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Zero Tolerance, South Carolina Department of Corrections War on Dirty Staff

09 Nov 2023, Jail News, Uncategorized, by brian

The South Carolina Department of Corrections keeps its prisons clean and contraband-free through its crackdown efforts.

Zero Tolerance, South Carolina Department of Corrections War on Dirty Staff - Inmate Lookup

Law enforcement and K-9s conducted surprise searches at prisons across South Carolina as part of a “zero tolerance campaign” of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) to prevent contraband from entering prisons and to catch any staff involved in illegal activities.

SCDC Director Bryan Stirling stated that the goal of the campaign is to prevent what he calls “dirty staff” from bringing contraband into South Carolina state prisons. He also assured that staff caught will be charged accordingly.

According to Stirling, SCDC and the South Carolina Office of Inspector General, along with about 20 other agencies across the state, assisted in Wednesday night’s effort. At Broad River Correctional Institution, officers from the Columbia Police Department, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and the Forest Acres Police Department were present.

Employees were required to stop their vehicles for K-9s to sniff them. If a K-9 alerted to the presence of drugs, law enforcement conducted a search of the employee’s car, and the employee was also subjected to a drug test. No employees were arrested or charged at Broad River Correctional Institution, but several were drug tested, SCDC explained.

Stirling emphasized the importance of preventing contraband from entering prisons, as it hampers the rehabilitation process and empowers gangs.

In a previous search at Lee Correctional Institution in September, two employees were arrested. To combat the issue, SCDC has implemented technology to identify and disable contraband cell phones within the prison.

Stirling mentioned in an interview in September that the South Carolina Department of Corrections has disabled over 600 phones in one month. In Wednesday’s interview, he said the count increased to 800 disabled phones. He hopes to expand this technology to all state prisons, not just South Carolina state prisons.

Additionally, nets have been installed to prevent people from throwing contraband into prisons, and drone teams have been established to intercept outside drones attempting to drop contraband.

In a past interview, Stirling said he plans to request funding from the General Assembly in next year’s budget to support these initiatives.