Video shows SC inmates set fire in top-security prison cell

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Inside the maximum security prison where inmates were killed in deadly riots, at Lee Correctional Institution, new video shows smoke from a fire the Department of Corrections says inmates set on Tuesday.

After celebrating more than a dozen corrections officers from across the state being federally indicted for smuggling contraband into prisons on Wednesday, former corrections officer Captain Robert Johnson said Thursday contraband is still a huge problem. He watched the new video.

"I have no doubt they planned this," said Johnson. He is not surprised by the behavior. Johnson, instead, is troubled by the apparent use of the contraband cellphone to document the fire.

"They want headlines. They want people to notice them and that they are serious about what they do," Johnson explained.

He says activity shown in this video will continue without change to the department, like in staffing.

"If an inmate's determined to do something, he's going to do it. Like they used to tell me, 'Johnson, I got 24/7 to out-think you,'" Johnson said.

Johnson says there should be higher salaries for officers but also more training for them.

The Department of Corrections says inmates set fire to paper in this incident, and officers extinguished the flames; no injuries or damage was reported.

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