A year after riot, SC prison officials claim improvements

BISHOPVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A year after seven South Carolina prison inmates died in an insurrection, corrections officials say they’ve made improvements to the facility that for a night was the scene of some of the agency’s worst violence.

Reporters were allowed Wednesday to tour Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville. In April 2018, inmates gained control of parts of the prison in a war that officials say was a battle over contraband and territory.

Corrections Director Bryan Stirling says the violence was facilitated by a constant scourge of cellphones smuggled into institutions each year by the thousands and used by prisoners for unmonitored communication.

In the year since, Stirling says he’s employed a variety of security measures and programming improvements that have made Lee and other prisons safer.

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