7 inmates dead, 17 injured after hours of rioting at South Carolina prison
At least seven inmates are dead and 17 other people are injured after hours-long rioting at a maximum-security prison in South Carolina, according to the state’s corrections department, APA reports citing The Washington Post.
Several fights broke out among inmates in three separate housing units at the Lee Correctional Institution around 7:15 p.m. Sunday, and it took authorities more than 7 1/2 hours, until 2:55 a.m. Monday, to secure the prison, officials said.
No officers or staff members were among those killed or harmed, the corrections department added.
Emergency crews from at least a half-dozen agencies responded to the “mass casualty incident,” according to Lee County Fire and Rescue.
Lee Correctional Institution is one of South Carolina’s highest-security prisons, which means the inmates are generally tightly monitored and their movements inside the facility are limited.
Of South Carolina’s nine all-male, maximum-security prisons, Lee — in Bishopville, S.C., about 60 miles northeast of Columbia — is the largest.
The prison houses about 1,600 male inmates, the majority of them in general housing rather than more restricted housing, according to state records.
According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, the number of inmates held in state prisons has declined in recent years after peaking nearly a decade ago. There were more than 20,400 inmates held in South Carolina facilities last year, down from a peak of 24,040 inmates held in 2010, state records show.
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