Oconee County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Lucas Peck, who has spent a decade working at the Oconee County Jail, recently gave a tour of the building to The Oconee Enterprise, explaining what day-to-day life is like for jailers and inmates. 

Inmate safety is a big concern at the Oconee County Jail. In the holding cells, the phones are wireless to prevent suicide attempts, Peck said. Moreover, sinks are designed so that nothing can be tied to them, and the mirrors are polished steel instead of glass so that they can’t be broken. Male and female inmates must be separate, and the holding cell is equipped with blinds to try and obstruct their view of each other.

The Oconee County Jail currently has 137 beds but has a max capacity of about 300 inmates. Due to population law, they are allowed to place extra inmates in each cell up to half of their bed count. For example, each four-person cell can hold two extra people, and each two-person cell can hold one extra person. There are four housing units in the jail classified based on level of security—minimum, medium and maximum—and gender.

Female inmates are treated as medium security, regardless of their classification, Peck said. Inmates are served three meals each day: two hot meals for breakfast and lunch, and a sandwich meal for dinner. The jail has a contract with a company for its kitchen staff. That company has dieticians who ensure inmates have a healthy caloric intake. Diets can be accommodated for inmates who are vegetarian or have peanut allergies. None of the meat served in the jail is pork-based, and juice is flavored water that is sugar-free and safe for diabetics. 

For more on this story, see the May 25 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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