Abuses and Failures of U.S. Correctional Institutions: South Carolina’s Lethal Prison Riot that Left Seven Dead | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Abuses and Failures of U.S. Correctional Institutions: South Carolina’s Lethal Prison Riot that Left Seven Dead

Along with the seven prisoners who were killed, whose names and photos were published by the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC), another 17 prisoners were wounded and are reportedly being treated. According to the SCDC’s official account of the incident posted on Facebook and Twitter, the fighting between prisoners lasted almost eight hours. At a press conference, SCDC Director Bryan Stirling said the lethal riot centered around rival gangs and contraband cell phones

“What we believe from initial investigation is that this was all about territory, about contraband, about cell phones,” Stirling said. “These folks are fighting about real money and real territory while they’re incarcerated.”

He also called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to block signals from the cell phone tower located near the prison, saying that was something the Department of Corrections would be discussing with the FCC in the weeks to come.

In April 2016, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai visited Lee Correctional “to talk about the threat of contraband cellphones,” according to his Twitter account. Pai has long been a proponent of taking action to curb illicit cell phones behind bars, while also opposing lower prison phone rates that would undercut the black market for cell phones – a market that is typically supplied by prison employees in exchange for bribes. Rather than addressing the problem of corrupt staff members, corrections officials have focused on efforts to stop the flow of contraband phones.

However, the source who provided the photos to PLN said cell phones were not actually at the center of the violent dispute, but rather other items that one gang faction said were stolen from the other.

“This has been [an] ongoing beef from an incident that happened at Lieber Correctional Institution. Bloods and Folks have been fighting for over a year,” the source told PLN. “What SCDC does is when a gang fight happens, they move inmates to other institutions. They meet up with other members and what they do is put those guys in dorms with the gang that the person just got into [it] with.”

Another anonymous source who appears to be incarcerated at Lee Correctional Institution tweeted that SCDC officials at the facility “sat back” and let the fight escalate into a bloody and lethal riot, while watching and laughing. The Lee facility is a maximum-security prison, one of nine in South Carolina, with a checkered history of violence.

Ironically, given the push by the SCDC and Governor Henry McMaster to jam cell phone signals in the vicinity around state prisons, the public release of images of the fatal brawl at the Lee facility would not have occurred were it not for the use of cell phones by prisoners.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

American correctional institutions are engineered to fail, and to guarantee that the rates of recidivism remains high, to justify fat budgets for these departments.

Report Documents U.S. Recidivism Rates for Federal Prisoners

The article goes on to state:

Drawing on data on more than 25,400 former inmates who were either released outright from federal prisons or placed on probation in 2005, the 60-page report found almost half (49.3%) had, within the next eight years, been arrested again, whether for a new offense or for violating conditions of their parole or release. Among the offenders released or paroled in 2005, during the same period nearly a third (31.7%) had been re-convicted, with 24.7% of them also re-incarcerated."

Do these numbers look like the numbers of a corrections system which actually works?!?

The short answer is, Hell, no!!

By contrast, one only needs to look at the Norwegian prison system to see what is possible:

The most successful prison system in the worl is also the most radically humane

What we see here, is a far lower recivism rate (20%), and a real attempt at prisoner rehabilitation, rather than punishment. And it actually costs a lot less than US taxpayers shell out for a failed system.