SC Dems: Gov's 'Shawshank Redemption' view of Lee Correctional r - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

SC Dems: Gov's 'Shawshank Redemption' view of Lee Correctional riot is not how prisons work

The state Department of Corrections also identified the inmates as Raymond Angelo Scott, Michael Milledge, Damonte Marquez Rivera, Eddie Casey Jay Gaskins, Joshua Svwin Jenkins, Corey Scott, and Cornelius Quantral McClary. (Source: SCDC) The state Department of Corrections also identified the inmates as Raymond Angelo Scott, Michael Milledge, Damonte Marquez Rivera, Eddie Casey Jay Gaskins, Joshua Svwin Jenkins, Corey Scott, and Cornelius Quantral McClary. (Source: SCDC)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

State Democrats are calling for reforms to the state's prison system after seven inmates were killed and 17 more were injured following a prison riot at Lee Correctional Institution over the weekend. 

Appearing at a State House news conference, Rep. Todd Rutherford sharply criticized Gov. Henry McMaster's response to the exceedingly violent scene at the level three prison in Bishopville. 

"I couldn't believe that could happen in a prison in South Carolina. But, according to our governor, things just happen," Rutherford said. "According to our governor, who must live by watching The Shawshank Redemption every night, this is the way that prison life is supposed to be. Our governor is ill-informed and must go because of it."

Rutherford, joined by Rep. James Smith -- who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor -- called for the General Assembly to increase funding to the Department of Corrections to address manpower shortfalls and deal with the violence that plagues state prisons. 

"This is not the way people should be treated in South Carolina. They should expect better, we should demand better, and we need a governor that recognizes that. We apparently now do not have one." 

Rep. Will Wheeler, who represents Lee County, discussed the importance of reform as a safety issue not only for corrections officers but inmates as well. 

"It is not just in our society for people that receive a sentence to face this type of action as a result -- to die in prison while serving a 10-year sentence or a 15-year sentence," Wheeler said. "It's just not the way the system is supposed to work."

Rep. Justin Bamberg agreed. 

"Our state is broke," Bamberg said. "And you heard our leader, Rep. Rutherford, mention that we're short some 600 employees. Quite frankly, there needs to be an infusion of money, but we can't rob Peter to pay Paul." 

Sounding-off on the mass casualty that left seven inmates dead in Lee County, lawmakers called conditions in state prisons 'deplorable' on Tuesday. Lawmakers gave impassioned speeches on getting more money to prisons to hire more corrections officers, after fights turned deadly and lasted hours. 

Officers were outnumbered by the inmates, so they waited for hours to regain control of dorms until help from across the state could arrive, according to the Department of Corrections (SCDC).

“This is not the way people should be treated in South Carolina. They should expect better. We should demand better," Rep. Todd Rutherford (D- Richland) said. 

He is one calling for prison reform, and more state tax dollars to be spent on hiring more corrections officers. Susan DeMarco, whose close friend is an inmate at another maximum security prison, agrees. She started an advocacy group called 'Curve the Pipeline,' for reform.

"None of us are as bad as the worst thing we’ve ever done. Yes, people are incarcerated. But incarceration is your sentence," said DeMarco. “We want good citizens coming back out into society," she added.

Staff at (SCDC) blame three separate fights that broke out on gang activity over cellphones. One inmate called WIS-TV, using his illegal phone, to speak on problems as he sees them. He wouldn't reveal his name. 

There’s nothing here for anybody to do but to sit around and find something stupid to do," he claimed. He admitted contraband is a problem but said there should also be more good programs in prisons to rehabilitate inmates. The Department of Corrections says there are jobs for inmates.

That group of House Democrats is calling on one of their committees, the Legislative Oversight Committee, to investigate SCDC. The Department of Corrections sent WIS a list of all the programs said to be available to inmates at Lee Correctional Institution. Those are: 

  • Better Living Incentive Dorm
  • Barbering class
  • Creative Writing
  • Music Under DeCoda
  • Healing Species/Dog Adoption Program
  • Bee Keeping
  • Seven Habits on the Inside
  • Dog grooming
  • Commercial Driver’s License classes
  • Effective Communications
  • Anger Management
  • Criminal Thinking Errors
  • Assert Yourself
  • Character, Mentorship and Art Therapy
  • Hobby Crafts – Woodworking and painting
  • Carpentry
  • Brick Masonry
  • Welding
  • GED
  • Work Keys
  • Special Education
  • High School Diploma
  • Career Readiness
  • Prison Industries
  • Culinary
  • Faith Volunteer Groups
  • KAIROS
  • Spanish Bible Study
  • Jehovah’s Witness
  • Things Men Should Know
  • Jump Start
  • Hospice Training
  • Phoenix Marching Program
  • Step Down Program
  • Traditional Plant
  • Apparel Plant
  • Mattress Plant
  • Proverbs 226
  • 812 Education/Certifications: (GED, Vocational Certifications, WorkKeys, OJTs) were awarded at Lee CI since July 2016
  • The Better Living Incentive Community Programming offers: 
  • Old Testament Survey
  • Comparative World Religion
  • Discover the Keys to Staying Full of God
  • Thinking for a Change
  • How to Find God's Will
  • German
  • Transformation into Rehabilitation Program
  • Complete Discipleship Evangelist 48
  • Computer Class 101
  • Introduction to American Justice
  • Transforming Your Life
  • Basic Refrigeration and AC
  • Architecture 101
  • Basic Drawing for Beginners
  • Clock Building
  • Dog Training
  • Introduction to Creative Writing
  • State Driver's License
  • Push and Pull Total Body Workout
  • Public Speaking
  • Men's Fraternity (Part II) Winning at Work
  • Narcotics Addiction
  • Real Life Discipleship
  • Uprooting Anger
  • Dispelling Urban Myths and Legends
  • The Theory of Flight
  • AA
  • Buddhist Studies
  • Catholic Service
  • Christian Discipleship and Leadership Initiative
  • Re-Entry into Society
  • Basic Money Management
  • The Truth Project
  • Vocabulary - Spelling Made Easy
  • Financial Literacy
  • 33 The Series - Authentic Manhood
  • Musical Arts
  • Personal Health
  • Policy 101-Young Offenders
  • Basic Land Surveying/Civil Engineering Blue Prints
  • Universal Advanced Learning
  • Un. B.I.A.S. Mentor Program
  • First Aid 101-The Basics
  • Discovering the Wiccan Religion
  • Things Men Should Know
  • How to do Good after Prison
  • Worldwide Music Appreciation
  • Master Life Discipleship
  • Romanian - Beginners
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Game Plan for Life (Joe Gibbs)
  • Spanish Bible Study
  • 3-T Revived (Taboo Table Talks)
  • Philosophy/Logic
  • Critical Thinking
  • The Shepherd's Staff
  • Spanish
  • Mentorship
  • Wicca Studies
  • New Testament Survey
  • Problem Solving Through God's Word
  • World History
  • Christian Apologetics
  • Siddha Meditation, Metaphsis, Mysticiam
  • Ministerial Training Class
  • THUG Mentality Exposed
  • Proficiency for Living
  • Conquering Challenging Emotions
  • Excel 2003
  • Trailblazer Afterschool Workout
  • Real World Math
  • Typing
  • Critical Thinking
  • A Masterpiece in the Making
  • Digital Literacy
  • Destined for the Kingdom
  • Parole Support Group
  • HOP Helping Other Positively Everyday
  • Brass Instrument Community
  • Roommate 101
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • PRIME
  • P.R.I.M.E(Positive Reinforcement in Mus Exp)
  • Roommate 101
  • Italian Language Class
  • Biblical history
  • Study of major world religions
  • Glorify God, be thankful …
  • Conflict resolution
  • Learning German
  • Change inmate culture
  • Teaching discipleship
  • Computer Basics
  • Understanding the basics of law
  • Transformation of thoughts and emotions
  • Fundamentals of AC and refrigeration
  • Basics of building
  • Art for beginners
  • How to make clocks
  • Dog/obedience training
  • Creation and honing of fiction-writing
  • Licensing procedures and requirement
  • Weight loss and conditioning
  • Learning how to speak to an audience
  • Relationship building and work ethics
  • Additions support
  • Discipleship training
  • Recognizing the cause of anger
  • Guide to mature evaluation and decision-making
  • History of flight
  • Alcohol addictions support
  • Study of Buddhism
  • Nurturing of the Catholic community
  • How to become a more mature Christian
  • Give IM basic knowledge to have upon release
  • Gain skills to manage personal finances
  • Learn how to Organize and evaluate opposing ideas
  • Improve spelling capabilities
  • Teach how to manage finances
  • Teach Inmates to live life of truths, passion and purpose
  • Provides Outlet to let Inmates express themselves musically
  • Learn principles to maintain healthy lifestyle
  • Teach 17-25 to live by policy
  • Teach Land Surveying
  • Teach in the Scientific Field
  • Teaching how to be a mentor
  • Teach Inmates basic first aid
  • Strengthen the beliefs of Wiccan religion
  • Better prepare them for reentry
  • How to deal with reentry back into society
  • Appreciate the value of music
  • Develop and maintain discipleship
  • Teach fundamentals of the language
  • Teach fundamentals of ecological awareness
  • Guide for successful living
  • Spanish residents to communicate during bible study
  • Recognize/overcome ungodly sexual behaviors
  • Learn to create clear and logical arguments
  • Create a better use of deliberation skills
  • Teach knowledge of the Bible to help build character
  • Understanding Spanish in order to write it
  • Understand sociology/psychology
  • 1, 2, 3 degree proficiency
  • Increase knowledge of New Testament
  • Solve Problems through God's love
  • Better understanding of World History
  • More informed Christians able to adequate answer inquiring mind
  • Understanding Sadhana
  • Train INMATES to make a difference
  • Assist INMATES in gaining insight into the thug mentality
  • Teach rational processes to make the best decisions
  • Various strengths dealing with addictions
  • Reach computer skills
  • Self-paced study in a variety of areas
  • TEACH Math Skills
  • Teach proper techniques of typing
  • Teach Problem Solving Skills
  • Teach Drawing Techniques
  • Living in the digital world
  • Teach how Christ affected history
  • Support group for those eligible for parole
  • Teach Leadership
  • Fundamental Skills of Brass Instruments
  • Help roommates relate to each other
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Geared towards MH inmates w/positive reinforcement
  • Stage performance, lyrical content, beat & live composing
  • Help roommates relate to each other
  • Art of Conversation in Italian
  • History behind Charleston Roses

Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • SCDOT opens east side of Wando Bridge to two-way traffic

    SCDOT opens east side of Wando Bridge to two-way traffic

    Sunday, May 20 2018 8:54 PM EDT2018-05-21 00:54:06 GMT
    Wando Bridge to allow for two way traffic (Source: Live 5)Wando Bridge to allow for two way traffic (Source: Live 5)
    Wando Bridge to allow for two way traffic (Source: Live 5)Wando Bridge to allow for two way traffic (Source: Live 5)

    Officials from the South Carolina Department of Transportation opened the eastbound side of the Wando Bridge to two-way traffic on Sunday afternoon.

    More >>

    Officials from the South Carolina Department of Transportation opened the eastbound side of the Wando Bridge to two-way traffic on Sunday afternoon.

    More >>
  • As Trump pressures DOJ, Giuliani says probe may end by Sept

    As Trump pressures DOJ, Giuliani says probe may end by Sept

    Sunday, May 20 2018 2:11 PM EDT2018-05-20 18:11:29 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 9:34 PM EDT2018-05-21 01:34:12 GMT
    Trump referred to some who cross the border illegally as "animals," not people. (Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)Trump referred to some who cross the border illegally as "animals," not people. (Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    President Donald Trump says he'll demand that the Justice Department review whether the department or the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign for political purposes, and whether any demands or requests came...

    More >>

    President Donald Trump says he'll demand that the Justice Department review whether the department or the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign for political purposes, and whether any demands or requests came from the Obama administration.

    More >>
  • Texas mourners endure grief that 'none of us can comprehend'

    Texas mourners endure grief that 'none of us can comprehend'

    Saturday, May 19 2018 11:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 03:51:30 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 9:33 PM EDT2018-05-21 01:33:54 GMT
    (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...(Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly