US riots in prison kill seven

US riots in prison kill seven

The violence, which took place Sunday in the Lee Penitentiary Center in Bishopville, South Carolina, is the worst in a quarter of a century.
Seven inmates died in clashes on Sunday night in a US prison, violence among the worst of recent decades in a country with highly criticized prison policy. The riot was opposed by rival groups of prisoners at Bishopville Penitentiary Lee, a facility frequently shaken by unrest in the state of South Carolina. The situation became out of control at 19:15 (01:15 in Paris) with “many fights in three residential buildings,” said the prison administration of the southeastern state of the country. There were no guards or policemen wounded in the violence, but “17 detainees required medical treatment outside the facility, and seven detainees were killed,” the authorities said. Calm was restored at 02:55 local Monday morning, according to the prison services that did not specify the violence but thanked the police and emergency services mobilized. The heavy toll, succinctly announced Monday on Twitter, illustrates the harshness of the American prison world that is often criticized for its lack of humanity, pushing many prisoners to despair. The US prison population is at an all time high, with approximately 2.2 million people behind bars, including legions of mentally ill and delinquent offenders. An open investigation Bishopville’s high security prison in Bishopville hosts some of the most dangerous male convicts in South Carolina. It was built in 1993 with a capacity of nearly 1,800 places, for convicts serving sentences often long. Violence and mutinies are relatively frequent. Inmates had neutralized a guard in March and took control of part of a dorm, local channel WACH Fox reported. One inmate lost his life in a fight in February, another was fatally wounded in November, and a third was killed in July 2017 in an altercation. The Democratic Minority Leader of the South Carolina Parliament Todd Rutherford said it was “unacceptable” that such an event, with many victims, could happen inside a penitentiary. “It’s a symptom of a broken judicial and criminal justice system that needs to be reformed,” he tweeted. An investigation has been opened into the facts that have plunged Lee prison, the balance sheet being among the heaviest in a quarter of a century. South Carolina Republican Governor Henry McMaster was due to speak in the afternoon. The trauma of Attica mutiny In 1993, nine inmates and one prison officer were killed in a very high-security prison in Lucasville, Ohio, in the north. A mutiny in a state prison in New Mexico (south-west) resulted in the death of 33 detainees in 1980, with some 200 wounded. But the uprising that has most marked American history remains the mutiny at Attica, a penitentiary in the northeastern United States that had a majority of black and Puerto Rican prisoners. This rebellion broke out on September 9, 1971, before being quelled four days later in a bloody repression. Some 1,300 detainees took control of Attica’s buildings, taking prison guards and prison staff hostage. New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller decided to storm the scene. Hundreds of police and national guards opened fire on the unarmed mutineer rifle. Twenty-nine prisoners and ten hostages had been killed, and a hundred men seriously injured.

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