Attorney: SCDC 'should have known' about gangs, contraband at Lee Correctional

GREENVILLE, SC (WIS) - The lawyer of an inmate injured during a riot at Lee Correctional Institution is now speaking out about the incident that took place in April.

Reakwon Watson, 21, has filed a lawsuit for what he and his attorney said was the prison's failure to provide adequate security and supervision of inmates in the facility in Bishopville. According to the lawsuit, Watson was attacked by 10 to 15 inmates and stabbed eight times during the riot.

Following the attack, Watson reportedly begged for assistance for hours until correctional staff came to help. Watson's attorney, Robert Jones, said a lack of staffing and security at the facility ultimately led to the riot.

"This is something that SCDC should have known about," said Robert Jones. "They had gangs that were in the facility and that there was the potential for a violent outbreak. They knew or should have known that contraband was being smuggled into the facility including shanks that were used during these deadly attacks and they had a duty to prevent that from happening."

Seven inmates were killed and nearly two dozen other inmates were injured during the riot last month.

The South Carolina Department of Corrections said it does not comment on pending litigation.

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