Sides could soon sit down over SC inmate issues

By MEG KINNARDAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Next week may offer a chance to begin working out fixes for the care of mentally ill South Carolina inmates.

Corrections Director Bryan Stirling says Tuesday in a letter to advocates for inmates suing the agency that he is willing to meet Feb. 24 to begin talks on how to deal with court-ordered repairs.

Earlier this year, a judge ruled that the state's prisons need to fix issues in the care of mentally ill inmates, giving the agency six months to come up with a plan.

The two sides have sent letters back and forth over possibly sitting down to discuss what's next in the litigation that began nearly a decade ago.

Stirling wants both sides to reopen formal mediation. Advocates say they'd rather sit down more informally.


Kinnard can be reached at

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.