SC Prison Officials: Inmates Aren't G...

SC Prison Officials: Inmates Aren't Getting Out

There are 53 comments on the WLTX Columbia story from May 13, 2008, titled SC Prison Officials: Inmates Aren't Getting Out. In it, WLTX Columbia reports that:

Lee Correctional Institution is home to convicted murderers, rapists and child molesters.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WLTX Columbia.

Tibbs

Columbia, SC

#21 May 14, 2008
LOL, who really thinks that an inmate would call a television station and RAT on himself about his illegal cell phone. this is the most stupid story i have read in a while. If this report is even half true, that prison would be locked down and a major shakedown would occur and the supposed "RAT" inmate would suffer along with the rest of the population.
John Locke

West Columbia, SC

#22 May 14, 2008
Premier Bail Bonds wrote:
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.
How is it "Causing Problems" by shedding light on an issue like this????? The problem is already in existence, dude! Of course, you think inmates should be allowed to do whatever they want to when they want to. That just reaffirms the belief that you and your company should be behind bars too.
John Locke

West Columbia, SC

#23 May 14, 2008
Tibbs wrote:
LOL, who really thinks that an inmate would call a television station and RAT on himself about his illegal cell phone. this is the most stupid story i have read in a while. If this report is even half true, that prison would be locked down and a major shakedown would occur and the supposed "RAT" inmate would suffer along with the rest of the population.
Obviously you have never worked with criminals....they do it all the time! Ozmint knows if he reacts by implementing lockdowns and shakedowns, he is admitting he has lost control of the prisons. Plus, there are thousands of cell phones in the prisons, there would be no way to determine which inmate made the call to the media unless WLTX revealed who the person was.
The Real World

Hilton Head Island, SC

#24 May 14, 2008
Premier Bail Bonds wrote:
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.
P.B.B. thank's for your words of wisdom but, it should be obvious to you (if you are watching the news) that even if it is an SCDC employee---they didn't cause the problem(s), they are just reporting it! There are too many serious issues here! The Buck stops with Ozmint and it's time for the Governor to cash out!
Sabrina

Chester, SC

#25 May 14, 2008
Something is not adding up here. I have a gut feeling that ALOT of the staff is in on this money making scheme. I also feel that due to the lack of concern from the director he should be investigated and/or terminated.He has shown in his inteviews that he is not capable of handling/managing a prison.
paula

Columbia, SC

#29 May 14, 2008
overcrowding, underfunding, low pay for guards, long hours, no respect, hardened criminals.....put all these together and yes, something is going to go wrong. solution? don't know, investigations costing taxpayers millions, early release to make more room, raise taxes for more funding? however, most of the time the criminals do have more rights than the victims. anybody got a solution? would love to hear it, maybe someone in Lee Co would listen to.
Concerned Citizen

Manning, SC

#30 May 14, 2008
I feel as if Director Jon Ozmint is a liar and he is definitely aware of lots of things that occur within the SCDC system. Ozmint is constantly in the news protraying himself as a director that is ahead of the game, when in reality,most taxpayers know that many incidents are permissible.
Priscilla

Brooklyn, NY

#31 May 14, 2008
ONCE THE DIRECTOR SNAPS OUT OF THE DENIAL THAT THESE THINGS ARE BEING DOING THEN HE'LL BE ABLE TO SOMEWHAT CALM THINGS DOWN, OTHERWISE HE'S GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE IN THE BLIND AND THESE THINGS WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN. I HAD A FAMILY MEMBER IN THE SYSTEM OFF OF BROAD RIVER ROAD AND GUARDS BROKE THE LAW ALL THE TIME ALLOWING VARIOUS ACTIVITIES TO TAKE PLACE ALL THE TIME ESPECIALLY ON OUTSIDE JOB DETAIL. WE WERE ALLOWED TO MEET UP WITH HIM ALL THE TIME AND IF WE WERE THE TYPE TO GIVE DRUGS HE WOULD'VE VERY WELL HAD THOSE AS WELL BUT WE JUST TOOK HIM LUNCH AND GAVE HIM MONEY IN HAND YES AND CASH IS CONTRABAND AS WELL BUT IT WAS ALLOWED BY THE PRISON GURAD. SO TELL ME WHATS WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE. MY FAMILY MEMBER IS NOW OUT OF THE SYSTEM AND DOING VERY WELL!!
Priscilla

Brooklyn, NY

#32 May 14, 2008
MY FAMILY MEMBER CALLED US ALL THE TIME FROM A CELL PHONE WHILE INCARSARATED RIGHT HERE IN COLUMBIA, SC SO THE CELL PHONE DEAL IS VERY TURE. HOW HE GOT THE CELL PHONE WAS NEVER REVEALED TO US BUT HE HAD ONE AND THE CELL NUMBER WOULD SHOW UP ON THE CALLEDR ID SO THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR A WHILE NOW BECAUSE HE'S BEEN OUT FOR SOME MONTHS NOW.

“Please don't feed the trolls.”

Since: Apr 08

Location hidden

#33 May 14, 2008
I believe it all...and I believe Ozmint knows all about it. He's probably been in on it for a cut of the money for a long time. Now he sees his little cash cow headed for the pen (literally) and doesn't want to get led in with it.
IMHO

Cayce, SC

#34 May 14, 2008
John Locke wrote:
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.
All that's a great idea but I got a better one. What if we cut the size of the prison in half? Since they are violent criminals that have been convicted, we should only house them for the time it takes to put a new seat cover on the electric chair. Wouldn't need a kitchen to feed them from. Only need a handful of employees to choose from to flip the switch since there wouldn't be any bed linens to wash. Think of the tax payers money that would be saved?? Oh wait..........that would be infringing on their "rights"...... My opinion, the only rights they should have is the right to an in the ground burial........
BUG

Georgetown, SC

#35 May 14, 2008
IMHO wrote:
<quoted text>
All that's a great idea but I got a better one. What if we cut the size of the prison in half? Since they are violent criminals that have been convicted, we should only house them for the time it takes to put a new seat cover on the electric chair. Wouldn't need a kitchen to feed them from. Only need a handful of employees to choose from to flip the switch since there wouldn't be any bed linens to wash. Think of the tax payers money that would be saved?? Oh wait..........that would be infringing on their "rights"...... My opinion, the only rights they should have is the right to an in the ground burial........
no all u'd need is a paper bag to put over the head no seat covers those get expensive you can get like 10000 paper bags for like 10 bucks!
a concerned citizen

Sumter, SC

#36 May 14, 2008
As a former employee of DOC the news of inmates receiving contraband from the outside world is not anything new... The director stated that this is not happening...but ask him this... when is the last time he has left his office to visit these institutions and actually find out what is goin on...its sad that it takes an inmate on the inside to call a news station and report that these kinds of things are happening...if the director is tryin to sugarcoat this incident hes not doing a very good job....after all the bad publicity that the DOC has received in the last couple of years under this director's guidance , you would think that the DOC would try to lie low for awhile but i guess that the director likes all the hype....well now he has got a whole lot of it....
herkimer fudpucker

United States

#37 May 14, 2008
All I have to say is I would have never heard about this if I had relied on WCSC-TV or other Charleston stations. It is a shame that a city as large as ours doesn't have a professional news-gathering team or director. Nothing new, though; has been this pitiful for the 40 years I have lived here!
anonymous

Florence, SC

#38 May 14, 2008
Eveyone seems to think that these inmate are downtrodden and full of depression and sorrow. That is not at all the case. The imnates ahve acces to everything their hearts desire. Flat screen televisions, almost free healthcare, and many other priveleges that they dont deserve. Th officers feel helpless and tend to LET inmates get away with the things they do because the law isnt on their side. Inmates are coddled by the state. That is why the recidivism rate is so damn high. Especially at BRCI. I would know, im an employee.
anonymous

Florence, SC

#39 May 14, 2008
Tibbs wrote:
LOL, who really thinks that an inmate would call a television station and RAT on himself about his illegal cell phone. this is the most stupid story i have read in a while. If this report is even half true, that prison would be locked down and a major shakedown would occur and the supposed "RAT" inmate would suffer along with the rest of the population.
Tibbs, u would be surprised at how stupid inmates are. Thier favorite thing to do is put their own head on a chopping block to get the agency or an officer in trouble. They like to embarass the agency and other people because they arent smart enough to learn a trade and have nothing else to contribute to society.
Nemo

Florence, SC

#40 May 14, 2008
Let's set the record straight. Mr. Ozmint did not appear before on Tuesday to plead for more money, he is out of town doing Reserve Duty. He also did NOT say that contraband was not getting into the prisons, he said that the inmates were NOT leaving the institutions. And finally, Mr. Ozmint is at the prisons, and not in his ivory tower all day. Does this make him a good director, NO. But at least get the stories straight before bashing the man.
Now reality - let's here from an officer at Lee, who did witness an inmate going through the roof of his dorm on Tuesday to retrieve contraband. Did he make if off the prison grounds? No, he did not need to. Any well conditioned female could throw stuff over those fences. They were designed to keep inmates in, no one thought about keeping other stuff out. But it takes money to fix it. And DOC has none. They might get macaroni and turkey, but they also get coffee, tea, and soda with every meal.
There are problems with the system, no doubt, but it's what we have, and it is what the public is willing to pay for. So John Q Public, step up and fix it. Start with requiring the government to pay the officers what they deserve.
kiz

Columbia, SC

#41 May 14, 2008
Chicken and Beer wrote:
I was in there a while back. I left daily for a burger and quickie.
HAHA
thats why you havent come back by your out!? you got it all backwards!
FORMER SCDC SGT

Columbia, SC

#42 May 14, 2008
1. THE REASON THE INMATE CALLED THE NEWS AND "RATTED" HIMSELF OUT (PREMIER AND TIBBS) IS BECAUSE MOST INMATES JUST WANT TO DO THEIR TIME AND LEAVE. ABOUT 70% OF INMATES WANT THE OFFICERS TO DO THEIR JOBS AS IT MAKES THEIR ENVIRONMENT SAFER.
2. PRISCILLA, YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF! BY MEETING WITH AN INMATE OUTSIDE THE INSTITUTION BY MEANS OF A DIRTY OFFICER, YOU HAVE BROKEN THE LAW AND MORE IMPORTANTLY ENDANGERED THE PUBLIC IN DOING SO.
3. INMATES SMUGGLE DRUGS, WORKOUT SUPPLEMENTS, CELL PHONES, PORNOGRAPHY, ETC. INTO ALL PRISONS. IT'S A FACT. THROUGH AREA SEARCHES AND PAT-DOWNS, MOST CAN BE CONTROLLED. THERE IS SIMPLY NO WAY TO ELIMINATE ALL CONTRABAND. DOESN'T MEAN WE DON'T TRY. YOU JUST CANNOT FIND IT ALL.
ON THAT NOTE, OFFICERS ARE PEOPLE, TOO. WHILE 90% OF THEM ARE DOING THEIR JOBS, PLEASE UNDERSTAND WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST. IT ONLY TAKES 1 DIRTY OFFICER TO ENDANGER AN ENTIRE INSTITUTION. GOD BLESS CORRECTIONAL WORKERS, GIVE US COURAGE TO CONTINUE RISKING OUR LIVES EVERYDAY, AND PROTECT US FROM THE DANGEROUS INCIDENTS THAT WE ALL WILL EVENTUALLY GO THROUGH.
The Real World

Hilton Head Island, SC

#43 May 14, 2008
Nemo wrote:
Let's set the record straight. Mr. Ozmint did not appear before on Tuesday to plead for more money, he is out of town doing Reserve Duty. He also did NOT say that contraband was not getting into the prisons, he said that the inmates were NOT leaving the institutions. And finally, Mr. Ozmint is at the prisons, and not in his ivory tower all day. Does this make him a good director, NO. But at least get the stories straight before bashing the man.
Now reality - let's here from an officer at Lee, who did witness an inmate going through the roof of his dorm on Tuesday to retrieve contraband. Did he make if off the prison grounds? No, he did not need to. Any well conditioned female could throw stuff over those fences. They were designed to keep inmates in, no one thought about keeping other stuff out. But it takes money to fix it. And DOC has none. They might get macaroni and turkey, but they also get coffee, tea, and soda with every meal.
There are problems with the system, no doubt, but it's what we have, and it is what the public is willing to pay for. So John Q Public, step up and fix it. Start with requiring the government to pay the officers what they deserve.
There are at least three questions that need to be asked here.#1. Was there a report/MIN done on this incident and was the inmate reprimanded in some form or fashion?#2. If you witnessed them penetrating the roof and you said it was for contraband, how did the contraband get there-FLY?#3. If the inmates got time to get out through the roof with you witnessing it, how far could he have gotten if he wanted to go over, under or through the fence if you weren't there? Throwing contraband over the fence is one thing, throwing contraband over the fence on top of the dorms is another! I do not make lite of any correctional officers job however, the prisons are only as good as the chain that binds them and Ozmint is the weakest link!

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