BISHOPVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA – A corrections officer has been taken hostage at the same South Carolina maximum-security prison where another guard was taken hostage in June, a prison official said Thursday.
“The entire facility is on lockdown right now,” said Clark Newsom, a public information officer for the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
The incident started just before 5 p.m. ET in the Chesterville dormitory of Lee Correctional Institute in Bishopville, he said. Bishopville is about 55 miles west of the capital, Columbia.
It was not known how many inmates were involved, but each dormitory typically holds about 125 to 150 prisoners, he said.
In June, a guard at the facility, which holds about 1,200 prisoners, was held hostage for several hours before being freed.
Lee Correctional Institute is a Level 3 or maximum-security prison “designed primarily to house violent offenders with longer sentences, and inmates who exhibit behavioral problems,” according to the Corrections Department website.
Some 50 to 60 inmates housed in a unit intended primarily for inmates serving life sentences were involved in the incident in June, Newsom said then.
“You’ve got everything from murderers to rapists … it’s pretty tough characters,” he said then.