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Prison Fight

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Quarrels in the South Carolina prison over turfs and contrabands led to the death of seven inmates and seventeen injured. The Lee Correctional Institution houses 1,500 inmates, some of which are South Carolina’s most violent and longest serving term offenders.

Inmates were armed with makeshift knives that caused one of the deadliest riots in a United States prison in a quarter-century. Fighting broke out late Sunday in a dormitory in what police believe was over money, territory and contrand. It took the prison guards seven hours in order to regain control once again. “Most of the slain inmates stabbed or slashed with homemade knives,” Lee County Coroner, Larry Logan stated on Monday. Correction officers also stated that no law enforcement was harmed in the series of fights at the prison, which has a deadly history of violence. It usually takes two hours to regain control however since the fights broke out in three seperate dorms, it made it harder for the guards to gain control.

After requesting a tactical response team, officers entered the first dorm three hours after the riot broke out. The violence was initiated by the “Bloods” a street gang that formed around the 1970’s Los Angeles.  Bell stated that there has been an increase in “inmates complaining they had been assaulted, threatened or ordered to pay protection money to stay safe in prisons.” Bell also stated that the prison gangs actually run the prison not the prison guards and that nothing is going to be changed unless the state or director of the prison does something about it. Lee Correctional had “no towers, no wands and few cameras.”

Inmates took control in 2012 twice which prompted to call Gov. Nikki Haley called “Lee Correctional one of our most dangerous prisons, housing the worst of the worst of our convicts.” The incident in 2012 was when an officer escorted a nurse to one of the buildings was attacked which led to a six hour standoff. Inmates used smuggled cellphones to make their demands but were stopped when agents and officers used tear gas in order to gain control over the situation. The riot at Lee Correctional was one of the deadliest since 1993. The Ohio Standoff was 25 years ago lasted 11 days when prison guards were taken hostage. When nine officers and correctional officers and hundreds of prisoners had taken control. “The question of course: Does anyone care?”

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Prison Fight