Detention Center

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Major Steve Morris heads the Detention and Court Services Bureau, which is responsible for the daily operations of the Detention Center and Court Security. 129 positions are currently approved for this division as peace officers, detention officers and civilians.

The Columbia County Detention Center is a multifaceted division within the Sheriff's Office. Captain Brett Carani is the Detention Center's administrator and oversees the operations of the facility. The rated bed space is 338. An average of 7,500 inmates are processed through the facility each year. Approximately 75 civilian fingerprints are printed each month for weapon permits, adoption, and employment.

For those persons planning to visit an inmate at this facility, please see Rules for Visitation. To find out how inmates are released, bonding procedures, mail procedures, funds and/or property acceptance and release, and complaints, please see General Information.

The Detention Center employs the concept of direct supervision of inmates. This enables the housing officer to maintain direct contact with and control of the inmates. This concept provides a healthier living environment for the inmates and enables the staff to have a better understanding and working knowledge of every inmate under supervision.

The American Correctional Association (ACA) promotes improvement in the management of jails through the administration of a voluntary accreditation program and the ongoing development and revision  of relevant, useful standards.  Sheriff Whittle has long recognized the benefits of voluntary accreditation to professionally serve the citizens of Columbia County.  All other divisions within the Sheriff's Office have been accredited since 1996.  Now the Detention Center joined that professional status by gaining accreditation through ACA in August 2007.  Staff Sergeant Teresa Reynolds is the Detention Center's Accreditation Manager.  She works with great determination to ensure the standards of the Detention Center and Medical Section are maintained.

Correct Health has been contracted to administer health care needs to the inmates. The Medical Section became accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) in March 2007.

The Transportation Section is responsible for transporting inmates to court appearances and medical/dental appointments, transferring inmates to the Georgia Department of Corrections, transferring inmates to Columbia County from other jurisdictions, and for any other transportation needs. The total number of transports per month averages 226.

Classification Officer
The National Institute of Corrections in Longmont, Colorado, is used to train the Columbia County Detention Center's Classification Officer. The Detention Center uses an aggressive approach to inmate classifications utilizing personal, medical and criminal histories of incoming inmates. These factors assist in determining proper housing placement and inmate services on an individual basis.

Court Services
Captain John Whittle oversees the Court Services Section which provides bailiff services for Columbia County Superior, Probate and Juvenile Courts and courthouse security. Current staffing is two full-time Bailiffs and eight courthouse security personnel. Other positions while court is in session are assigned on an as-needed basis utilizing off-duty sworn personnel on overtime.


Tours of the Detention Center are available
for groups and can be arranged by
contacting Operations at 706-541-3920.