FALLOUT CONTINUES …
Fallout following the escape of high-profile inmate Jimmy Causey from a “maximum security” facility in Ridgeville, South Carolina is continuing to cascade over the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC).
First, this website reported on multiple alleged breaches of protocol associated with Causey’s escape. Hours later, a television station in Charleston, S.C. ran a damning report detailing systemic problems at Lieber Correctional Institution – the SCDC facility from which Causey escaped on July 4.
According to that report, Lieber is an institution controlled by its 1,500 inmates – not the officers who are supposed to be guarding them. Staffing shortages have reached a critical level, drugs and other contraband are ubiquitous and violence is a daily occurrence.
From where we sit, it’s yet another sad example of South Carolina’s free-spending state government taking a core function … and screwing it up completely.
Not long after our recent report was published, we heard from a source who is intimately connected to an individual currently incarcerated at Lieber. This source shared some truly frightening details about what goes on inside the troubled prison.
One item that piqued our interest?
“The corrections officers have an in-house fight club at Lieber Correctional Institution,” the source told us.
Our original source had very little knowledge of this “fight club,” but we’re told the organizers of this bare-knuckle brawling society take bets and make money off of its matches.
(Click to view)
“It’s part of the prison economy,” one source told us. “And there are plenty of guards who participate in that economy – at Lieber and other prisons.”
We’ve been provided with specific information regarding the operation of this alleged club, but unfortunately SCDC officials have refused to respond to us. Accordingly, we have reached out to the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) in the hopes of turning over the information we’ve been provided.
Hopefully we’ll hear back from them soon because one of the officers allegedly involved in the administration of the Lieber fight club has been accused of committing other criminal acts.
“All these correction officers involved in this fight club she be held accountable for their actions,” our source said.
We agree … and hopefully our reporting will help ensure this happens.
This website has covered numerous SCDC scandals over the years – including efforts by former governor Nikki Haley’s administration to cover up prison riots. Palmetto prisons have also served as a backdrop for sex scandals and murders. And serious sentencing errors.
SCDC is slated to receive $482.3 million in the fiscal year that began on July 1 – an increase of 3.7 percent from the $464.7 million it received during the 2016-2017 fiscal year. According to its website, the agency employs 5,700 staffers and has 20,000 inmates at 22 different facilities.
We will continue to report on what we discover at Lieber (and other prisons) but it is becoming abundantly clear to us SCDC is the latest in a long line of totally dysfunctional state agencies – proving one of our recent letter writers correct.
Along with cops, courts, roads and bridges, the operation of a prison system is a core function of government. In South Carolina, this function continues to be colossally mismanaged – putting our citizens at increased risk.
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