Article published April 6, 2008
Detention Director HonoredBY RACHEL E. LEONARD
The director of the Spartanburg County Detention Facility has been honored as the longest-serving jail administrator working in South Carolina.
The S.C. Jail Administrators Association honored Larry Powers, 57, Tuesday with the group's Trailblazer Award for his 26 years in the top job at the Spartanburg County facility.
Deloris Charlton, Barnwell County jail administrator and immediate past president of the state association, said Powers sets the bar high when it comes to professionalism, knowledge of the law and response to current events affecting jail administration.
Serving for more than two decades is a rarity in jail administration today, she added.
"As far as we're concerned, he set the stage," she said. "So who better to represent you in a Trailblazer Award than Larry Powers?"
Powers said he always considered the jail is an integral part of the community rather than a correctional institution, because most inmates there haven't yet gone to trial.
"I like serving the community, and I really try to strive every day to get the officers more recognition here," he said.
"I think they're an unrecognized group in the community, and they do a tremendous service. Because without the jail, the police, the courts, no one could function in the community. It would kind of be chaos."
Powers was appointed jail director in 1982 and formerly served as a county sheriff's deputy.
He is involved in the early stages of a major jail expansion and has overseen development of the department's Web site to include more historical information and inmate search options.
County Administrator Glenn Breed called Powers a great asset to the community.
"I'd put him up against anyone in the nation, really, when it comes to running a jail," Breed said.
"He's definitely got a passion for the detention program, and he's just a dedicated employee who's been with us for a long time. He has a tremendous wealth of knowledge of the jail system and the law."