BISHOPVILLE, SC (WIS) - Outside the sleepy, almost one-stop light town of Bishopville, the Lee Correctional Institution houses 1,266 of the state's most violent offenders.
But in the town of over 3,200 residents, many are responding after seven inmates inside the level three facility were killed and 17 were injured following a prison riot there on April 15.
"I just don't understand how they let it get out of control," resident Jaleel Albert said. "Too many people died and got all them people injured and stuff. Somebody ain't doing their job to me."
Inmates Raymond Angelo Scott, Michael Milledge, Damonte Marquez Rivera, Eddie Casey Jay Gaskins, Joshua Svwin Jenkins, Corey Scott, and Cornelius Quantral McClary were killed in the incident, leaving many with questions about what happened.
MORE ON THE DEADLY SC PRISON RIOT:
- Lee Correctional prison riot: Seven inmates killed in incident identified in 'mass casualty incident'
- 'Territory, contraband, cell phones' behind SC prison 'mass casualty incident' that left 7 dead
- Who are the seven inmates killed at Lee Correctional Institution?
- 10 inmates dead in 9 months: What's going on at Lee Correctional Institution?
- Residents of sleepy Bishopville respond after seven killed at Lee Correctional
- Inmate describes chaos at Lee Correctional as bodies piled up outside
- This inmate believes he knows why riots happen at Lee Correctional
Residents feel safe living in this community, but they are on high alert every time there's an incident at the prison. There were no corrections officers injured in the riot, but some people tell me that in itself raises questions in their minds.
"We worry about it everyday," resident William MacMillan said. "There's nothing we can really do. we wish we could help them more but it is what it is."
MacMillan also worries about how the state is taking care of inmates in the prison.
"This not the first time and I don't think it's going to be the last," MacMillan said. "Every year it's something going on over there. They escape, they're killing one another in there. They not taking care of them."
Julie Hayes, who works in Bishopville, agrees but says corrections officers need to be paid more.
"That prison has always seemed to be a problem," Hayes said. "There are a lot of riots out there, a lot of uprisings. They really should have the funding for more guards and I think that would tone down the problem."