New Jail for Screven County - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/16/05

New Jail for Screven County

A new home is on the way for people on both sides of the law. In Sylvania, the Screven County Sheriff's Department is getting a new, multimillion-dollar jail.

Walking through the current Screven County Jail, Dep. Norman Weaver sees hassles and security risks everywhere. "Everybody is in everybody else's way," he told us. "You have no room to put papers and do paperwork or anything. It's disturbing."

In the new jail, inmates will move from crowded cells to a dormitory complex with better conditions, where guards will have better security. Deputies will have office space for files and interviews.

Sheriff Mike Kile says the current jail was once the sheriff's home and has been added on and added on for decades.

"There's a trailer out back that was an old school room, where investigators and other officers are at," he said. "My office is the sheriff's old bedroom. It was built for a home."

Sheriff Kile says this, built in 1934, was made to hold town drunks, moonshiners, and mule thieves. The new state-of-the-art facility is designed to hold murderers, rapists, and drug dealers, the criminals of this generation and the next.

At a cost of $4 million, commissioners paid for it with one percent sales tax money. "That is how important one penny is," said county chairman JC Warren. "Lots of folks throw away a penny. We're putting the penny to work."

No one on either side of the bars can wait until moving day. Sheriff Kile says he'll run the jail with the same staff he has now. They hope to move in early next month.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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