South Carolina Department of Corrections

Interesting Facts and Events


Year
Facts/Events

1867

  The first inmates entered the State Penitentiary, which was
  designed to hold 400 convicts.
1872
  Prison school established by law.
1877
  Introduction of farming at the State Penitentiary.
1878
  Prison school act repealed.
1893
  Segregation of young boys from older inmates at the State
  Penitentiary.
1905
  Hospital was constructed.
1912
  The electric chair was installed at the Penitentiary in 1912 and the
  first executions were carried out.
1917
  A chair factory was established as the first prison industry.
1922
  First prison board of directors appointed by the Governor.
1922
  A riot occurred at the State Penitentiary.
1932
  A fire destroyed 1/3 of the prison facilities at the Penitentiary.
1937
  Six inmates trying to escape killed Captain of the Guard J. Olin
  Sanders.
1945
  Per diem pay system initiated for inmates.
1950
  Total inmate counts averaged 1,450.
1960
  The State Penitentiary was made a state agency and renamed the
  South Carolina Department of Corrections. A State Board of
  Corrections was established with a member representing each
  judicial circuit.
1960
  Total inmate counts averaged 2,073, an increase of 43% in 10
  years.
1962
  A moratorium on execution was imposed nationally, including
  South Carolina.
1962
  Plastic money was introduced and U.S. currency was taken away
  from inmates.
1963
  "Guards" were changed to "correctional officers."
1968
  300 inmates riot about food and conditions in Central Correctional
  Institution.
1970
  Total inmate counts averaged 2,705, an increase of 30% in 10
  years.
1971
  Based on state funds, it costs $1,689 to incarcerate an inmate per
  year.
1972
  United States Supreme Court, in the case of Furman vs. Georgia,
  declared most death penalty statutes, including South Carolina's,
  to be unconstitutional.
1972
  SCDC established positions of inmate representatives to improve
  communications between inmates and prison management.
1976
  Formal inmate grievance procedures were introduced.
1977
  William D. Leeke, Agency Commissioner was elected President of
  the American Correctional Association.
1979
  The Sesame Street Childcare Center Program at Kirkland
  Correctional Institution (KCI) was selected as "The Most
  Outstanding Project of the Year" at the United States national
  Jaycee Convention
1980
  The KCI Sesame Street Childcare Center Program was selected
  as the United States' sole representative in the International Jaycee
  competition in Sweden. From 86 projects around the world, the
  KCI program selected as the single most outstanding
  humanitarian project in the world.
1980
  Total jurisdictional inmate counts averaged 7,869, an increase of
  191% in 10 years.
1980
  SCDC's year-end budget deficit totaled $525,000.
1980
  Based on state funds, it costs $4,995 to incarcerate an inmate per
  year; almost 3 times the cost in 1971.
1981
  A serious incident at Central Correctional institution - inmate rally
  and refusal to work- was effectively controlled so that system-wide
  riots/disturbance did not occur.
1981
  Commissioner Leeke received American Correctional
 Association's E. R. Cass Award
1982
  A serious incident occurred at Perry Correctional Institution where
  some property damaged occurred.
1982
  Plastic money was no longer used; substituted by cash.
1982
  Nelson vs. Leeke, a lawsuit involving prison overcrowding filed.
1984
  SCDC's education program received its first state funding as an
  independent school district - Palmetto District One.
1985
  Consent decree for Nelson V. Leeke was signed, the General
  Assembly authorized funding for the construction of 5 new prisons,
  a replacement facility for the Central Correctional Institution
  (formerly the State Penitentiary), and other smaller lower security
  units.
1985
  The death penalty was reinstated in South Carolina.
1985
  For the first time, the fiscal year-end jurisdiction count reached
  over 10,000 inmates - 10,350 on June 30, 1985.
1986
  William D. Leeke received the Southern State Correctional
  Association's first David H. Williams Excellence of Service Award.
1986
  A disturbance occurred at Kirkland Correctional Institution in April
  and was shortly controlled.
1988
  SCDC employees exceeded 5,000 for the first time on the May 16th
  payroll.
1989
  The capital punishment facility was relocated from Central
  Correctional Institution to Broad River Correctional Institution.
1990
  Based on state funds, it costs $12,414 to incarcerate an inmate per
  year - 2.5 times the cost in 1980.
1990
  Total jurisdictional inmate counts averaged 16,149, an increase of
  105% in 10 years.
1990
  Corrections museum opened in old Death House.
1990
  Broad River Correctional Institution held its first execution.
1993
  SCDC initiated a cashless system - debit inmate accounts - for
  canteen purchases.
1994
  The Central Correctional Institution (CCI), the original State
  Penitentiary, closed after 127 years of operations.
1994
  Director Parker Evatt received the American Correctional
  Association's highest honor - the E. R. Cass Award.
1995
  The Prison Litigation Reform Act was passed, allowing correctional
  agencies to ask the Federal Court for relief from previously entered
  consent decrees under certain circumstances.
1995
  April 17, 1995, a disturbance occurred at Broad River Correctional
  Institution - 5 officers were injured and 3 non-security personnel
  were taken hostage. After 11 hours of negotiation, the hostages
  were released unharmed.
1995
  The General Assembly amended South Carolina Code of Law to
  allow lethal injection as a form of execution. Those inmates
  sentenced to death before 1995 were given an option of
  electrocution or lethal injection. In August 1995, the first inmate to
  die by lethal injection was executed.
1995
  A cashless system was introduced - inmates were issued
  identification cards to debit their accounts for canteen purchases.
1995
  In November, SCDC began recruiting and hiring 18-20 year old
  men and women for positions as correctional officer cadets.
1996
  SCDC became the first state correctional agency to utilize
  provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act to terminate its
  consent decree under Plyler vs. Evatt. This termination allowed
  SCDC to modify and restructure facility operations without
  oversight by the federal court.
1996
  Touchtone Pictures shot some scenes of its movie, "The Last
  Dance," at SCDC's Ridgeland Correctional Institution.
1996
  For the first time, the fiscal year-end jurisdiction count reached
  over 20,000 inmates - 20,862 on June 30, 1996.
1996
  SCDC became the first state correctional agency to be relieved
  from the requirements of a federal consent decree pursuant to the
  newly enacted Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
1997
  Death Row was moved from Broad River Correctional Institution to
  Lieber Correctional Institution.
1997
  Video conferencing technologies were applied to parole
  hearings to reduce transportation of inmates, to enhance public
  safety, and facilitate citizen's attendance at administrative offices
  of the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and
  Pardon Services.
2000
  Total jurisdictional inmate counts averaged 22,053, an increase of
  37% in 10 years.
2000
  Based on state funds, it costs $15,142 to incarcerate an inmate per
  year - 22% higher than the cost in 1990.
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