South Carolina has the highest ratio of people locked up than any other democracy in the world. According to a report, South Carolina has an imprisonment rate of 678 per 100,000 people. South Carolina has the most lethal and heinous prisons. According to a study, a dozen inmates were killed in 2017 by other inmate fellows. This is because violent incidents in South Carolina's prisons are far too frequent.
Overview of Prisons in South Caroline
Prisons in South Caroline have a long and complicated history. The first prison in the state was established in 1703, and since then, the system has undergone several changes. The state currently has a total of 22 prisons, which the South Carolina Department of Corrections oversees.
The majority of prisoners in South Carolina are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses. In fact, as of 2016, nearly 60% of the state's prison population was comprised of inmates serving time for nonviolent crimes. This is one of the highest percentages in the country.
Despite this, the state's prisons are often overcrowded and understaffed. This has led to several problems, including poor conditions, violence, and even death. In recent years, many high-profile lawsuits have been filed against the state over the conditions in its prisons.
What makes the prisons in South Carolina worst?
- Lethal violence has increased the death rate in South Carolina's prisons.
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 2001 to 2014, over 60 prisoners were killed annually.
- South Carolina is one of 13 states with no policies to expedite release or allow parole for people incarcerated for minor violations.
- Conditions inside South Carolina's prisons have worsened due to ongoing staffing issues.
What Are the 7 Worst Prisons in South Carolina?
The following prisons are ranked as South Carolina's worst prisons based on the number of fatal incidents that have occurred there.
1. Lee Correctional Institution
Lee Correctional Institute, located in Bishopville, South Carolina, is a maximum security prison for male offenders. The South Carolina Department of Corrections operates this facility. The facility can house up to 1785 inmates.
This has been characterized as the most dangerous prison in South Carolina and has a violent history. On April 15, 2018, a horrific gang fight took the lives of seven prisoners and injured 22 others. Additionally, it was discovered that prisoners were engaged in illegal activities inside the prison, such as smuggling drugs. Lee's violent history has rendered it the most dangerous and worst prison.
2. Kirkland Correctional Institution
Kirkland Correctional Institute is a high-security prison in Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina. The South Carolina Department of Corrections operates and owns this prison for male offenders. The facility can house a maximum of 1707 prisoners.
This facility has records of violence and involvement with gang activity. There are also concerns about the prison's hygiene standards. It is common for the dominant gangs in Kirkland to beat prisoners brutally. In an incident, four prisoners' lives were taken by two convicts, each serving a life sentence.
3. Berkeley County Detention Center
The Berkeley County Detention Center is third on our list of the worst prisons in South Carolina. This facility, located in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, is a medium security prison. The facility houses male offenders.
This facility does not provide fundamental rights to the inmates; they are not allowed to have books, newspapers, or magazines. They are not only denied their rights but also prevented from communicating, thereby violating their freedom of expression.
4. McCormick Correctional Institution
McCormick Correctional Institution is a state prison in McCormick County, South Carolina. This facility was opened in 1987 and is operated by the South Carolina Department of Corrections. It has the maximum capacity to house 1124 inmates.
Inmates at McCormick are subjected to violence and brutal beatings. In a riot that occurred at McCormick, an inmate was stabbed to death by many other prisoners. Lack of staff is also contributing to the worsening conditions. The prison system has also suffered because of McCormick's continuing violence.
5. Evans Correctional Institute
Evans Correctional Institute is a level 2 medium security facility. It is located in Bennettsville, South Carolina, and can house 1410 inmates. The South Carolina Department of Corrections operates the facility. The construction of this facility began in 1989.
Prisoners are violently abused and tortured physically in this facility, and gang activities are growing in this facility. The condition at Evans has started worsening with a series of events. An incident in Evans involved gang-related violence, where a woman was blackmailed into paying a gang to keep her son alive within the prison. As a result of violent outbursts by gangs, prison conditions at Evan Correction Institute have deteriorated.
6. Richland County (Alvin S. Glenn) Detention Center
Richard county detention center, also known as the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Centre (ASGDC), is a medium security prison. It is located in Columbia, South Carolina. This facility houses male offenders.
Inmates at Richard County are housed in filthy cells and subjected to inhumane treatment, as evidenced by the death of a detainee, 27-year-old Lason Butler, while incarcerated at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. Butler was discovered dead, alone, and covered in rat bites. Reports suggest Butler died from dehydration, and inmates also testified that he was denied access to water.
7. Perry Correctional Institution
Perry correctional institution is located in Pelzer, South Carolina. It is a level 3 prison with maximum security. Inmates with serious criminal histories are housed in the facility. The South Carolina Department of Corrections runs the facility and has room for up to 1,000 prisoners.
Prisoners at the Perry Correctional Facility suffer from physical and sexual abuse. There are some stories of how the inmates are not safe. Among them was one in which a corrections officer was charged with disseminating nude photos of an inmate. The prison has also been the site of riots and violence.
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