Major Butch Askew heads the Detention and Court Services Bureau, which is responsible for the daily operations of the Detention Center, Transportation, and Court Services Divisions. We currently have 136 positions approved for this bureau as certified peace officers, detention officers, and civilians.
The Columbia County Detention Center is a multifaceted division within the Sheriff's Office. Captain John Sherman is the Detention Center's administrator and oversees the operations of the facility, which is rated to house 358 inmates. Approximately 4,000 inmates are processed through the facility each year, including those being committed by Georgia State Patrol, Grovetown DPS, Harlem Police, and Georgia Department of Community Supervision. Approximately 75 applicant fingerprints are printed each month for weapon permits, adoptions, and employment.
The Detention Center operates under the concept of direct supervision; this enables the housing officers to maintain direct contact with, and control of, the inmates. This concept provides a healthier living environment for the inmates and enables staff to have a better understanding and working knowledge of each inmate under supervision.
For those persons planning to visit an inmate at this facility, please see the Rules for Visitation page. 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 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, and 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 and she continues to work with great determination to ensure that the standards of the Detention Center and Medical Section are maintained.
Correct Health is contracted to administer health care needs to the inmates and they are on-site 24/7. The Medical Section became accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) in March 2007.