Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Inmates Dead, 17 Injured Following Deadly Prison Riot In South Carolina

Inmates Dead, 17 Injured Following Deadly Prison Riot In South Carolina

Late Sunday into Monday, seven inmates died and 17 more were injured during a 7-hour fight at Lee County facility.

The fighting began at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville at 7:15 p.m. ET Sunday.

Corrections Department Director Bryan Stirling said of the prisoners at the press conference: "These folks are fighting over real money and real territory while they're incarcerated".

Last month, inmates reportedly overpowered an officer for more than an hour and took control of one side of a housing unit.

Stirling defended the length of time it took to put down the disturbance, saying law enforcement officers had to muster at the housing units one at a time, retaking control and placing inmates back in the cells.

An inmate who witnessed the violence said that bodies were "literally stacked on top of each other" at the Lee Correctional Institution in SC. The South Carolina State Auditor cited the Department of Corrections in five, separate annual reports during the past 10 years, including 2016, the most recent one.

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A two-day riot and hostage-taking at the New Mexico State Prison in 1980 left 33 inmates dead and 200 injured, one of the worst in modern U.S. history. At Lee Correctional Institution, around 28 percent of correctional officer jobs are vacant, Stirling said.

Prisoners armed with homemade knives rioted for more than seven hours over gang territory and money inside a maximum-security facility in Bishopville, S.C, leaving seven inmates dead in the worst USA prison riot in more than two decades.

Multiple agencies responded to the incident. No officers or employees were injured but they cited stabbing and slashing using "shanks" or DIY knives as the general cause of death or affliction.

"If everybody has an uprising, you are always going to be understaffed", he said.

The inmate said he and other prisoners roamed around freely at the prison in Bishopville, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) east of Columbia.

A prison brawl at a maximum security penitentiary in SC has claimed the lives of seven inmates and injured 17. He said 17 of the injured required medical attention outside the prison.

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State Sen. Gerald Malloy, a Democrat whose district includes Lee Correctional, summed up the day more bluntly.

"That prison has always seemed to be a problem". "We failed. That's it". Four inmates were fatally strangled past year at the Kirkland Correctional Institution in the state's capital.

Hoots was sentenced out of Yellowstone County in 2014 to 30 years in prison for his fourth or subsequent DUI, state records show.

"The folks who are incarcerated are gonna continue their criminal ways behind bars, which is not only risky inside our institutions, but it's also unsafe outside our institutions", Stirling said.

Another inmate was killed in February, following another inmate death last July.

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