According to report, chaos in South Carolina prison leaves seven inmates dead while 17 others were said to have been severely injured, of which it was said that the fighting lasted for more than seven hours before prison officials were able to keep them under control despite it was a maximum-security prison.
Jeff Taillon one of the prison official announced the grim outcome after State Law Enforcement Division agents helped secure Lee Correctional Institution around 3 a.m. Monday.
According to records by a Charleston newspaper columnist “It’s the latest violence in a system where 12 inmates were killed by other prisoners last year and 250 prisoners were assaulted so severely in 2016 and 2017 they had to be treated in outside hospitals.” In March, an inmate held a guard hostage for 90 minutes at the Bishopville prison, while in February, another inmate killed a fellow prisoner
The spokesman further said that no officers were wounded after multiple inmate fights which broke out at 7:15 p.m. Sunday. He said 17 inmates required medical attention outside the prison. Most of the slain inmates were stabbed or slashed, while the remainder appeared to have been beaten, Lee County Coroner Larry Logan said Monday.
“How else are you going to die in prison? They don’t have guns,” Logan said by phone as he went to a Florence hospital to finish identifying the dead. “Autopsies should confirm their causes of death, and their names won’t be released until their families are notified” he said.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections tweeted that “the deaths happened as in multiple inmate-on-inmate altercations in three housing units. Lee County Fire/Rescue said ambulances from multiple jurisdictions lined up outside to tend to the wounded.” The local coroner’s office also responded.
According to the coroner, when he arrived it was a chaotic scene of fighting everywhere. Logan said Lee Correctional Institution, like most other South Carolina prisons, is struggling to find enough workers, but he doesn’t believe anything could be done once things got that far out of control.
“If everybody has an uprising, you are always going to be understaffed,” He said.
The maximum-security facility in Bishopville houses about 1,500 inmates, some of South Carolina’s most violent and longest-serving offenders. Two officers were stabbed there in a 2015 fight. These deaths at Lee are the most in any South Carolina prison in recent years. Four inmates were killed by a pair of prisoners in the state’s Kirkland Correctional Institution last year.
Twelve inmates were killed by other prisoners in South Carolina in 2017, according to public documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Steve Bailey, who writes columns for The Post and Courier of Charleston.
The 250 inmates taken to the hospital after assaults the past two years were nearly double the rate from the two years before, the newspaper reported.