South Carolina Prison Fights Leave 7 Dead and 17 Injured

South Carolina Prison Fights Leave 7 Dead and 17 Injured

Governor McMaster noted that the inmates are violent people and when they're convicted of a crime, they bring that violent attitude with them to prison.

The youngest was 28 years old while the oldest was 44.

Damonte Rivera, 24, serving life for murder.

No officers were injured in the latest fracas at Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, said Jeffrey Taillon, spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Officials didn't immediately say what sparked the violence.

He says most of the inmates are affiliated with gangs and several attackers taunted a rival gang member who was hurt.

SC officials have asked the Federal Communications Commission to allow them to block cellphone signals in prisons and have a meeting with the FCC in May to discuss the issue.

The incident is under investigation by the department's police service unit and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Stirling was appointed by then-Gov.

Hoots was sentenced out of Yellowstone County in 2014 to 30 years in prison for his fourth or subsequent DUI, state records show.

In a Monday news conference, Stirling defended the state's efforts to increase correctional officers' pay and thanked the legislature and the governor for increasing their funding in recent years. "It's fairly well accepted that most prison violence happens when a correctional officer is not there". Razor wire protects a perimeter of the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, S.C., in this February 9, 2016. Logan said that the majority of the victims were stabbed to death, while others appeared to have been beaten. The names of the deceased were released shortly before noon.

No correction officers were wounded in the incident, authorities reported.

According to the New York Times, for years lawmakers pledged to make South Carolina's prisons safer, especially Lee Correctional, but apparently, those pledges haven't resulted in positive safety changes.

The first melee started around 7:15 p.m. Sunday in a dorm housing about 250 inmates.

Lee County Coroner Larry Logan told The Associated Press that he arrived to a chaotic scene of fights everywhere at Lee Correctional Institution.

The maximum-security facility houses about 1,500 inmates, including some of South Carolina's most violent and longest-serving offenders. An inmate inside watched in dismay as several fellow prisoners, two he knew well, lay dead and dying, their bodies leaving trails of blood leading back inside the prison walls.

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