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 prison riot

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PostSubject: prison riot   Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:22 am

Prison dorm on lockdown, area surrounded
Posted: Jan 18, 2012 11:33 PM EST Updated: Jan 19, 2012 2:24 AM EST

(WCIV/Brandon Geier) (WCIV/Brandon Geier)

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Inmates have sparked a security scare at Lieber Correctional Institute in Ridgeville, according to officials.

A spokesperson for the S.C. Department of Corrections says at the Ashley Dorm at Lieber, which holds about 300 inmates, is currently on lockdown and according to our crew on the scene the power has been cut by prison leaders.

Officials say at least one guard was overtaken by inmates Wednesday night. That guard has since been released. Sources say a second guard has since been released.

According to two callers, a riot broke out at the maximum security prison around 10 o'clock. One woman who identified herself as the mother of an inmate told ABC News 4 that she received a phone call from her son who told her that a major riot had broken out.

A Lieber prisoner contacted our newsroom at 10:30 p.m. using a cell phone from inside of the prison. He told us that prisoners had taken over the Ashley Dorm and that hostages were taken. He observed prisoners lighting fires in the windows in the Ashley dorm. He also said he watched as a guard was carried out bleeding.

The SC Dept. of Corrections wants public to know that the public is safe. Extra security has been brought in to establish a perimeter around the facility. Everything has been contained to the prison.

Look for continuing updates on abcnews4.com.


thank god i was not working tonight, and prayers out to my fellow officers who are in the hospital, no word yet on their conditions. swat teams from 5 county and local police departments were called in, our S.O.R.T(special operations response team)basically our shoot to kill team and about 200 other law enforcement showed up.This is my Unit, i have worked here for 2 years.. started around 10:30pm, they were filling the unit with CS last i knew..keep you all informed
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PostSubject: Re: prison riot   Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:00 am

BERKELEY COUNTY --

Police have secured Lieber Correctional Facility in Ridgeville after inmates overpowered a guard forcing a lockdown in one of the dorms.

Two officers were injured in the riot at the prison.

According to Clark Newsom,a spokesman for the state, a riot broke out around 9:00 P.M. Wednesday. Local, state, and federal officers locked down the scene.

Just before 2:30 A.M. power was cut off to the facility. Officers were able to storm the prison using tear gas. The situation was resolved just after 5:00 A.M. without any other injuries

The two officers who were injured were treated at the hospital, and released.
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PostSubject: Re: prison riot   Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:01 am

And here I thought you caused it by being so tough.




To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting. -Sun Tzu
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PostSubject: Re: prison riot   Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:19 am

Lieber: 2 guards for 229 of 'worst' prisoners
Published on 01/20/12
BY ANDREW KNAPP and GLENN SMITH
aknapp@postandcourier.com, gsmit

The only two correctional officers standing watch at a Ridgeville prison dormitory that houses 229 of the state's most egregious offenders were injured Wednesday night after inmates lashed out and set off a five-hour riot.

Current and former S.C. Department of Corrections officials said violence is commonplace at Lieber Correctional Institution's Ashley dorm, which contains criminals facing lengthy sentences. The dorm had been on lockdown Wednesday night after "several incidents of violence" in recent weeks, department spokesman Clark Newsom said.

Newsom said six serious assaults, including two homicides, occurred in the prison over the past five years. But the revolt that ended early Thursday when special forces barged in amid a haze of tear gas was of greater proportions than any incident since the prison opened in 1986, officials said.

"It's a maximum-security prison, so it's not unusual to have this violence from time to time," Newsom said. "We have the worst of the worst. There's some pretty bad behavior."

Throughout the entire facility that houses about 1,500 inmates, 27 guards were on duty at the time the riot started about 10:30 p.m. But at its conclusion, 200 officers from a dozen tri-county police agencies had surrounded the campus, ensuring that "at no point was the public in danger," Newsom said.

"Unfortunately, (the staffing level) is average," Newsom said. "It is what it is."

The riot

Newsom didn't know what precipitated the disturbance but said officials were investigating several reports, including one that inmates were disgruntled about being fed bologna.

To blame, he said, was an unknown number of inmates who had been handing out bedding for the night. They first beat the two correctional officers with a pipe, then stole their keys and radios, he said.

They dispersed throughout the A and B wings of the Ashley dorm, smashing windows, trashing common areas and offices, and setting off water sprinklers while seeking places to hide. Some rooms filled with 3 feet of water before workers could shut off the flow.

After electricity to the dorm was severed, a force specially trained to handle prison uprisings shot tear gas into the building and later recaptured the inmates.

The suspects' names and potential criminal charges or punishments had not been determined. All had been returned to their cells, which were undamaged, Newsom said.

The injuries to the two overpowered correctional officers were minor, Newsom said. After the takedown, another officer was transported by ambulance to Trident Medical Center with a wound that "didn't appear to be life-threatening," said Doug Warren, director of Dorchester County Emergency Medical Services. On a night of near-freezing weather, two other officers suffered hypothermia-like conditions as they cleared the water that flooded the dorm.

Endemic violence

Stan Burtt, a former warden at Lieber who retired in 2007 and now works in a faith-based prison ministry, said Lieber has had problems recruiting and retaining officers, an issue that's "endemic" at the most violent facilities.

He said that since budget cuts in the late 1990s, it wasn't uncommon for only two officers to staff the Ashley dorm. "It's a low number" for a maximum-security facility, Burtt said. Staffing levels have fallen by a half in the past decade and he advocated that more manpower be dedicated to violent offenders over lower-risk inmates.

"People look at all inmates as the same," Burtt said. "But an ax murderer who's insane is different from a guy who writes bad checks at Walmart once in a while."

Lieber, located in a rural corner of Ridgeville between highways 78 and 27, has been the scene of two slayings in recent years.

In September 2010, 72-year-old Saverio Piazzola was strangled in his cell while serving a 10-year sentence for criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

In August 2006, 19-year-old James Belli was killed when another prisoner repeatedly plunged a homemade shank into his neck. Now, after reports of corruption, a federal grand jury is said to be investigating the goings-on at Lieber at the time of Belli's death.

Ron Burris spent more than four years in Lieber, serving time for an infamous 1999 car chase that ended when he was shot 13 times by police in West Ashley. Burris turned his life around and has returned to Lieber to counsel inmates.

Burris said he wasn't surprised by the violence in the Ashley dorm, given the conditions inmates live in. They spend all but an hour or two of their days locked in their cells, he said. Cutbacks also have reduced recreational and vocational opportunities.

"It creates such a hostile environment," Burris said. "When you have that, things like this are going to happen."

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede. Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or gsmith@postandcourier.com.

HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

Lieber Correctional Institution, which opened in 1986, is a maximum-security prison, designed to hold some of the state's most violent offenders. It has been the scene of violence in the past. Those incidents include:

--In October 2010, a Ladson man serving a 30-year prison sentence for a 2003 murder was stabbed during a fight at the prison. He survived.

--A month earlier, 72-year-old Saverio Piazzola, was strangled in his cell while serving a 10-year sentence for criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

--In December 2009, two Death Row inmates repeatedly stabbed a correctional officer with a makeshift weapon during a confrontation near an outdoor recreation area. He survived.

--In June 2008, a Lieber inmate was stabbed multiple times in the head and body by a group of fellow prisoners. He survived.

--In August 2006, 19-year-old inmate James Belli was killed when another prisoner repeatedly plunged a homemade shank into his neck. Court documents surrounding his case painted a picture of a violent and corrupt prison where gang members extorted fellow inmates and sold drugs, allegedly with help from two guards. Corrections officials denied those allegations, though the state chose to settle a lawsuit brought by Belli's mother for $450,000 last year rather that go to trial. A federal grand jury is said to be investigating the goings-on at Lieber at the time of Belli's death.
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PostSubject: Re: prison riot   Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:51 pm

need to give you bigger clubs and free will to use them as you please on these people!!

I know some may not aggree with me and maybe it isnt right but these people want to kill anyone and everyone at anytime there computer in there head is set that way cause they got nothing to loose!!

gosh dang you be careful buddy!!
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PostSubject: Re: prison riot   Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:33 am

i will, appreciate it!
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PostSubject: Re: prison riot   Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:04 am

Bigger clubs? Hell, I'd be askin for a MP5 and a raise. Coop...were you one of the guys injured? Stay safe man...you have the most difficult babysitting job on earth.
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PostSubject: Re: prison riot   Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:14 am

i was home, almost went in, figured 250 other officers were enough..both wings of this unit were destroyed, from all sprinkler heads broke off, toilets, sinks, drywall, doors, windows, tv's, and anything else they could smash..



Future Lieber uprisings foreseen



Ex-guard says contraband is widespread






By Glenn Smith






gsmith@postandcourier.com





Monday, February 6, 2012






13 Comment(s)
























Solitary guards supervising hundreds of inmates. Prisoners armed
with homemade weapons and contraband cellphones. Inmates driven to rage
by extended lockdowns.


This is the world Scott Jones confronted daily as a correctional officer at Lieber state prison in Ridgeville.


Over a dozen years, Jones said, he watched as budget cuts ate away at
manpower and equipment, compromising safety in the maximum-security
prison. And he saw how decisions made by folks far away from this rural
outpost made life more difficult for those who live and work behind its
razor-wired fences.


Sensing a powder keg ready to explode, Jones quit his job last month,
determined to speak out about problems at the prison. Just a week
later, a riot broke out at Lieber as pipe-wielding inmates attacked
greatly outnumbered guards and took over a dorm for five hours.


Jones, a 40-year-old former sergeant, said he wasn't surprised by the
melee. In fact, he expects more trouble as long as the conditions at
Lieber persist and inmates remain locked down for 23 hours a day.


"It's like with an animal," he said, shaking his head. "If you keep it


caged up, it's going to get mean. And it's going to get violent."


Corrections Department officials said Jones was good at his job, and
they don't dispute many of his descriptions of life at Lieber. The
department is very concerned about the safety of its officers and
inmates, agency spokesman Clark Newsom said, but there is just no money
to hire more personnel and expand programs in the state's prisons.


"By its very nature, it's a tough job," he said. "Even if you have a
full force of officers, you still have the possibility of problems.
(Lieber) is a maximum-security prison, and you have some very tough
characters there."


'House of Pain'


Jones, a Summerville resident who now runs his own pressure-washing
company, applied for a correctional job thinking it would be a good
steppingstone toward a career in law enforcement. He grew to like the
job and the people he worked with. He stayed on, earning promotions and
serving on the prison's equivalent of a SWAT team.


But things changed as budget cuts took their toll on the prison
system, which ran a $30 million deficit last year just to keep its
facilities operating. The prison system's 23,000 inmates now outnumber
their guards by a nearly 6-to-1 ratio.


Jones worked in the Ashley dorm, where the riot occurred. Officers
called the unit "The House of Pain," a violent wing full of murderers,
rapists, robbers and the like. People have died there, including
19-year-old James Belli of Summerville, who was shanked in the neck by a
fellow inmate in 2006.


Jones said that due to understaffing, it is not uncommon for officers
in this environment to find themselves working alone at night on a wing
full of violent offenders. These officers have to enter three-man cells
armed with nothing more than a radio, keys and pepper spray, he said.


"If I have to fight them, I'm only going to be able to do that for so
long," Jones said. "Sooner or later, they're going to get the advantage
on me."


On the night of the riot, prison officials said, two officers were
keeping watch over a dorm with 229 hard-core offenders inside when they
were beaten with a pipe and overpowered.


Jones said the steel pipe likely was a desk leg that had been broken
off and fashioned into a weapon, which has happened several times in the
past. He said he was involved in an incident several months back in
which an inmate used such a pipe to attack a team of officers who had
come to remove him from his cell.


The inmate used the pipe to break one officer's protective shield,
then clubbed a sergeant whose helmet fell off in the fracas, Jones said.



Breaching security


Homemade weapons are common inside the prison, as are illegal
cellphones. Inmates get friends or family on the outside to toss phones,
marijuana and tobacco over the prison fences in trash bags,
hollowed-out foam footballs or other projectiles. "We've even found
camouflage bolt cutters in the grass," he said.


The accomplices often are aided by the inmates themselves, who use
contraband phones to notify them when guards on perimeter patrols have
passed by, Jones said.


In the late 1990s, Lieber had four officers patrolling the perimeter
and a watchtower where guards could survey the landscape, Jones said.
Now there is just one person roving the perimeter.


Some 15 video cameras were installed to compensate for the reduced
personnel, but there is often just one person in the control room to
monitor the cameras while also answering phones, opening and shutting
doors, and handling other tasks, he said.


"Even if they're watching, the camera's not going to climb off the pole and catch somebody," he said.


Jones and prison officials agree that cellphones are a major menace
inside Lieber and other facilities, but the correctional system hasn't
found an effective way to weed them out. In 2010 alone, some 2,000
cellphones were seized from the state's prisons.


The Post and Courier last year discovered dozens of state and federal
inmates apparently using contraband phones to maintain Facebook and
Myspace pages.


No solution in sight


About a half-dozen people identifying themselves as Lieber inmates
called The Post and Courier on contraband cellphones after the riot to
complain about conditions at the prison and to dispute official accounts
of what occurred.


One caller, who wouldn't give his name, described himself as a
convicted murderer serving a 22-year sentence. He said getting illegal
phones is easy as long as an inmate or a friend on the outside can come
up with $350 for the device.


"It's as easy as one-two-three," said the man, who carried on a half-hour conservation with a reporter without being noticed.


Jones said illegal phones are prized possessions and inmates will
viciously fight with anyone -- including correctional officers -- who
try to take them away.


Some officers on undermanned shifts won't even go into cells to
search for the phones for fear of being outnumbered and attacked, Jones
said. He said he knows of four officers who were injured in the last two
months in such encounters.


For more than two years, South Carolina has been seeking federal
permission to jam cellphone signals at state prisons, but the request
has stalled before the Federal Communications Commission, despite
support from 30 other states.


"It's something our folks keep bringing up, but we can't get it
approved," Newsom said. "The cellphone problem is epidemic, and it's not
just a problem for us. Every state is dealing with this right now."


FCC officials said last week that the request is still under review, with no timetable for a decision.


Meanwhile, inmates at Lieber warn that more trouble might be in the
offing as tensions simmer under extended lockdowns. Inmates in the
Ashley dorm said they have been locked down in crowded cells for weeks,
deprived of showers and recreation time and fed meal after meal of stale
bologna.


Prison officials lock down the units for every infraction. If two men fight, everyone suffers, they said.


Jones agreed, but he feels the most empathy for the people he used to
work with. Many have no choice but to keep working in an environment of
constant risk, he said. "It's sad, but they need these jobs to pay the
bills. They need the money, but they need to be safe too."
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