Inmate sues SC Department of Corrections following stabbing
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Corrections alleges an inmate attacked another inmate at a state prison while correctional officers failed to intervene.
The lawsuit states the incident happened at McCormick Correctional Institution in the upstate.
It was filed less than two weeks before an incident on Sunday at the same facility where authorities say inmates locked a correctional officer in a cell. The inmate suing, Joshua E. Brown, is from North Charleston.
The lawsuit says another inmate stabbed Brown in the chest and face as he was walking down the stairs to his unit in April of last year. It says he was attacked with two shanks.
The lawsuit alleges that the officer in the unit left the wing during the attack and that Brown was forced to defend himself with the help of other inmates.
Court documents state Brown was diagnosed with PTSD following the incident and that he has not received proper mental health treatment.
Associate Attorney at the Peper Law Firm, Brenna Wiles, is working on this case.
“His main goal with the lawsuit is to get his mental health services that he’s been requesting over a year now and be able to move past this incident and learn how to cope with his PTSD and not be afraid of inmates and like he’s constantly being watched,” Wiles said.
The lawsuit also claims the facility fails to provide appropriate correctional officer staffing and that they don’t follow protocols or properly investigate violent attacks. It also says they fail to take security measures to prevent attacks.
“We do have other SCDC cases and there’s a lot similarities,” Wiles said. “There’s a systemic problem within SCDC.”
SCDC officials said they don’t have a comment on pending litigation and will respond in court. They say it’s no secret that staffing is an issue across the department.
The plaintiff Joshua Brown is currently at Ridgeland Correctional in Jasper County. Department records show he’s serving a 15-year sentence for hit-and-run in Berkeley County resulting in death.
“If they are sentenced to 15 years that’s their sentence and they deserve to be protected and that’s a duty of SCDC is to protect the inmates, protect their own staff as well and to treat them humanely and that’s statutorily required by common law,” Wiles said.
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