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Trial Coverage: Week 4

March 9, 2012: Today, SCDC offered testimony from Clinical Correctional Counselor Paul Dennis, Lead Counselor for the Department of Corrections’ Lee Correctional Institution. Mr. Dennis testified regarding his interactions with inmates in providing mental health services.  As a clinical correctional counselor, Dennis must review disciplinary charges against those inmates on his caseload and determine whether the inmate is mentally capable of being held accountable for his actions. SCDC policy provides that a mentally ill inmate may be found guilty but not accountable for disciplinary infractions. Mr. Dennis recalled the last time he made such a recommendation was about five years ago. Read more...

March 8, 2012: Testimony began today with the examination of Dr. Beverly Wood, Chief Psychiatrist for the S.C. Dept. of Corrections. Dr. Wood primarily testified regarding the efforts by SCDC to hire psychiatrists and the difficult time they have had filling psychiatrist vacancies. Read more...

March 7, 2012: The trial began today with Defendants calling Ms. Renee Williams, a counselor and supervisor over SCDC's reception and evaluation center.  On direct, Ms. Williams testified regarding the reception and evaluation process, including the mental health evaluations inmates receive upon arriving at SCDC.  On cross examination, Ms. Williams admitted that she and others under her charge have failed mental health services audits because, among other issues, inmates were being transferred without receiving a mental health evaluation. Read more...

March 6, 2012:  Attorneys for SCDC moved the Court late Monday afternoon to dismiss Plaintiff's case on several legal grounds.  Judge Baxley took the motion under advisement and opened the session today by denying that motion, finding that Defendant’s arguments were unpersuasive. Read more...

March 5, 2012: In today’s session, the court heard from Plaintiff’s expert witness, Steve Carter, a prominent Columbia-based architect who is the founder and managing partner of Carter Goble Associates. Mr. Carter has specialized in correctional facility planning for more than 30 years. He has consulted with correctional system officials in more than 35 states and many nations. Read more...