Seven inmates killed in SC prison violence

Seven inmates killed in SC prison violence

Spokesperson of the prison Jeff Taillon informed about the tragedy after the State Law Enforcement Division personnel helped in securing Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, Lee County, in the wee hours of Monday.

"Sunday's deadly incident came three weeks after inmates briefly held an officer hostage and took control of part of a dorm at the Bishopville prison", The State newspaper reports.

According to the New York Times, for years lawmakers pledged to make South Carolina's prisons safer, especially Lee Correctional, but apparently, those pledges haven't resulted in positive safety changes. "This was about contraband, this was about cellphones", Stirling told a news conference.

Seven inmates were killed and another 17 were treated following multiple "inmate on inmate altercations" Sunday night at Lee Correctional Institution.

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

Most of the slain inmates were stabbed with homemade knives or slashed, while the remainder appeared to have been beaten, Lee County Coroner Larry Logan said.

"When high-security inmates start engaging each other and there aren't enough staff, it's hard to stop it", Martin said in a phone interview.

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Stirling was appointed by then-Gov.

The state has about 5,000 prison employees in 22 institutions, but "security staff numbers continue to lag behind the authorized strength", it said, without giving numbers. When McMaster took over as governor past year, he kept Stirling, who had previously worked for him in the state Attorney General's Office.

Two months ago, the correctional house made the headlines after one of its inmates killed another.

"People in this prison, many have violent records", McMaster said.

The riot was the latest violence in the SC prisons system, where at least 13 other inmates have been killed by fellow prisoners since the start of 2017.

Stirling said the fight appeared to be contained before starting in two other dorms.

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