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Charleston jail inmate population decreasing

Charleston County Detention Center inmate (WCIV).png
Charleston County Detention Center inmate (WCIV)

The jail population at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center is down, and Charleston County leaders say it's because they're working to change how mentally ill or homeless people are treated.

Officials say these changes helped reduce the population at the detention center by 13 percent between 2014 and 2017.

The Charleston County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) says the number of inmates at the jail has decreased from 1,111 in 2014 to 963 in 2017.

In addition to better mental health and homeless strategies, the CJCC says the decrease is also due to an increase in the use of cite and release by law enforcement for minor, nonviolent charges.

According to the CJCC, the detention center also has seen less racial disproportion, more arrests for serious crimes, faster evidence processing and faster assignment of defense counsel and prosecutors in criminal cases.