SC Prison Officials: Inmates Aren't Getting Out

Full story: WLTX Columbia

Lee Correctional Institution is home to convicted murderers, rapists and child molesters.
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1 - 20 of 53 Comments Last updated Dec 10, 2012
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sandlappah

Tucson, AZ

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#1
May 13, 2008
 
Says the guy from a contraband cell phone.
Kay

Columbia, SC

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#2
May 13, 2008
 
Why and how does the inmate have a cell phone to call the reporter?
Kay

Columbia, SC

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#3
May 13, 2008
 
why and how does the inmate have a cell phone to call the reporter? If he can do this, why would he lie or anyone disbelieve anything else he says?
unknown

AOL

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#4
May 13, 2008
 
Kay wrote:
Why and how does the inmate have a cell phone to call the reporter?
Guess that mean he's telling the truth
CCW

Columbia, SC

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#5
May 13, 2008
 
How can director Ozmint claim this is not happening when the call came from an inmate with a cellphone? Are prisoners allowed to have cellphones in prisons? Whether or not the inmates claims are valid, I don't know. But, there is definitely a problem somewhere.
Been There

Hilton Head Island, SC

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#6
May 13, 2008
 
Obviously, this inmate is telling more of the "TRUTH" than Ozmint is because he (OZMINT) lied to WLTX and got called on it by J.R. Berry! Ozmint said inmates hadn't gotten out in his five years as Director and turned around and said some employees had been terminated for helping inmates do just that! Time to go there "GREAT OZ"!
Dr Pepper

United States

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#7
May 13, 2008
 
Simple solution to the prison problem. Start using the electric chair, 24/7. All day, every day.
Sckroo a sicko criminals civil rights, sckroo the ACLU NAACP and all the rest of the bleeding heart meatheads that condone and forgive crime. Escape attempt? Shoot on sight, problem solved.
Billy Bob

Georgetown, SC

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#8
May 13, 2008
 
While it might be hard to believe a prisoner but he/she did call WLTX on a cell phone.

I certainly wouldn't believe one word from Ozmint's mouth either!!!
Froggy

Newark, OH

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#9
May 13, 2008
 
Like Ozmint is going to admit that his officers are in the wrong as well. I am with some of you... someone is doing something, the prisoner has his own cell phone!
southernbelle

Sumter, SC

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#10
May 13, 2008
 
there is always two sides of the story, thats for sure! thats just crazy that prisoners have cell phones!
KMP

AOL

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#11
May 13, 2008
 
I personally saw an inmate and a correctional officer walking down the access road to LEE CI a few months ago on a weekend. They were almost at Highway 341. I was very upset because I know this institution houses dangerous criminals. If the inmate were to have escaped, I could have been in danger as well as anyone else driving down that highway that afternoon. I inquired of other correctional officers if this is standard and was told this should not be taking place. Guess I SHOULD HAVE CALLED SOMEONE ON IT EARLIER. ALSO, I knew of an inmate that had a cell phone that he used to call my family numerous times. Guess he was caught, he hasn't called in a LONG TIME!!
New Management

Florence, SC

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#12
May 13, 2008
 
This is not only happening at LEE, Try Lieber where Death Row is Housed! The cell phones and contraband there is worse than LEE. Inmates are getting out & Picking up their cell phones & drugs and going back in! I was told by someone who works at LEE that an Inmate had gotten out last week and had to bang on the front door of the dorm to be let back in after passing out cell phones and drugs! The Inmate Calling WLTX is telling the truth and it is happening at many SCDC prisons throughout the state. Ozmint/Ward and others are to busy in court with employees that they have wronged or settling cases on other employees they have wronged to properly run corrections!
New Management

Florence, SC

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#13
May 13, 2008
 
Jon Ozmint spent today trying to convince the Senate that he need more money to run corrections and that he needs to run an even higher defict than last year. He has paid more money in employee law suits either through settlement or actual court decisions than any other Director in SCDC history! He wants the Senate to give him money for new officers yet SCDC can not fill all of the officer vacancies they have now! The turnover rate is so high because employees are treated much better by most of the inmates than they are treated by most of the upper management! If you have 45 vacancies and the Senate gives you 100 positions now you have 145 vacancies! Until Jon Ozmint and Robert Ward and others with Like Minds Leave SCDC it will only get worse!
Chicken and Beer

Elgin, SC

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#14
May 14, 2008
 
I was in there a while back. I left daily for a burger and quickie.
Lonewolf

Leesville, SC

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#15
May 14, 2008
 
They need to lock down all of the state facilities and scour them for contraband.Any prisoners found with contraband get their sentence doubled automatically.
NAACP

Elgin, SC

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#16
May 14, 2008
 
I support Jon Ozmint as director of Department of Public Safety !!!!

I would also like to give-a-shout out to the BLACK Caucus !!!
Been There

Hilton Head Island, SC

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#17
May 14, 2008
 
New Management wrote:
Jon Ozmint spent today trying to convince the Senate that he need more money to run corrections and that he needs to run an even higher defict than last year. He has paid more money in employee law suits either through settlement or actual court decisions than any other Director in SCDC history! He wants the Senate to give him money for new officers yet SCDC can not fill all of the officer vacancies they have now! The turnover rate is so high because employees are treated much better by most of the inmates than they are treated by most of the upper management! If you have 45 vacancies and the Senate gives you 100 positions now you have 145 vacancies! Until Jon Ozmint and Robert Ward and others with Like Minds Leave SCDC it will only get worse!
New Management you are exactly right about everything you have stated! This is exactly what happens when you put (Buddies) in charge of something they know nothing about! PRIME EXAMPLE OF WHY THE CABINET FORM OF GOVERNMENT SUCKS! This is the all "ARROGANCE" no "EXPERIENCE" style of management that has told on the "GREAT OZ" time and time again. WLTX is doing a great service for those few decent people still left at SCDC by bringing these situations to light! WLTX NEEDS TO CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE OZMINT, HIS "SUPPOSED" EXECUTIVE STAFF AND EVERDAY CORRECTIONS OOPERATIONS i.e. Law suits, budget shuffling--Monies meant for one thing and misappropriated for another-shed's/roads/ponds/fie lds/stands/and the TAX PAYER SUPPLIED HOUSE on the old Ponderosa, Ozmint going against or trying to change agency policy for personal gain and making up rules on the fly--no dating at SCDC--WHAAAT?, using a MAXIMUM level inmate as a maid against policy without notifying the victims, item's built in vocational school's for family and friends etc. Ozmint has hurt some good people which has been proven (and will be proven) in court again all because of his position (because he could). This my friends is called abuse of power and I believe it is illegal in one form or the other! Pack up Ozmint, maybe the same SCDC crew that helped move you in can help you move out. Except this time my tax dollars won't be going to fix your (broken and repaired) water pipes "supposedly" caused by the moving crew! You have been allowed to abuse your power long enough! LEGISLATOR'S, IT'S TIME TO STAND UP!
24Lady

Columbia, SC

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#18
May 14, 2008
 
Lonewolf wrote:
They need to lock down all of the state facilities and scour them for contraband.Any prisoners found with contraband get their sentence doubled automatically.
Great genius, double their time, keep them there and we will have more overcrowding with no money to pay CO's to guard them. The problem will only get worse. They already have to spend a good deal of time in lock-down in their rooms because there are not enough CO's to staff the dorms. I don't pretend to have the solution, I do agree that the problem goes all the way to the top and these types of problems always come back to money. Maybe when we have a new Governor they will launch and actual investigation, I say actual because with all the talking Ozmint has done I have yet to hear him say what it is they are trying to do about, I wish I could throw my hands up to my boss and say I can't fix this problem for what this guy makes a year. I also would love to know where all the psychiatrists and MD's that are on the SCDC payroll are, and teachers too. All the trade classes are taught by inmates to the best of my knowledge.
Premier Bail Bonds

Lexington, SC

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#19
May 14, 2008
 
Made by man, operated by man, Can be defeated by man.
Inmate talking on a cell phone from inside the prison ? How do you know this is true. The inmate phone system within (all of) SCDC is easily defeated with 3 way calling and is done on a daily basies. Inmate calls a land line, land line calls a cell phone, cell phone does a 3 way call also, shows up on your caller ID as a wireless caller. Put the inmate through the test, See if he can stay on the line for more than 15 minutes. That alone however will not prove he or she is inside the walls of SCDC. I can't see anyone inside (inmate) giving up such information as this would only make it more diffucult for him and if he/she is discovered doing this by other inmates, Inmate Justice System comes into play. "Not good at all" I think maybe you are talking to a former Inmate or an SCDC employee who just wants to cause problems.
John Locke

Columbia, SC

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#20
May 14, 2008
 
Pay me half of what Ozmint makes a year and I will fix the prison problem. Use the other half of the salary to hire the 15-20 prison guards it would pay for. As a criminal justice worker, I had heard about inmates being allowed to leave and come back by guards, but didn't want to believe it. Inmates are not supposed to have cell phones, but when you pay a prison guard 18K a year but the inmates can supplement their salary by another 10k or more, it's very tempting to fall into the role of a "Duck".

Lockdown the prison and there should be no way for the inmates to leave. They should also strip inmates caught with contraband from having any priviledges for the rest of their sentence. Maybe then more inmates would not like prison and would get themselves straight when they come out.

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