South Carolina Prison Justice Network

South Carolina Prison Justice Network fights to advance the human rights of those inside our state’s jails and prisons. We call for policy reform that ends mass incarceration and that emphasizes rehabilitation of our neighbors. It is time to reform South Carolina’s criminal justice system.

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They're Living In Horrendous Conditions

Oct 8, 2020 | by Laura Bratton

Submission by, Cherry

Transcription of Amended Audio:

Hi, my name’s Cherry. I’m calling from Florence. I would like to tell you a little bit about what’s happening in the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

They’re living in horrendous conditions. Cells are covered with mold, rust, smoke damage, blood from previous riots. The prisons are unsanitary and have been for years, but we have a pandemic and still they have no bleach sanitizers, soap, or anything to kill germs or slow the spread of COVID.

The institutions are old and unsafe. An inmate said he had to put something in between his sheet and his bed so that he wouldn’t get rust on his sheet.

Most of South Carolina Department of Corrections have air conditioners, but they’re not working. And still, there are a few prisons in South Carolina that don’t have any air at all. The temperatures in South Carolina can get up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, which is a dangerous temperature outside, much less in a building.

South Carolina Department of Corrections houses over 18,000 people. Not only is it a big financial burden, it requires trained staff that are honest and capable of being stern without being hateful.

Keeping correction officers is a problem which leads to bigger problems. You can’t run prisons that are at full capacity without the staff, not safely and effectively anyway.

With the staffing issues, these people in these facilities are having a hard time. Nothing is on time, including food. They’re on 24-hour lock down and have been for months. South Carolina Department of Corrections says this is not punishment, but the people that live there feel like it is.

They have no canteen. They barely get showers. No rec. Food trays are late. They are furnishing no clean supplies. They are hungry. They’re tired. And no way to let out any frustration. They’re getting no exercise. Their needs are being neglected by the staff and sick calls are not being answered.

Criminal justice reform is a must. It has been proven over and over that South Carolina is incapable of running these prisons. These are people that are supposed to be rehabilitated, but they’re caged like wild animals.


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