrowded by some 200-300 inmates. With the addition of the two new buildings on campus we can and will be holding in the neighborhood of 2000 inmates.

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I have mixed feelings regarding the location of the Detention Center.  It definitely looks like a jail and therefore might be repulsive to some who pass by it on their way into the city.  On the other hand, to some it may present a feeling of security, seeing it is obviously well guarded and readily accessible to local law enforcement officials and the Court.  Either way, it is where it is and no matter what the feeling, I don't see it changing in our lifetimes. :unsure:

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I have to agree Skyliner. I would guess that a very high percentage of visitors come in 385. That is the "gateway" of Greenville. Seems it might be better to hide that kind of thing, but on the other hand it does give a sense of security. Besides, it could be some dilapidated old place. Since I never really noticed it, that's good, it doesn't stand out.

Wasn't there talk of a "gateway" of sorts on 385 as you enter the city? Whats up with that?

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I don't know how I feel about all of this. Like others, I thought that the law enforcement campus was just the county jail and did not house inmates who had been sentenced. Is it really true that it's not merely a holding place for recently arrested people or those who are awaiting trial?!?

I don't think a full-fledged prison downtown is a good idea. Not that escapes are common, but don't they put most prisons in rural areas outside of town? Why are they putting something like this in the middle of downtown? I'm confused, because this doesn't seem to enhanced the "quality of life" Greenville leaders seem to be after.

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I will be the first to attest to the overcrowding. But I was a juvie, and I've grown up. :blush:

It's very bad in there, and it will only get worse. Most cities that have the tower detention centers (OKC, ATL) are easily able to spot it. They look like a fortress with slim windows. At Greenvile you can tell if you look closely that it is a jail. That, and they don't want to move it because of the courts are all just down the street. The less they have to travel, the less risk of escape.

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I can tell you that the city and county are taking into account all that you all

are saying. The visability, security, and such. I used to work and the possibility

of escape is very, very remote. And if I can remember from an earlier post

city wants this thing to be as descrete as possible. So if you don't know it's there

the better. It could be like the ones just mentioned or even like the one in downtown Charlotte, That is no mistake you know what it is.

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That, and they don't want to move it because of the courts are all just down the street. The less they have to travel, the less risk of escape.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That, and the politics involved with building a new jail are extremely difficult. Who wants to live near a jail? I don't. If you make some noise about it, then people will know where it is, and complain about where it wil go. Why not keep it where it is?

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Well regardless, the new jail construciton will begin in September of this year. 2 more big buildings will be added to the Law Enforcement Center and Greenville will have the largest Detention/County Jail facility in the State.

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Hey, everyone loves to have braggin' rights ;)

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Hey, everyone loves to have braggin' rights ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm not so sure that's one of those things I'd like to tout though :sick:

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I know, that was sarcasm :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, the more criminals that are locked up, the safer the streets are.

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True, but your own arguement seemed to be that we shouldn't put them downtown.

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True, but your own arguement seemed to be that we shouldn't put them downtown.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I am just not so sure of the location. That piece of land is basically the gateway to downtown as you come off I-385. I just think that piece of land would have been better suited for other things. However, I am sure they did not know about the Greenville Boom when the Law Enforcement Center campus was constructed in 1976.

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Hey, NO ONE saw this building boom coming so soon! ^_^

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Other than the fact that I know what it is... I never pay it any attention or would probably even notice that the jail was there. It's not like they have guys in orange jump suits waving to you as you enter. :rofl: The actual jail is set off from the road it's not close enough to the CBD that people would ever walk by it. I don't mind its presence. What else would be there? more low rise offices? or another drug store?

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