SC Department of Corrections administrators hire more police to - FOX Carolina 21

SC Department of Corrections administrators hire more police to crackdown on contraband

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SC Department of Corrections administrators hire more prison police to crackdown on contraband. (FOX Carolina/ May 22, 2018). SC Department of Corrections administrators hire more prison police to crackdown on contraband. (FOX Carolina/ May 22, 2018).
ENOREE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A recent riot ended with seven inmates dead at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, South Carolina. Now, State Senator Karl Allen is working to fix problems in the system.

"It's going to take a holistic, total approach to solve this problem," Allen said.

One of the problems is contraband like drugs, cellphones and weapons smuggled into prisons.

"There was legislation done and it's sitting in committee so that we can increase the penalty and put a little bit more teethe and rise to the felony level as opposed to a misdemeanor for those who bring contraband in," Allen said.

In the meantime, there is a contraband crackdown.

"It's being highlighted as a result of the issues that we're having within the department of corrections," he said.

Recent statistics show in 2017, police with the South Carolina Department of Corrections arrested more than 120 inmates, 75 civilians and 26 staff members for contraband. So far this year, police arrested 16 inmates and two prison employees.

"We have got to focus on keeping contraband out- that is one of the main reasons that environment is unsafe," Allen said.

Administrators with the South Carolina Department of Corrections are also hiring more SCDC Police. In 2014, they hired 21 law enforcement officers and now there are 48 officers.

"The amounts that inmates will pay or the amounts that officers will demand is a very high-dollar amount," Allen said.

Therefore, with the latest contraband crackdown lawmakers and prison police want to lockout illegal activity.

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