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SC Prisons: More Bad News

More violence, more concerns over accountability …

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South Carolina’s prison system just can’t seem to catch a break …

In addition to high-profile incidents exposing systemic weaknesses in its operations, the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) hasn’t even been able to address its myriad issues without dropping the ball.

Things are bad.  So bad, we’ve already called on governor Henry McMaster to fire the agency’s current director, Bryan Stirling.  Unfortunately, McMaster has failed to do so.  Not only that, he went so far as to heap praise upon Stirling following a widely publicized jailbreak last month – one that badly exposed SCDC’s lingering problems.

Exclusive reporting by this website (and others) in the aftermath of the July jailbreak revealed a culture of chaos within the Palmetto State’s prison system – “a near-total loss of operational control,” as we put it.

The latest developments?

Multiple sources have confirmed to FITSNews that an inmate-on-inmate incident led to a brawl with “numerous injuries” this week at McCormick Correction Institution, a level three SCDC facility located in McCormick, S.C.

McCormick is one of six “high-security institutions designed primarily to house violent offenders with longer sentences, and inmates who exhibit behavioral problems,” according to the SCDC website.

We’re still digging as to the particulars of this latest violence, but it’s not easy to get information when Stirling and his staff refuse to respond to our inquiries.

In other news, sources tell us Lieber Correctional Institution – the level three prison at the heart of the SCDC scandal earlier this summer – is on the verge of being taken over by federal authorities.  Specifically, we’re told the feds are concerned over the institution’s poor response following the July escape of violent offender Jimmy Causey.

As many as five Lieber employees should have been fired following glaring breakdowns in security during Causey’s escape – but only one employee lost their job.

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 State correctional facilities have also served as a backdrop for sex scandals and murders.  And serious sentencing errors.

It’s a mess … and frankly, it’s past time something was done about it.

For those of you thinking “more money,” be advised: SCDC is not short on cash.  The agency received $482.3 million in the current state budget (which began on July 1).  That’s an increase of 7.1 percent in a two-year span.

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