Spartanburg County jail has new inmate monitoring device

The entrance to the Spartanburg County Detention Center

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — The Spartanburg County jail has a new way to monitor inmates on special watch for medical conditions, emotional state or mental illness.

The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reported the jail has started using electronic monitoring devices called “The PIPE.”

The device allows deputies outside a cell to use a wand to tap buttons on a keypad to indicate what an inmate is doing, such as sitting, standing, crying, yelling or sleeping.

The new system replaces a paper check list. Jail director Maj. Neal Urch says paper can get lost and the electronic devices can provide a more reliable record.

Those with medical, emotional or mental issues are checked every 30 minutes. Those on suicide watch are checked every 15 minutes. .

The system cost the jail about $30,000.

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Information from: Herald-Journal, http://www.goupstate.com/