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The Release Process

The release process has many steps, which must be completed before the inmate is released from the detention center. Detention staff must verify the release documents, complete a criminal "want" inquiry through the NCIC computer system and check for outstanding warrants (charges) in the Magistrate Court computer system and notify the victim of the crime of the release. This process normally takes about 30-minutes, but it can take up to an hour or more depending upon existing circumstances.   Typically the Detention Center attempts to release an inmate as soon as possible but has up to four hours to complete the process  if circumstances require longer.  There are several types of releases.

  • Release through the Courts- Once an inmate has been released from an outside court, he/she must be returned to the Detention Center to be officially released from the center. Sometimes court documents or release documents are not sent from General Sessions Court until the end of the day (around 5:00 pm). When this occurs the inmate cannot be released until the proper paperwork has been received at the center. 
  • Time Served – Sentenced inmates assigned to the Minimum Security Building are provided with their release date well in advance.  
  • General Sessions Court - Even if an inmate receives time served in General Sessions Court there still may be a delay in the release process because the Detention Center may be required to forward their sentencing documents to the South Carolina Department of Corrections for processing prior to release. This process may take up to two (2) business days. There also may be a delay in receiving the documents from the courts. This problem occurs sometimes when an inmate returns from court after 5:00 pm and the court staff have left for the day and the paperwork was not brought back with him/her or cannot be verified. 
  • Payment of Bond or Fine – Once an inmate's bond has been paid, the Magistrate will prepare the release document and send it to our booking/release section. 
  • Combined Payment of Fine and Time Served - In some cases the payment of a fine and time served may be required for an inmate to be released from the facility. When this occurs the inmate cannot be released until all requirements have been satisfied. 
  • Employee shift change is at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm daily. During this process inmate movement is restricted and afternoon releases at 7:00 pm may be delayed until the shift change has occurred. 


Inmates are responsible for transportation away from the center after release. 

Magistrate's Office

Normal office hours for the Magistrate's Office are Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, excluding holidays. Magistrate Court is conducted Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, at 9:00 am and 3;00  pm for bond hearings and guilty pleas. Bond Court will be conducted Saturdays, Sundays and holidays at 9:00 am . The scheduled times may vary according to the availability of the Magistrate on duty.  Cash and/or surety bonds can be posted in the Magistrate's Office. They accept cash, money orders and major credit cards, but they cannot accept personal checks. 

For more information on the Magistrate's Office and Magistrate's Court system, click here.