Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

'Ongoing incident' reported at unsafe SC prison

'Ongoing incident' reported at unsafe SC prison

Prisoners at one of America's most notorious jails ran riot for eight hours in the worst prison disturbance the United States has seen since 1993.

Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison for men, has been the site of several other violent and deadly outbreaks this past year, CNN affiliate WACH reported.

The maximum-security facility in Bishopville houses about 1,500 inmates and there were 44 guards there when the first fight started. That year, two officers were stabbed in a brawl.

Inmates armed with homemade knives fought each other for more than seven hours over territory and money, leaving seven of them dead in the worst USA prison riot in a quarter-century, officials said Monday.

Mr Logan said the state-run Lee Correctional Institution, like most other SC prisons, is struggling to find enough workers, but he does not believe anything could have been done once things got that far out of control. This was about contraband, this was about cellphones.

"These people are fighting about real money and real territory when they are incarcerated", Stirling said at a news conference.

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A prisoner who witnessed the violence said bodies "were literally stacked on top of each other".

Banned mobile phones were said to have been used to help stir up trouble.

Logan said it appears most of the seven were killed by stabbing or slashing.

A reason for that, in turn, is low pay, with the Post and Courier pointing out that a prison guard has an annual starter salary of about $27,000 - about $4,000 less than a garbage truck driver would bring home. Fewer staff leads to inmates being locked up in their cells for longer hours, and that in turn exacerbates nascent mental health problems that are already so rampant that advocates have dubbed USA prisons the "new asylums".

There is no word on whether this "mass casualty incident" is related in any way to the previous recent unrest at the prison.

"These folks are fighting over real money and real territory while they're incarcerated".

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All prison guards and law enforcement staff were said to be safe.

Governor Henry McMaster on Monday said he would renew his request to federal officials to allow him to block cell signals on prison property. Nikki Haley in 2013 to lead the state prison agency.

The prisoner who saw the riot exchanged messages with AP on the condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to have a cellphone and fears retribution from other inmates.

Inmates fought uninterrupted before authorities regained control of the prison about 3 a.m. Monday.

We pay for your stories! Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. He found lax security standards because too few people were willing to take on such a unsafe job for such paltry pay.

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